Trump News Updates: Bernie Sanders Says GOP Is 'Giving Up on Democracy'

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AG Garland
Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Justice Department Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, in Washington. Susan Walsh/AP Photo

Bernie Sanders Says GOP Is 'Giving Up on Democracy'

Bernie Sanders, the progressive independent senator from Vermont and former Democratic presidential candidate, says that Republicans still defending former President Donald Trump following the raid of his home are "giving up on democracy."

"Unbelievably, you have many, many Republicans who are kind of giving up on democracy and want to move us into an authoritarian form of society," Sanders said during an interview shared to social media by Now This News on Thursday. "And Trump's big lie, this mythology that he actually won the [2020] election, is part of that effort."

Trump and many of his supporters have been repeatedly lashing out against the FBI and the Biden administration this week following the raid of the former president's home on Monday.

While the raid happened when agents executed a legally-obtained search warrant, reportedly to find classified documents pertaining to nuclear weapons, some prominent Republican lawmakers have called for repercussions that include "defunding" the FBI, dismantling the Department of Justice and impeaching Attorney General Merrick Garland.

GOP Support For Trump's 2024 Candidacy Increases Following FBI Raid

Republican support for former President Donald Trump's potential 2024 GOP presidential bid appears to be increasing following the FBI raid of his home.

A Morning Consult/Politico poll released on Thursday found that 58 percent of Republican voters would support Trump in the 2024 Republican primary as of Wednesday, up from the 54 percent of Republicans who said they would support him from July 15 to July 17. A further 71 percent of Republicans said that they thought Trump should run in the next presidential election.

While support for Trump is increasing, the number of Republicans who say that they would instead back his top potential 2024 rival candidate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, appears to be diminishing. Support for DeSantis dropped to only 16 percent, down 5 points from a poll taken in late July.

A 49 percent plurality of all voters said that they believed the raid occurred due to evidence that Trump committed a crime, while 39 percent said it was intended "to damage his political career." Predictably, Republicans were far less likely to believe that the raid was based on evidence, with 69 percent of GOP voters agreeing that the raid was politically motivated.

Trump and his Save America PAC have used conservative outrage over the raid in multiple fundraising emails this week. An email sent on Thursday urged Trump supporters to "immediately" donate at least $45 to "publicly stand with President Trump against the NEVERENDING WITCH HUNT."

Michael Cohen Suggests Trump Family Member Could Be Informant

Michael Cohen, the former lawyer of ex-President Donald Trump, has suggested that the informant who told the FBI about alleged classified documents at Mar-a-Lago could be one of Trump's family members.

The FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's Florida home on Monday night following a tip from a confidential source who informed the agency that the former president had allegedly taken the documents there when leaving the White House.

Trump said that the FBI opened a personal safe during their search, while agents reportedly removed 10-15 boxes of documents. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the documents may include highly sensitive materials involving nuclear weapons.

Cohen, one of Trump's most outspoken critics in the years since he was convicted of multiple felonies in 2018, told Insider on Thursday that he felt "elation that [the raid] involved Trump." The former Trump lawyer expressed certainty that the FBI tip came from a member of the ex-president's "inner circle," while speculating that the informant could be one of Trump's children or his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

"It's definitely a member of [Trump's] inner circle," Cohen told Insider. "I would not be surprised to find out it is Jared or one of his children... Who else would know about the existence of a safe and the specific contents kept inside?"

FBI Looking for Nuclear Weapons Documents: Report

FBI agents who descended upon Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate were searching for classified documents concerning nuclear weapons that the former president was suspected of improperly removing from the White House.

Read more here.

Cheney, Kinzinger Defend FBI from GOP Attacks

Republican U.S. Representatives Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming are defending the FBI from GOP attacks amid backlash over the raiding of former President Donald Trump's home.

Cheney and Kinzinger, the only Republican members of House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, both took to Twitter on Thursday to defend the federal law enforcement agency. They each denounced "shameful" rhetoric being directly towards the FBI by many of their GOP colleagues, some of whom have called for the agency to be "defunded" or dissolved over the raid.

"I have been ashamed to hear members of my party attacking the integrity of the FBI agents involved with the recent Mar-a-Lago search," Cheney tweeted. "These are sickening comments that put the lives of patriotic public servants at risk."

"Listening to Republicans attack law enforcement is wrong, dangerous, and shameful," tweeted Kinzinger. "They will pick their cult leader over anything, but this is especially wrong. Every Republican official who doesn't agree with those attacks MUST speak out if there are any patriots left."

In a subsequent tweet, Kinzinger said that his staff had received calls from multiple Trump supporters claiming that he was responsible for the raid, while arguing that they "know" he instigated the FBI search and was "there at the raid."

"I'd lol but it's just insane at this point," Kinzinger commented.

FBI Suspect Identified as Trump Supporter With Jan. 6 Link

The man killed in standoff with Ohio law enforcement after allegedly attempting to break into the FBI field office in Cincinnati has reportedly been identified as a supporter of former President Donald Trump who many have been present during the January 6 Capitol riot.

Ricky Shiffer, 42, was shot and killed by officers on Thursday, hours after allegedly attempting to break into the Cincinnati FBI building while armed and wearing body armor, according to an Associated Press report citing a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The incident happened days after an FBI raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida sparked Republican rage and increased threats against the FBI and federal agents.

Authorities are investigating the possibility that Shiffer may have been present at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, as well as possible ties to far-right extremist groups including the Proud Boys, according to the AP report.

Shiffer may have also made posts to Trump's Truth Social network commenting on his alleged attempt to breach the FBI building on Thursday, while also calling for "combat" against the FBI in the days following the Mar-a-Lago raid, according to NBC News.

