Former President Donald Trump on Monday said his opponents "desperately don't want me to run for President in 2024" and will "likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections."
That, he said, is why FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday even though he said he had been "working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies."
Trump attorney Christina Bobb confirmed the FBI seized documents from Mar-a-Lago in a statement to CNN. Bobb, a former OAN host, was present for the search at Trump's Palm Beach residence.
Trump called the move against a former president "dark times for our nation," and said the action was no different than Watergate and had turned the United States into a "broken third-world country."
Trump, who found plenty of support on Monday from political allies, issued a statement reading:
"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. Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States before. After working and cooperating with the relevant government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate. It is prosecutorial misconduct, 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, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and conservatives in the upcoming midterm elections.
"Such an assault could only take place in broken, third-world countries. Sadly, America has now become one of those countries, corrupt at a level not seen before. They even broke into my safe! What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee? Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th president of the United States.
"The political persecution of President Donald J. Trump has been going on for years, with the now fully debunked Russia, Russia, Russia scam, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and so much more, it just never ends. It is political targeting at the highest level!
"Hillary Clinton was allowed to delete and acid wash 33,000 e-mails AFTER they were subpoenaed by Congress. Absolutely nothing has happened to hold her accountable. She even took antique furniture, and other items from the White House.
"I stood up to America's bureaucratic corruption, I restored power to the people, and truly delivered for our country, like we have never seen before. The establishment hated it. Now, as they watch my endorsed candidates win big victories, and see my dominance in all polls, they are trying to stop me, and the Republican Party, once more. The lawlessness, political persecution, and witch hunt must be exposed and stopped.
"I will continue to fight for the great American people!"
The U.S. Justice Department decline to comment.
Meanwhile, prominent Republicans and Trump allies were quick to echo the former president's allegation the action represented a gross abuse of power.
One such strongly worded criticism came from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – though many mainstream media outlets have sought to cast DeSantis as a Trump rival gunning for the presidency in 2024.
"The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the regime's political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves," DeSantis wrote in a statement. "Now the regime is getting another 87K IRS agents to wield against its adversaries? Banana Republic."
"I've seen enough," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement. "The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization."
The Department of Justice has launched an early stage investigation into Trump's removal of official presidential records to his Florida estate, a source familiar with the matter said in April.
The investigation comes after the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration in February notified Congress it had recovered about 15 boxes of White House documents from Trump's Florida home, some of which contained classified materials.
The House Oversight Committee at that time announced it was expanding an investigation into Trump's actions and asked the National Archives to turn over additional information. Trump previously confirmed he had agreed to return certain records to the Archives, calling it "an ordinary and routine process."
It is "particularly urgent," political adviser Dick Morris told Newsmax, "for us to elect Donald Trump president again. Our entire country depends upon it. A system of government depends upon it.
"Every banana republic in the world – and I've worked all over the world – arrests their former presidents. They go to jail and they get tried, and inevitably, they get found guilty, and they usually get condemned to house arrest.
"And if we start doing that in the United States, we are sunk."
Reuters contributed to this report.
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