Trump: Mar-a-Lago Resort Got $5B Worth of Free Publicity From FBI Raid (Newsmax)
By Jay Clemons | Wednesday, 05 October 2022 09:10 PM EDT
The attention given to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort over the last few months — courtesy of the FBI's Aug. 8 raid, stemming from a document dispute with the National Archives — has brought billions of dollars in free publicity to his Florida home, he said Wednesday.
"Has anyone heard about the document hoax? Helicopters flying over Mar-a-Lago," said Trump, while speaking at the National Hispanic Leadership Conference, a Miami-based event arranged by the America First Policy Institute. "Well, they've given us about $5 billion worth of free publicity, I will say."
Trump then added, "People said, 'That's a nice house.' If it weren't so nice they probably wouldn't be doing it, because it gets ratings."
Regarding the document dispute, Trump said he has been wrongly cast in a bad light, and unfairly persecuted, unlike other former presidents.
"Everyone knows we've done nothing wrong," Trump said. "They are targeting me because they want to silence me, silence you, and silence our amazing [Make America Great Again] movement. There's never been a movement like this in the history of our country."
The Trump-Justice Department dispute has quieted down in recent weeks, after Judge Aileen Cannon selected Judge Raymond Dearie as the special master, or arbiter of the case.
However, Trump's legal team objected to the DOJ's request for an expedited ruling from Judge Dearie.
Over the past two months, Trump's legal team has been steadfast in maintaining the former president's innocence.
"This [dispute] is about documents," Trump attorney Alina Habba told Newsmax back in August, while appearing on "Eric Bolling The Balance." "The president was cooperating. I cannot fathom or understand the necessity to have 30 [FBI agents] come in on a raid."
Habba even added the FBI affidavit credited Trump's team for cooperating with the exchange of documents among federal groups, such as the National Archives.
DOJ officials are "trying to make [Trump's potential crime] an Espionage Act. It's a political game, and it's not appropriate," Habba said then.
Later in the interview, Bolling asked if there was any justification for the Mar-a-Lago raid, besides scoring political points with President Joe Biden's left-leaning base.
"Absolutely no reason. It doesn't make sense," Habba said. "In 100 years, [America] has never used this statute. It's antiquated. It's old. It doesn't exist for any purpose except for true espionage. But leave it to the Biden administration to put it into place against President Trump because he's leading in the polls."
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