"Well, I thought I had a way through bullet proof glass, and I didn't. If you don't hear from me, it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I., and it'll mean either I was taken off the internet, the F.B.I. got me, or they sent the regular cops while," the Truth Social account @RickyWShifferJr, which may have since been wiped of posts or deleted, reportedly shared at 9:29 a.m. ET on Thursday.

Wray Says Violence Against FBI 'Deeply Concerning'

FBI Director Christopher Wray denounced violence against the agency on Thursday, shortly after an armed man was killed by police following his alleged attempt to break into an FBI building in Cincinnati.

The incident in Cincinnati came amid a week of conservative outrage and increased threats made against the FBI following the Monday night raid of former President Donald Trump's home in Florida. Wray condemned attacks on the "integrity" of the agency and violence against federal agents in a statement issued while the suspect in Cincinnati was engaged in a standoff.

"Unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI erode respect for the rule of law and are a grave disservice to the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect others," Wray said. "Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be deeply concerning to all Americans."

"Every day I see the men and women of the FBI doing their jobs professionally and with rigor, objectivity, and a fierce commitment to our mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution," he added. "I am proud to serve alongside them."

Trump Criticizes Lincoln Project 'Perverts'

Former President Donald Trump posted criticism of people associated with The Lincoln Project, whom he referred to as "perverts," in a Thursday evening post on Truth Social.

Trump questioned why Fox News invites The Lincoln Project to speak on the air, though his post did not specify whether there was one television appearance in particular that he was protesting.

"Why does Fox put them on?" Trump asked. "The perverts of the Lincoln Project were 'run out of town' after it was learned that they did some really 'bad stuff.' Perversion anyone?" he said, an apparent reference to allegations of inappropriate conduct by one of the group's founders.

"Now they have re-emerged with a different but similar name," Trump's post continued. "Keep these sicko's off television!"

A few minutes before Trump's post about The Lincoln Project, he raised questions in a separate Truth Social post about whether the White House was aware of the FBI's recent search of his Mar-a-Lago home before the raid began.

"Does anybody really believe that Joe Biden and the White House knew NOTHING about this great embarrassment to our Country - the biggest story since the Afghanistan catastrophe? I don't think so," his post said.

The White House has said Biden did not know about the raid before it occurred and said the White House learned about it from public media reports.

FBI Cincinnati Suspect Dead After Standoff

A Thursday standoff between police in Ohio and a man who allegedly tried to break into an FBI building in Cincinnati ended with the suspect being declared dead, law enforcement officials said.

The suspect, who has not been publicly identified, allegedly tried to break into the building on Thursday before fleeing and eventually engaged in a standoff with law enforcement in Clinton County.

By Thursday afternoon, the Clinton County Emergency Management Agency said in a Facebook post that "law enforcement operations and response has ended."

About an hour later, authorities told reporters during a press conference that the suspect had died after law enforcement officials' efforts to negotiate "failed."

As authorities tried to take the suspect into custody, he allegedly raised a firearm at officers "and shots were fired by law enforcement officers on the scene," officials said. "At that point, the suspect was deceased."

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, authorities said.

Court Reportedly Sets Motion Deadline for Trump

Former President Donald Trump and his legal team reportedly have until Friday afternoon to oppose a motion to unseal documents linked to the FBI's Monday search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) moved to make the materials public due in part to the "intense public interest" in the FBI's search, which the motion noted Trump publicly disclosed in a Monday statement.

According to reporters with CNN and Politico, the DOJ was on Thursday ordered to speak with Trump's attorneys and find out by Friday at 3 p.m. ET whether the Trump legal team will oppose the motion.

Bruce Reinhart, the magistrate judge who approved the FBI's search, is the one who set the Friday deadline, according to Forbes.

DOJ Files Motion After Trump Made Search Public

The Department of Justice decided to move to unseal the documents related to the FBI raid at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home after the former president made the search public.

DOJ did not initially make any public statements about the search at Trump's home. The department said the search "attracted little or no public attention" as it was taking place. The public only became aware of the search after Trump himself issued a statement acknowledging the execution of the warrant.

"In the days since, the search warrant and related materials have been the subject of significant interest and attention from news media organizations and other entities," the motion said.

DOJ said this warrant is of public concern, as it "involves a law enforcement action taken at the property of the 45th President of the United States."

"The public's clear and powerful interest in understanding what occurred under these circumstances weighs heavily in favor of unsealing," the motion said.

The government initially asked the court to file the search warrant and other attachments under seal. Now, however, DOJ said releasing these documents to the public will not "impair court functions" because the warrant was already executed.

The department adds that unsealing the document would not encroach on privacy issues, as the search and its subject matter are already public. Trump and his representatives issued the first public confirmation that the search had occurred and provided public characterizations of the materials sought.

DOJ added that Trump should have the opportunity to respond to this motion and issue objections, including with regards to any "legitimate privacy interests" or the potential for other "injury" if these materials are made public.

Trump Says His Attorneys 'Were Cooperating Fully'

Former President Donald Trump said his attorneys "were cooperating fully" with the government ahead of Mondays' FBI search of his residence at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump's comments, which he posted on Truth Social Thursday afternoon, appeared shortly after Attorney General Merrick Garland made a public statement about the raid. Earlier Thursday afternoon, Garland provided the public with a general overview of the steps federal agents took before and during their search, a warrant for which Garland said "was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause."

"My attorneys and representatives were cooperating fully, and very good relationships had been established," Trump said. "The government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it."

Trump said federal agents had previously asked his team to "put an additional lock" on a secure area at Mar-a-Lago, which Trump said was done.

"Everything was fine, better than that of most previous Presidents, and then, out of nowhere and with no warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided, at 6:30 in the morning, by VERY large numbers of agents, and even 'safecrackers,'" Trump's statement continued. "They got way ahead of themselves. Crazy!"

A few minutes later, Trump shared a new post that said he "just learned" First Lady Melania Trump's closets were searched by federal agents, whom he said "rummaged through her clothing and personal items."

