US Attorney General Merrick Garland said that he personally approved the decision to seek a warrant so that the FBI could search former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
Mr Garland delivered a statement on Thursday afternoon regarding the FBI executing a search warrant on the former president’s estate. He said in his statement that the Department of Justice had filed a motion in the Southern District of Florida to unseal the warrant.
Mr Garland said that the department does not make decisions like this lightly.
“Where possible it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken,” he said.
Mr Garland said that the search warrant was authorized upon the required finding of probable cause and said the Justice Department filed to make the warrant public given Mr Trump’s confirmation of the search and the public interest in the matter.
Mr Garland’s words come after the FBI’s search of his Palm Beach, Florida, home on Monday evening, which Mr Trump immediately criticized by saying that the bureau used the search of his property to plant unspecified evidence against him.
The attorney general also spoke out against criticisms of the professionalism of the FBI and the Justice Department.
“I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked the men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated patriotic public servants every day,” he said. “They protect the American people from violent crime, terrorism and other threats to their safety, while safeguarding our civil rights.”
Shortly after Mr Garland’s statement, the former president posted a statement on Truth Social.
“I continue to ask, what happened to the 33 million pages of documents taken to Chicago by President Obama?” he said. “The fake