U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland admitted in a hastily called press conference on Thursday afternoon that he had personally signed off on the search warrant issued against former President Trump, authorizing the unprecedented FBI raid.
Garland also revealed that the Department of Justice is seeking to unseal the mysterious warrant, citing “substantial public interest in this matter."
The move comes right after the same federal judge who signed the warrant ordered the DOJ to respond to a watchdog group's motion to unseal the warrant.
Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart told the DOJ to respond by next Monday, but all the details still might not be made public. "The response may be filed ex parte and under seal as necessary to avoid disclosing matters already under seal. In that event, the Government shall file a redacted Response in the public record," Reinhart wrote.
On Aug. 9, Judicial Watch filed its motion asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to unseal as soon as possible the search warrant materials used by the FBI to raid Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida earlier this week.
"The Biden administration's raid on President Trump's home is an outrageous, reckless, and unprecedented abuse of power. And the American people have an urgent right to know how it happened and who is responsible," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.
Due to multiple organizations filing to unseal the warrant, Judge Reinhart ordered, "To avoid the need for individualized orders on any future motion(s) to unseal, it is ORDERED that the Government shall file an omnibus response to all motions to unseal on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on August 15, 2022."
According to numerous media outlets, the warrant reportedly relates to an alleged dispute over the Presidential Records Act.
As CBN News reported, the probe is reportedly part of a federal investigation into whether Trump took classified records from the White House after he left office. Trump had previously cooperated with federal officials, allowing them access to his Mar-a-Lago home to reclaim documents.
In a statement released late Tuesday, Trump called the search a "horrible thing" and "a coordinated attack" by Democrats.
In its motion, Judicial Watch states that it "is investigating the potential politicization of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice and whether the FBI and the Justice Department are abusing their law enforcement powers to harass a likely future political opponent of President Biden."
"Given the political context, and the highly unusual action of executing a search warrant at the residence of a former President and likely future political opponent, it is essential that the public understands as soon as possible the basis for the government's action," the watchdog group states.
"As of the filing of this motion, the public record consists solely of speculation and innuendo," the motion said. "In short, the historical presumption of access to warrant materials vastly outweighs any interest the government may have in keeping the materials under seal."
"Any government interest in securing the identities of witnesses and confidential sources, if any, may be addressed by appropriate redactions from the search warrant affidavit," the motion said.
Former Democratic Congresswoman and Presidential Candidate Calls Out Biden Administration for 'Abuse of Power'
Meanwhile, former congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard said the FBI's raid on Trump's home shows an "escalating, very dangerous trend of abuse of power" by the Biden administration.
"This is something that every American should be extremely concerned about because this raid is just the latest serious escalation of this disturbing trend that we've seen of blatant abuse of power by those in power, to not only protect their friends but to target their political opponents or frankly anyone who dares to dissent or challenge or disagree or even question what this administration is doing," Gabbard told Fox News.
The former U.S. Representative from Hawaii also listed several examples of this abuse of power in different agencies, including the FBI's investigation of Trump for the Russia Hoax. Gabbard also called out the targeting of conservative organizations by the IRS during the Obama administration.
She spoke out about this administration's Department of Homeland Security and its recent attempt at creating "a Ministry of Truth to go after us, everyday Americans across the country to tell us, 'Hey, here's what we say the truth is and is not, and what you are allowed to say and what you are not allowed to say.'"
"It's hard to imagine given how blatant all of this is, that this is happening in the United States of America," Gabbard said.
The former Democratic congresswoman later tweeted video clips of her Fox interview, writing: "Regardless of how you feel about Trump, this FBI raid throws fuel on that fire of distrust and sets a dangerous precedent that reduces our government to being no better than a banana republic, where dictators see federal law enforcement as their own personal goon squad."
Regardless of how you feel about Trump, this FBI raid throws fuel on that fire of distrust and sets a dangerous precedent that reduces our government to being no better than a banana republic, where dictators see federal law enforcement as their own personal goon squad. pic.twitter.com/M9a9Vpgz0Q
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) August 10, 2022