"Surprisingly left area in a relative mess," Trump said. "Wow!"

DOJ Subpoenaed Trump Months Before Raid, Reports

The Justice Department reportedly issued a subpoena for classified documents before executing a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago home Monday.

Donald Trump received a grand jury subpoena from the Justice Department in the spring related to potentially classified documents he failed to turn over the federal investigators, the New York Times and CNN reported.

This came after the National Archives took 15 boxes of documents back from Trump's residence in January.

The news about the subpoena was first reported by conservative journalist John Solomon in Just the News.

Federal investigators then went to Mar-a-Lago in June. During this meeting, Trump's lawyers showed investigators documents that were held in Trump's basement and private club. Trump was reportedly present at the time of the meeting. Investigators took classified documents into their custody, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Investigators also subpoenaed the Trump Organization for surveillance footage of the club from areas where the documents might have been stored.

The FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's property this week after investigators learned that there were more documents remaining at the property.

Sources familiar with the matter told reporters that they believed the classified documents that remained at the residence were related to national security and were "so sensitive in nature" that the Justice Department had to act.

Garland Calls DOJ, FBI Agents 'Patriotic'

Attorney General Merrick Garland addressed recent "unfounded attacks on the professionalism" of agents and prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI on Thursday.

He spoke about the "unfounded attacks" before concluding a public statement addressing the FBI's recent search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.

"I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked," Garland said.

People who work at the FBI and DOJ "are dedicated, patriotic public servants" who protect Americans "from violent crime, terrorism and other threats to their safety while safeguarding our civil rights," he said. FBI and DOJ agents "do so at great personal sacrifice and risk themselves," he added.

"I am honored to work alongside them," Garland said.

Garland Says DOJ Applies the Law 'Evenly'

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland responded to criticism of the Justice Department's integrity amid the FBI raid at Donald Trump's home.

During his statement Thursday, Garland said DOJ applies the law evenly and fairly in every investigation.

"Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy," he told reporters. "Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly, without fear or favor."

He said that is exactly what the department is doing now.

"All Americans are entitled to the evenhandedness of the law, the due process of the law and to the presumption of innocence," he said.

Garland added that much of DOJ's work is done by necessity and is conducted out of the public eye.

"We do this to protect the Constitutional rights of all Americans and to protect the integrity of our investigations," he said.

Garland added that federal law, long-standing DOJ rules and ethical obligations prevent him from providing further details about the basis of the search at Mar-a-Lago.

Garland Statement
Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers a statement at the U.S. Department of Justice August 11, 2022 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Trump Lawyer Was On-Site During Raid, Garland Says

A lawyer for Donald Trump was on-site at the time FBI agents searched the former president's Mar-a-Lago residence earlier this week, Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Thursday.

"Copies of both the warrant and the FBI property receipt were provided on the day of the search to the former president's counsel, who was onsite during the search," Garland said.

The attorney general said the search warrant was "authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause." He described the property receipt as "a document that federal law requires law enforcement agents to leave with the property owner."

DOJ Seeks to Unseal Search Warrant in Trump Raid

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland addressed the public for the first time since the FBI executed a search warrant at the Mar-a-Lago property of former President Donald Trump three days ago.

Garland said the Justice Department filed a motion to unseal the search warrant issued and the property receipt related to the raid at Mar-a-Lago Monday.

He said that he personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter.

"The department does not take such a decision lightly," Garland said. "Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken."

"The search warrant was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause," he told reporters.

This comes as many Republicans called on the Justice Department and the FBI to speak about the unprecedented raid on Trump's home.

WH Was Unaware of Garland's Remarks, Reports

The White House was not given advanced notice that Attorney General Merrick Garland would deliver a statement this afternoon, according to several reports.

A senior White House official said the administration was not informed that these remarks would happen, NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell reported.

"We have had no notice that he was giving remarks and no briefing on the content of them," the official told O'Donnell.

WATCH: AG Merrick Garland Makes Statement

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland will deliver a statement soon from the Department of Justice.

Details about the nature of Garland's statement were not released; however, the DOJ and FBI have been under growing pressure to speak publicly about the raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home Monday.

Garland is scheduled to speak at 2:30 p.m. ET. You can watch live on the Department of Justice website.

FBI Suspect Still in 'Standoff' with Police

The suspect who attempted to break into the FBI building in Cincinnati is not yet in police custody, authorities said early Thursday afternoon.

An Ohio Station Highway Patrol (OSHP) official said the suspect, who has not been publicly identified, is surrounded by officers in a contained area off of a highway. The suspect is reportedly hiding behind his car in a cornfield.

While this is still an "active standoff situation," OSHP Lieutenant Nathan Dennis said there is no risk to the public outside of the contained area.

After fleeing the FBI building in his car, the suspect drove through a rest stop on Interstate-73 where a trooper tried to stop him. The suspect drove off and a police pursuit ensued.

The suspect later stopped, got out of his car and began a gunfire exchange with police. No officers were injured, Dennis said. Authorities have not yet confirmed what weapons the suspect has or if he was injured in the shootout.

Clinton County Emergency Management Agency officials said the man is described as wearing a gray shirt. No further details on the suspect have been released.

Lockdowns and highway closures continue, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

OSHP will hold another press conference to deliver more updates later this afternoon, Dennis said.

Perry Says Phone Seizure Is 'DOJ Run Amok'

Rep. Scott Perry described the FBI's seizure of his personal cell phone as evidence of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) "run amok" during a Wednesday appearance on Fox News.

The Pennsylvania Republican described receiving a knock at his door on Tuesday by three FBI agents who requested Perry hand over his phone. Perry said he was traveling with his family at the time and wasn't sure how the agents knew where to find him.

Perry said the agents told him they would image his phone and return it later.

