PALM BEACH, United States: Former US president Donald Trump said Monday that his Mar-A-Lago residence in Florida was being raided by FBI agents in an act of criminal misconduct. The FBI declined to comment on whether the search was happening or what it might be, nor did Trump give any indication of how federal agents were at his home - a situation that adds to the legal pressure on the ex-president.
These are dark times for our nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents, he said in a statement posted on his Truth Social network.
A surveillance of Mar-a-Lago showed police cars outside the property.
The former president, who was not present at the raid, said it was a crime, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don't want me to run for President in 2024.
Such an attack could only take place in broken Third World countries. Trump said that America had now become one of those countries, and that they even broke into my safe! Multiple US media outlets said agents were involved in a court-authorised search related to the mishandling of classified documents that had been sent to Mar-a-Lago.
The National Archives recovered 15 boxes of documents from Trump's Florida estate in February, which the Washington Post reported included highly classified texts taken with him when he left Washington after his re-election defeat.
The documents and mementos - which included correspondence from ex-US president Barack Obama - should by law have been turned over at the end of Trump's presidency, but instead ended up at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
The recovery of boxes raised questions about Trump's adherence to presidential records laws enacted after the Watergate scandal in 1970, which required Oval Office occupants to keep records related to administration activity.
The Archives had asked the Justice Department to open a probe into Trump's practices.
The White House staff discovered wads of paper clogging toilets, leading them to believe that Trump was trying to get rid of certain documents, according to a forthcoming book by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.
After taking his last Air Force One flight from Washington to Florida on Jan 20 last year, Trump has remained the country's most polarising figure, continuing his campaign to sow falsehoods that he actually won the 2020 election.
For weeks, Washington has been riveted by hearings in Congress about the Jan 6 snatching of the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters and his attempts to overturn the election.
The Jan 6 attack was investigated by the US Department of Justice.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has declined to comment on the growing speculation that Trump could face criminal charges, but he insists that no person is above the law and he intends to hold accountable every person who is criminally responsible for overturning a legitimate election. Trump is being investigated for his efforts to change the results of the 2020 election in the state of Georgia, while his business practices are being investigated in New York in separate cases, one civil and the other criminal.
The real estate mogul has not yet officially declared his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, though he has dropped strong hints over the past few months.
With President Joe Biden's approval rating now below 40 per cent, and Democrats forecast to lose control of Congress in November midterm elections, Trump is apparently bullish that he could ride the Republican wave all the way to the White House in 2024.