The FBI on Monday conducted a highly controversial raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, purportedly in search of classified documents that were supposed to have been turned over to the National Archives after he left office in 2021.
Now comes word that the raid had been launched on the basis of tips provided to the FBI by a confidential informant, the Conservative Brief reported.
That supposed informant is said to have told the FBI exactly where the alleged classified documents could be found on Trump’s property, and that information was then used to convince a federal magistrate to sign off on an unprecedented search warrant for a former president’s home.
FBI tipped off by “confidential human source”
Newsweek reported exclusively on Wednesday that, according to two unnamed senior government officials, a “confidential human source” for the FBI tipped off the bureau about what classified documents the former president still possessed and where they could be found on Trump’s property.
It had been alleged shortly after the presidential transition in 2021 that Trump had, perhaps inadvertently, taken several boxes of White House documents, some of which were believed to be classified, with him to his Florida resort instead of sending them to the National Archives.
In the roughly 18 months since that transition, at least some of those boxes of documents were eventually sent to the National Archives but there were allegations that not everything had been forwarded along and Trump still retained possession of certain classified documents, potentially including “national defense information,” according to the sources.
Eventually, the FBI received tips from the alleged informant on the location of those documents, which was then used to obtain a search warrant that purportedly authorized the raid of Trump’s residence, which reportedly had been planned for several weeks and was timed to occur while Trump was at his residences in New Jersey and New York.
Newsweek further reported that one of Trump’s attorneys, Lindsey Halligan, said that the FBI search had largely been focused on just three specific rooms — a bedroom, an office, and a storage area, as well as a locked safe in one of those rooms — which the outlet suggested was evidence of an informant in that “the FBI knew specifically where to look” for the alleged classified documents.
More reports of an alleged informant “very close” to Trump
The Wall Street Journal also published an account Wednesday of the FBI raid and what led up to it and that report similarly posited that investigators had received assistance from somebody on the inside at Mar-a-Lago.
Likewise, Axios also reported Wednesday that “Trumpworld is abuzz” with rumors and speculation about who, exactly, may have “flipped” on the former president and provided information to the FBI that was used to obtain a search warrant ahead of the raid.
If the reports of an informant are true, Politico reported that former Trump Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told CNN on Thursday that the informant would most likely be somebody “very close” to the former president, in that only those within his innermost circle would have specific knowledge about where sensitive materials like classified documents would be stored.
“This would be someone who was handling things on day to day, who knew where documents were, so it would be somebody very close inside the president, my guess is there’s probably six or eight people who had that kind of information,” Mulvaney said. “I didn’t know there was a safe at Mar-a-Lago and I was the chief of staff for 15 months.”