"I have an official cell phone, they don't want that," Perry said. "So this is my personal cell phone that I talk to my wife on, that I talk to my children on, my constituents—none of the government's business."

Perry noted the seizure of his phone came as a bill to hire 87,000 new IRS agents was under consideration in Congress.

"What do you think they're going to be doing? They're going to be coming for all of you," he said of the IRS agents. "Yesterday it was my cell phone. Tomorrow it's going to be average, hard-working Americans that are just trying to make it through their days."

"This is the DOJ run amok," he added.

Perry said that, after his phone was taken, he learned from his attorneys that he is "not a target" of the DOJ's investigation. Perry later added that he believes the seizure of his phone is linked to the FBI's Monday raid of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.

Republicans Call on DOJ to Address the Public

Republican lawmakers continue to call on the FBI and the Justice Department to speak publicly about the raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.

Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee called on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to speak out.

"It's been over 48 hours and the DOJ has refused to say a word," she said in a tweet.

Representative Any Biggs of Arizona said the American people "deserve to know what happened and why."

Senator John Cornyn of Texas also called on Garland to speak out amid growing skepticism and mistrust directed towards the federal government.

"Reports this relates to a dispute over Presidential records are either a thinly veiled excuse or an abuse of power, if true," he said in a statement. "Given the Democrats' history of weaponizing the Department of Justice, including the FBI, for political purposes, the American people deserve an honest explanation."

He said the American people are "understandably skeptical, and deserve to know the truth" given the Biden administration's history of "weaponizing" DOJ and the FBI.

"The longer the Attorney General remains silent, the more this looks like a brazen abuse of power to target a political rival," he said.

April Becker, the Republican candidate for Nevada's third Congressional District, asked supporters to sign a petition to hold the FBI accountable.

"Biden and the DOJ have gone too far," she said in a tweet. "They have raided and torn apart President Trump's home. Demand the FBI be held accountable."

Trump Says Obama Took '30 Million' WH Pages

Former President Donald Trump raised questions about White House documents "taken" by his predecessor in a post on Truth Social.

"What happened to the 30 million pages of documents taken from the White House to Chicago by Barack Hussein Obama?" Trump's Thursday post said. He alleged Obama "refused" to return the documents and asked if the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) would take similar action against Obama as the agency reportedly did against him with the FBI search.

"What is going on? This act was strongly at odds with NARA," Trump's post said. "Will they be breaking into Obama's 'mansion' in Martha's Vineyard?"

His query followed earlier Truth Social posts about an article by the New York Post. The article, the publication of which followed the FBI's raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday, explored how presidents have handled the Presidential Records Act in the past.

One section of the article Trump quoted Wednesday night was about efforts to digitize records from former President Barack Obama's administration. Those digitization plans were controversial at the time Obama left office.

Over 80% of GOP More Motivated to Vote, Poll

Over 80 percent of GOP voters said they are "more motivated" to vote in the 2022 midterm elections following the FBI's recent raid of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence, according to a new poll by the Trafalgar Group.

Conducted on August 9 and 10, the poll gauged 1,095 likely general election voters' reactions to the raid, which sparked outrage among many Republican politicians.

While about 70 percent of all respondents said the raid increased their "motivation" to vote in the midterm elections this fall, that number was greater—83 percent—for Republicans than it was for Democrats, 55 percent of whom reported an increase in motivation to vote.

The belief that Trump's political enemies were behind the raid was also more commonly held among Republicans than Democrats. About 77 percent of Republican respondents told pollsters they believed Trump's enemies were behind the raid, compared with 12 percent of Democrats. More than two in three Democrats—about 70 percent—instead told pollsters they believed the "impartial justice system" was responsible for the raid, a view held by only 15 percent of Republican voters.

Police Pursue Armed Suspect Who Threatened FBI Building

An armed man reportedly tried to break into an FBI building in Cincinnati, Ohio Thursday.

The FBI Cincinnati field office confirmed that an armed man attempted to break into the Visitor Screening Facility at 9 a.m.

After an alarm and a response by FBI special agents, the subject fled north onto Interstate 71, the FBI said.

The FBI, Ohio State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement are working to resolve the incident.

A police pursuit is reportedly underway in Clinton County, shutting down two highways and placing the surrounding area on lockdown, WLWT-TV reports.

FBI evidence gathering teams are on the scene at the building, the station reports.

The Clinton County Emergency Management Agency issued a lockdown for buildings within a one mile radius of the Smith Road and Center Road intersection. Police have shut down I-71 and State Route 73 in both directions in Clinton County, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

This incident comes as authorities report an increase in threats made against FBI agents, FBI Director Chris Wray and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland after the FBI raid former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home Monday.

Trump Shares Article About Obama WH Records

Former President Donald Trump quoted a New York Post article about previous queries regarding presidential records in two Truth Social posts on Wednesday night.

The article, inspired by the FBI's recent raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence that reportedly occurred as part of an investigation into the handling of presidential records, explored how previous presidents have interpreted the Presidential Records Act. In his Truth Social posts, Trump quoted parts of the article that focused on former President Barack Obama.

In Trump's first Wednesday night post, he quoted a part of the article that addressed how lawyers with the Obama White House cited the Presidential Records Act to delay the release of documents from former President Bill Clinton's administration. Trump's second post quoted a section that explored delays in digitizing archives from the Obama White House.

Both of Trump's posts were accompanied by a screenshot of the Post's article headline.

Trump did not provide commentary for either post beyond the lines of text he pulled from the article. His next Truth Social post was on Thursday morning, when he wrote, "STOP COMMUNISM IN OUR COUNTRY!"

'Ha Ha Ha' Banner Flies Over Mar-a-Lago

A plane flew a banner over Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, mocking the former president and his supporters.

