Former President Donald Trump added another grievance to his list of gripes against the FBI after its raid of his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida last month, saying agents searched his teenage son Barron’s room.
During a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, Trump claimed the search for documents was conducted on a “phony pretext” with permission from a “highly political” magistrate judge.
He added that FBI agents “rifled through” his wife and former first lady Melania Trump’s closet drawers and “even did a deep and ugly search of the room of my 16-year-old son.” After a round of boos from the crowd, Trump added that agents left “everything they touched in far different condition than it was when they started.”
Trump is under investigation for possible violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice over his handling of documents after leaving office, according to the unsealed search warrant. Trump claims he declassified all the documents stored at Mar-a-Lago, as the Justice Department says dozens of records and empty folders with classified markings were found, and the former president has denied any wrongdoing.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has said the Justice Department will speak about the search through court filings. An underlying affidavit, which was released with heavy redactions, said it sought authorization to search Trump’s office, storage rooms, and any other rooms where boxes or records may have been stored within the premises. A judge unsealed on Friday a detailed inventory of items seized from Trump’s estate.
Trump’s complaint about FBI agents rummaging through his son Barron’s room was met with some skepticism.
“If Trump is storing boxes of classified documents or presidential records or other types of documents that could potentially be one or the other in the bedroom of Barron Trump, well, then he should understand that that’s why the Justice Department is searching there,” former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said on MSNBC. “Let’s face it, I don’t take anything that Trump says at face value.”