Passports belonging to former President Donald Trump were returned to him after last week's FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago home, a Justice Department official told NBC News.
The FBI confirmed it had the passports the same day that Trump stated on his social media platform that FBI agents who carried out the search at his Florida residence on Aug. 8 had taken them.
A law enforcement source told CBS News that the passports were returned after they were discovered by a "filter team" of federal investigators who screen the items seized during the execution of a search warrant for privileged or extraneous information.
The FBI said in a statement that when executing search warrants, the bureau "follows search and seizure procedures ordered by courts, then returns items that we do not need to be retained for law enforcement purposes."
Trump had written in a statement on Truth Social that agents "stole my three passports (one expired), along with everything else."
He also declared that "this was an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our country. Third World!"
However, top Justice Department official Jay Bratt had already sent an email to Trump's lawyers informing them that the passports had been taken and would be returned before the former president's accusation that the FBI stole his passports, according to CBS News.
That email stated, "We have learned that the filter agents seized three passports belonging to President Trump, two expired and one being his active diplomatic passport. We are returning them, and they will be ready for pickup at WFO [the FBI’s Washington field office] at 2 pm today."
But Trump lawyer Christina Bobb told Fox's "The Ingraham Angle" that "this goes to show the level of audacity that [the FBI] have."
Bobb added that "it goes to show how aggressive they were, how overreaching they were, that they were willing to go past the four corners of the warrant and take whatever they felt was appropriate, or they felt that they could take and then go back through and look through everything."
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.