Two days after the FBI raided Trump's home, a plane flew a banner reading "Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha" over his Florida estate.

The banner was sponsored by Thomas Kennedy, a writer and Democratic activist based in Miami, Florida.

"Supporters of the man whose campaign was based in no small part on the promise to lock up his chief political rival are now screaming and howling that the FBI has taken materials from the home of former President Donald J. Trump," Kennedy said in a statement."

"Trump supporters have never been a group to understand the [finer] points of hypocrisy or irony, so the skywriting is an attempt to break through with a communication strategy sure to get some attention."

Kennedy told WTVJ-TV that he paid $1,800 for the banner to fly around the property for about three hours.

He blasted Trump supporters who have gathered outside Trump's home for three days.

"Honestly, go do something better with your time," Kennedy said.

Trump Pleads the Fifth More Than 440 Times

Former President Donald Trump reportedly invoked the Fifth Amendment nearly 450 times during his deposition with the New York Attorney General Wednesday.

During the four-hour deposition, Trump took the Fifth more than 440 times, NBC News reported. Trump's attorney Ronald Fischetti told NBC that the only question Trump answered was about confirming his name.

Trump said in a statement that he would decline to answer any questions during the meeting, invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination. While he has blasted other government officials for taking the Fifth in the past, Trump said he did so Wednesday because this investigation is a "politically motivated witch hunt."

"Accordingly, under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution," he said in a statement posted on Truth Social.

New York Attorney General Letitia James' office confirmed that Trump exercised his Fifth Amendment rights Wednesday.

"While we will not comment on specific details, we can confirm that today, our office conducted a deposition of former president Donald Trump," a spokesperson for James' office said in a statement shared with Newsweek. "Attorney General Letitia James took part in the deposition during which Mr. Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination."

James "will pursue the facts and the law wherever they may lead," the spokesperson said. "Our investigation continues."

Lt. Gov. Says Trump Was 'Likely Pleased' With Raid

Republican Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan says he "can't imagine" former President Donald Trump isn't enjoying the attention and conservative outrage that the FBI raid of his home has generated.

Duncan, a longtime critic of Trump, said during a Wednesday interview with CNN's Brianna Keilar that the former president and his team were likely pleased with the raid because it was helping him regain "cult status" among Republicans.

The Georgia Republican said that the outrage over the raid could also be a boon to Trump's possible 2024 presidential campaign, since it focuses attention away from his potential rival GOP candidate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

"Well, I don't think it's helpful but at the end of the day, I can't imagine Donald Trump or anybody around his team doesn't like the attention they're getting," said Duncan. "It feels like he's being raised up to cult status again."

"You know, there's people that are disappointed in this and probably one of those is Ron DeSantis," he added. "You know his stock was rising, and now it appears to be falling."

Marjorie Taylor Greene Suspects 'Other FBI Informants' Are Monitoring Trump

Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has expressed concerns that "other FBI informants" could be watching former President Donald Trump after his Florida home was raided.

Greene said during the Wednesday edition of her MTG:Live livestream that the anonymous informant who tipped the FBI off about classified documents Trump was allegedly hiding at Mar-a-Lago, as exclusively reported by Newsweek, was a "traitor" in service to "the deep state." She said that she hoped to learn the identity of the informant and other informants who she suspects could also be monitoring the former president.

"We now know that there was an FBI informant at Mar-a-Lago," said Greene. "An FBI informant working at Mar-a-Lago. Who is that and how many other FBI informants are around [former] President Trump on a daily basis? Working at his clubs, working at Mar-a-Lago or maybe Bedminster, or on his staff?

"These are the things I want to know," she continued. "Because they're traitors. They are traitors and they're helping the deep state. And they're helping the people. These are the enemies within, these are the real enemies. And they are there to purposefully, purposefully create something against [former] President Trump."

Josh Hawley Asks if Merrick Garland is Still 'Alive' After Mar-a-Lago Raid

Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri has lashed out at Attorney General Merrick Garland over the raid of former President Donald Trump's home.

During a Wednesday night appearance on Fox News' Jesse Watters Primetime, Hawley asked whether Garland was still "alive" due to the attorney general's lack of public comments on the raid. Hawley, one of many Republicans lawmakers to express outrage after the FBI executed a search warrant on Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday night, called for Garland to resign.

"I lay the real blame for this at the feet of the FBI, the [Department of Justice], Merrick Garland and [President] Joe Biden," Hawley said. "And speaking of Merrick Garland, where is heck is he by the way? I mean, has he even been seen in public, is he alive? I mean, this is a guy who needs to come forward right now."

"He needs to publish the warrant," he continued. "He needs to publish the list of everything they took from the [former] president. He needs to explain how in the world he authorized this... This is a serious, serious breach of the law, which is why Garland needs to go. And if he won't resign, he ought to be impeached."

Ronny Jackson Blasts Mar-a-Lago 'Mole' For FBI Raid

Republican Representative Ronny Jackson of Texas has expressed outrage over a Mar-a-Lago "mole" allegedly helping the FBI to raid former President Donald Trump's home.

Jackson, who served as physician to the president during the Obama and Trump administrations, tweeted that the FBI had been "corrupted" on Wednesday. Jackson said that an informant inside the former president's home—likely referring to Newsweek's exclusive report about the FBI conducting the raid following a tip from a confidential source—was evidence that the "government has turned on us."

"The FBI is TOTALLY CORRUPTED!" Jackson tweeted. "Now we know they had a 'mole' imbedded at Mar-A-Lago to spy on a former President in his home. We are in trouble! Our own government has turned on us!!"

Just before the Texas Republican denounced the Mar-a-Lago "mole," he suggested that "the deep state" was targeting Trump because he "stood up" for Trump supporters.

"The Deep State HATES President Trump because he stood up for YOU!" tweeted Jackson. "The American people are ON YOUR SIDE Mr. President. We have your BACK!"

