Attorney General Merrick Garland: Probable cause required to approve Mar-a-Lago search warrant

The Justice Department is asking a federal court to unseal the warrant the FBI used to search former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday that there was probable cause to issue a warrant for the search of former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach home on Monday.

Garland said he personally approved the request for a search warrant. Garland said the actions of the FBI and the Department of Justice shouldn’t be maligned.

“I will not stand by silently,” Garland said about responding to threats to the two agencies.

Sources told Local 10 News the search warrant was related to some 15 boxes of documents that Trump had at Mar-a-Lago, some of which are believed to contain classified information. Garland said he was not allowed to release details about the investigation or the reason for it.

The Justice Department is asking a federal court to unseal the warrant the FBI used to search former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI since Trump appointed him in 2017, said on Wednesday the threats by Trump supporters to the FBI and the DOJ were “deplorable and dangerous.”

“I’m always concerned about threats to law enforcement,” Wray said. “Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re upset with.”

The threats include calls for Garland to be assassinated.

The former president released a statement on Monday saying his “beautiful home” was “under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.” Trump also referred to the search as an “unannounced raid” that “was not necessary or appropriate” and amounted to “prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System.”

Trump also referred to the investigation as “an attack by Radical Left Democrats” who oppose his “run for President in 2024.”

Trump supporters and opponents surrounded his home.

“He separated all of us,” Trump opposer Devin Dretzka told Local 10 News outside the property. “He deserves this, he’s a criminal. He has done nothing but negativity for our country and we came here to celebrate.”

“I love this guy,” Trump supporter Steven Moise said. “He’s done so much for this country, more than any president in the United States. Yes of course it is (emotional) -- look at what they’re putting his family through, look at what they’re putting him through.”


About the Authors:

Ben Kennedy is an Emmy Award-winning Washington Bureau Chief for Local 10 News. He has more than a decade of reporting experience nationwide.

Jenise Fernandez joined the Local 10 News team in November 2014. She is thrilled to be back home reporting for the station she grew up watching. Jenise, who is from Miami and graduated from Florida International University, also interned at Local 10 while she was in college.