Trump Requests Return of Materials Seized in FBI Raid Via Social Media The receipt for property that was seized during the execution of a search warrant by the FBI at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., is photographed Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (Jon Elswick/AP)
By Jay Clemons | Sunday, 14 August 2022 02:58 PM EDT
Former President Donald Trump chastised the FBI Sunday morning for seizing "'executive privileged material" in its raid of the Mar-a-Lago resort, and subsequently demanded the agency return his materials as soon as possible.
In a Truth Social post, Trump wrote, "Oh great! It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged 'attorney-client' material, and also 'executive' privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken."
Trump continued, "By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you!"
Various reports have speculated on the items removed from Mar-a-Lago Monday — three days after the FBI/Department of Justice obtained a search warrant, signed by magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart — outside of the 11 sets of potentially classified materials.
The unsealed search warrant, which became public Friday night, revealed agents were authorized to seize any documents or records with classified markings or related to the "transmission of national defense information or classified material."
As such, the FBI and DOJ might have been looking for evidence that Trump violated the Espionage Act of 1917, which prohibits American citizens from "obtaining information, recording pictures, or copying descriptions of any information relating to the national defense with intent or reason to believe that the information may be used for the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation."
As an easy legal counter, every living U.S. president has lifetime "top secret" clearance with matters pertaining to the U.S. government, Seb Gorka told Newsmax Sunday morning, while appearing on "Wake Up America" with hosts Carl Higbie and Christina Thompson.
Attorney-client privilege covers private exchanges and communications between an attorney and their client during an ongoing investigation.
For executive privilege, as it pertains to White House matters, the president has the capacity to keep certain forms of communication private from the legislative and judicial branches of the U.S. government.