Trump Spokesman Says Biden 'United Americans Around Trump' Due to FBI Raid

Taylor Budowich, the communications director for former President Donald Trump and his Save America PAC, says that President Joe Biden's campaign pledge to "unite" the country has come true in an unexpected way.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Budowich argued that the FBI's raid of the former president's Florida home, which the White House says Biden did not know about in advance, had helped the current president to unite Americans around Trump.

"Biden said he would unite America, and he has," Budowich tweeted. "His admin's raid on Pres Trump, coupled with his laundry list of policy failures, has united the nation around Trump. The Democrat Party has never been weaker than it is right now. Thankfully, there's still time to Save America."

While the Monday night search of Trump's property did spark widespread outrage among Trump supporters and some other conservatives, there is no evidence to suggest that Americans with different political views are now backing Trump due to the raid.

FBI Director Wray Says Violence 'is Not the Answer' After Threats to Agency

FBI Director Christopher Wray has denounced threats made against his agency amid conservative outrage over the raiding of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort home.

"As to the issue of threats, I will say that I'm always concerned about violence and threats of violence against law enforcement," Wray told reporters on Wednesday. "Any threats made against law enforcement, including the men and women of the FBI, as with any law enforcement agency, are deplorable and dangerous."

When asked whether he had any concerns about the raid "incentivizing" Trump supporters to launch an attack similar to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Wray reiterated that "violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter what anybody's upset about."

Eric Trump Says Cameras Caught FBI Action

Eric Trump said Wednesday that security cameras at Mar-a-Lago remained on as the FBI executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump's residence earlier this week.

The cameras were left on despite a request by federal agents for Mar-a-Lago staff to turn them off, the former president's son told DailyMail.com.

Eric Trump said 30 agents arrived to carry out the search. "They told our lawyer... 'You have to leave the property right now. Turn off all security cameras,'" he said.

The security footage captured during the Monday raid showed FBI agents in places they "shouldn't have been," he added.

Eric Trump has also alleged that President Joe Biden knew about the plans for the raid before it took place, though administration officials said the White House learned of the raid from public reports.

NARA Suspects It Doesn't Have 'Everything'

Archivists at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) "suspect that we don't have everything," former U.S. Archivist David Ferriero said when asked about an investigation into presidential documents from former President Donald Trump's administration.

Ferriero said during an interview with C-SPAN that "there is an investigation going on" and that NARA is "still trying to figure out what we don't have."

C-SPAN shared a clip from Ferriero's interview on its social media channels on Wednesday.

Ferriero said the current question surrounding presidential records "points out to me the weakness of the Presidential Records Act, which gives me the authority to provide guidance to the White House." The Presidential Records Act "doesn't give me any authority over activities in the White House, as I do have in the Federal Records Act," he said.

Ferriero, who retired earlier this year, said this is the first time since he started at NARA in 2009 and "probably going back to Richard Nixon" that the agency has been involved in a debate over access to presidential records.

NY AG Confirms Trump Invoked Fifth

New York Attorney General Letitia James' office said former President Donald Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment rights during a deposition on Wednesday.

"While we will not comment on specific details, we can confirm that today, our office conducted a deposition of former president Donald Trump," a spokesperson for James' office said in a statement shared with Newsweek. "Attorney General Letitia James took part in the deposition during which Mr. Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination."

James "will pursue the facts and the law wherever they may lead," the spokesperson said. "Our investigation continues."

Trump was called to James' office to testify in connection with an investigation into the Trump Organization. His deposition was initially scheduled for mid-July but was delayed following the death of his ex-wife Ivana.

In a statement previewing his testimony, Trump criticized James and said she has "openly stated her hostilities toward me." The former president also called her office's investigation a "scam."

Trump's statement also said he intended to refuse to answer James' questions during the deposition.

Republicans Want Details on NARA Role in Raid

Republicans with the House Oversight Committee called for an "immediate briefing" on the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) role, "if any," in the FBI's recent search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.

The FBI's search was reportedly linked to the handling of presidential documents. Archivists have said they "suspect" they do not have all of the presidential documents from Trump's time in the White House.

Committee Republicans sent a letter on Wednesday about the "unprecedented raid" to Acting Archivist of the U.S. Debra Steidel Wall. In the letter, committee members said Trump "could declassify" any presidential materials on his own as the former president and said President Joe Biden's administration "is continuing to weaponize the FBI against political rivals."

The letter said NARA was "singling out" Trump and said NARA's recent actions alongside those of the FBI "begs scrutiny into whether a political motivation underlay the raid."

"Committee Republicans demand answers about the FBI and NARA's investigation of President Trump and any coordination between the two agencies," the letter said. It added that the "seeming weaponization" of the agencies against Biden's opponents "cannot go unchecked" and added, "if NARA is working to further these efforts, it will be only the latest agency to lose its credibility in the eyes of the American people under the Biden Administration."

The committee members called for a briefing "no later than August 17" and instructed NARA in the meantime to "ensure preservation of all documents and communications referring or relating to the warrant executed by the FBI" earlier this week at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump Calls NY AG Meeting 'Professional'

Former President Donald Trump said his meeting with New York Attorney General Letitia James was "very professional."

Trump announced that he was leaving the meeting in a Wednesday afternoon post on Truth Social. The Recount later shared a video of his motorcade leaving her office along a street lined with supporters and members of the media.

"Just leaving the Attorney General's Office - A very professional meeting," Trump's post said. "Have a fantastic company with great assets, very little debt, and lots of CASH. Only in America!"

Earlier this week, Trump previewed his meeting with James by saying it would be "a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. history." He was called to testify in connection with an investigation into the Trump Organization.

Two of Trump's children—Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.—reportedly testified in the last few days. Trump's office released a statement saying he planned to invoke the Fifth Amendment during his deposition.

Trump leaves Trump Tower on August 10
Former President Donald Trump waves while walking to a vehicle outside of Trump Tower in New York City on August 10, 2022. STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images

McCarthy Calls on GOP to Speak Out Against FBI

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is calling on his Republican colleagues to speak out against the current abuse of power in the government.

"If you are an elected Republican, and you are staying quiet while Democrats in Washington are abusing their power--you are the very reason they think they can get away with it," McCarthy wrote in a Facebook post. "NOW is the time to speak up and be LOUD!"

Accedi a Facebook per iniziare a condividere contenuti e connetterti con i tuoi amici, la famiglia e le persone che conosci.

Some Republicans have taken a "wait and see" approach, calling on the FBI and the Justice Department to be transparent about their investigation into Donald Trump.

"The country deserves a thorough and immediate explanation of what led to the events of Monday," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after the Mar-a-Lago raid. "Attorney General Garland and the Department of Justice should already have provided answers to the American people and must do so immediately."

Republican Representative Matt Gaetz called out Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina for telling CBS that "we need to let this play out."

"That's exactly what the weak Republicans were saying during the Mueller investigation," during which Gaetz said the FBI and DOJ "abusing the law enforcement and national security process to launder political dirt" into the criminal investigations.

McCarthy said earlier that the Justice Department has "reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization."

He also said Attorney General Merrick Garland has "lost the trust of the American people and will answer for his abusive tactics."

Trump Says FBI Reviewed Locks Before Raid

Former President Donald Trump said federal agents reviewed a "secured area" at his Mar-a-Lago home in early June, about two months before the FBI searched his Florida residence on Monday.

In a Wednesday afternoon post on Truth Social, Trump said agents with the Department of Justice and the FBI had during their June visit "asked my legal representatives to put an extra lock on the door leading to the place where boxes were stored in Mar-a-Lago," a request to which Trump said his team agreed.

The agents saw the "secured area" as well as "the boxes themselves" at that time, according to Trump.

"Then on Monday, without notification or warning, an army of agents broke into Mar-a-Lago, went to the same storage area, and ripped open the lock that they had asked to be installed," Trump said.

His post continued by describing the raid as a "surprise attack, POLITICS, and all the while our Country is going to HELL!"

FBI Seizes Phone of Trump-Ally Rep. Perry

After the raid at Mar-a-Lago, the FBI has also seized the cellphone of Trump-ally Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.

"This morning, while traveling with my family, three FBI agents visited me and seized my cell phone," Perry said in a statement.

He said the agents "made no attempt to contact my lawyer, who would have made arrangements for them to have my phone if that was their wish."

His cellphone contains information about his legislative and political activities and private conversations with his wife, family, constituents and friends, Perry said, adding that "none of this is the government's business."

"I'm outraged – though not surprised - that the FBI under the direction of Merrick Garland's DOJ, would seize the phone of a sitting Member of Congress," he said.

This is likely in connection to the Justice Department's investigation into the the attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Perry pushed Trump's false claims of widespread election fraud in 2020 and was later the mentioned in several hearings from the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson sent Perry a letter requesting information on his effort to help appoint DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, who wanted to champion Trump's election fraud claims, as acting attorney general.

The Committee revealed that Trump wanted to oust then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and replace him with Clark, who would say that all states won by Joe Biden to send in alternate, pro-Trump electors for the election certification.

Several DOJ officials told Trump that they would resign if he removed Rosen and replaced him with Clark.

Scott Perry Jan. 6
This exhibit from video released by the House Select Committee, shows texts between former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., displayed at a hearing by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Thursday, June 23, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington House Select Committee via AP

Perry refused to provide information or to voluntarily testify.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows, told the Committee in June that Perry was among the five Republican lawmakers who sought pardons from Trump after Jan. 6. Perry denied this claim.

"At no time did I speak with Miss Hutchinson, a White House scheduler, nor any White House staff about a pardon for myself or any other Member of Congress — this never happened," Perry said.

Graham Says Trump Re-Election More Likely

Senator Lindsey Graham said Tuesday that Trump's "likelihood" of being re-elected as president "is greater than it was yesterday" following the FBI's raid of the former president's Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday.

The South Carolina Republican spoke about the raid during a Tuesday evening appearance on Fox News' Jesse Watters Primetime. He said he believes "every Republican" should call on Attorney General Merrick Garland "to justify the raid" and tell the American people "why you had to do this, why you couldn't use a subpoena, why it was necessary and what the hell you're looking for."

"That's not too much to ask," Graham said. "I know normally you don't do that. But normally you don't open up investigations of former presidents."

Several Republicans in Congress called for answers from the FBI and the Department of Justice after Trump released a statement about the raid Monday evening. Many Trump allies currently in Congress have urged supporters to donate to their campaigns ahead of the midterm elections alongside their comments about the raid.

Trump has not yet announced a 2024 presidential campaign, but he has hinted at another bid for the presidency several times since leaving office. Graham told Jesse Watters that he believes Trump's path toward the 2024 GOP presidential nomination "is much wider now than it was yesterday" and said the "likelihood of him being re-elected is greater than it was yesterday."

Graham then reiterated his calls for information from the Justice Department and encouraged fellow Republicans to demand answers.

"To every Republican listening to me, we should be clamoring and demanding answers to the questions of why they had to raid President Trump's home 90 days before an election," he said.

Wray, Garland See Uptick in Death Threats

FBI Director Chris Wray and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland have received an increase in death threats following the FBI raid of former President Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago.

Authorities monitoring social media have found an uptick in death threats aimed towards FBI agents, Wray and garland, according to Fox News.

Sources told Fox News that Wray and Garland may increase their security deatil amid the rise in threats.

Marco Rubio Say FBI will Target Trump Supporters

Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said the federal government is going to come after supporters of Donald Trump following the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago.

Rubio said the FBI raid may be "shocking" to Americans, but is "familiar" to being who fled from Latin American countries.

He said in these countries, a group takes power "and one of the first things it does is persecute and go after their political opponents."

When the supporters of the political opponents begin to complain about it, Rubio said the government will "target them and criminalize opposition."

Rubio said that is exactly what is happening now.

He said the Biden administration has long-wanted to arrest and charge Trump and the FBI raid Monday was the beginning of a crusade against him and his base.

Next, Rubio said, the government will arrest Trump supporters for being "radical extremists."

"They are now going to begin to say, 'oh these Trump supporters, these Republicans are very upset. They're saying very angry things. We think they might be a threat. We think they might be radical extremists. Let's start arresting them,'" he said.

Trump supporters and other conservatives "complaining" about the FBI raid will be "labeled as potential insurrectionists," Rubio said, and "are going to begin to get harassed by law enforcement."

"That's the next step in this playbook, sadly," he said.

Trump Criticizes Others Pleading the Fifth

Former President Donald Trump's past criticisms of people who invoked the Fifth Amendment resurfaced on Wednesday after Trump said he refused to answer questions while testifying under oath in New York.

One compilation video featured multiple criticisms from Trump while he was running for office in 2016.

In one part of the clip recorded during a September 2016 campaign rally, Trump said members of the mob invoke the Fifth. "If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?"

In another clip from a 2016 presidential debate with then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Trump described invoking the Fifth as "disgraceful."

In a Wednesday morning statement, Trump referenced his earlier query about why an innocent person would plead the Fifth.

"Now I know the answer to that question," he said. "When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the fake news media, you have no choice."

Freedom Caucus Calls for DOJ, FBI Oversight

The House Freedom Caucus said Republicans need to launch a "historic and powerful oversight effort" of federal law enforcement following the FBI's raid of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence earlier this week.

The conservative caucus responded to the raid on Wednesday morning with a statement, which also addressed the FBI's seizure of a cell phone belonging to Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry.

Perry, a congressman from Pennsylvania, said he was approached by three FBI agents while traveling with his family on Tuesday morning. Perry said he was "outraged" but "not surprised" that federal agents working as part of President Joe Biden's administration "would seize the phone of a sitting Member of Congress."

The Freedom Caucus described the FBI's Mar-a-Lago raid and seizure of Perry's phone as "unprecedented action" that "exposes how the Biden administration has dangerously weaponized the U.S. Justice Department against Democrat political opponents."

Republicans "must match" these actions through their own oversight efforts, the caucus said.

Under this proposed Republican oversight, "the Biden Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation will be put under a microscope and examined piece by piece," the caucus said. "Corrupt officials must be aggressively cleared out with all possible vigor and speed to restore accountability and transparency in Washington."

Republicans Suggest FBI Planted Evidence

Many Republicans believe the FBI may have planted evidence during a raid at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.

Trump said the FBI would not let anyone near the area that were "rummaged and otherwise looked at" during the raid on Mar-a-Lago, suggesting that agents may have planted evidence.

"Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, 'planting,'" Trump said in a Truth Social post Wednesday.

Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia said she believes there is "an extremely high probability" that the FBI planted evidence against President Trump.

"Otherwise why would they not allow his attorneys or anyone watch them while they conducted their unprecedented raid?" she tweeted, referencing Trump's post. "They know the consequences of an empty handed power move."

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky told Fox News that distrust in the federal government has increased.

He said he does not know if the FBI put materials into the boxes they took from Mar-a-Lago to "entrap" Trump.

"How do we know they are going to be honest with us about what's actually in the boxes?" he said. "How do we know that was in the box before it left the residence if the lawyers weren't allowed to see everything?

Paul added that the federal government has "lost a big deal of trust."

Why Trump Family Testimony Was Delayed

Former President Donald Trump and two of his children were initially scheduled to testify in New York last month, but their interviews were delayed following the death of Trump's ex-wife Ivana.

The former president, his daughter Ivanka Trump and son Donald Trump Jr. were expected to testify as part of an investigation into the Trump Organization in mid-July. After Ivana Trump died on July 14, their planned testimonies were pushed further into the summer.

The former president said he refused to answer any of New York Attorney General Letitia James' questions while giving his testimony in New York today. Both Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. also recently testified, according to the Associated Press, though it was not immediately known if either of them invoked the Fifth Amendment during their interviews with investigators, as their father did.

Another of Trump's children, Eric Trump, previously testified as part of the same investigation about two years ago, during which the AP reported he pleaded the Fifth hundreds of times.

Trump 'Shattering' Fundraising Records Since FBI Raid

Donald Trump saw a surge in fundraising since the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago home Monday night.

His son, Eric Trump, said his father's Save America PAC is "shattering all fundraising records."

"I'm told has raised more money in the past 24 hours than ever before in recent history," he said in a tweet. "The American people are pissed!"

Trump Blasts 'Malicious Attacks' from Letitia James

Donald Trump and his family have attacked New York Attorney General Letitia James for her "malicious attacks" against Trump, his family and his business.

In a statement on his Truth Social account, Trump said James has openly stated her hostilities towards him.

Trump quotes James saying she has her "eyes on Trump Tower" and ensuring supporters that her office is "going to definitely sue him" and be "a real pain in his ass."

In her victory speech, James promised to "shine a bright light into every dark corner of Trump's real estate holdings" and "use every area of the law" to investigate Trump and his business transactions.

Trump said James is a "failed politician who intentionally colluded with others to carry out this phony years-long crusade that has wasted countless taxpayer dollars, all in an effort to prop up her political career."

He added that James is going after him while ignoring "rampant" crime in New York City.

"Criminals are running rampant, shooting, slashing, and hurting people on the sidewalks of New York, while she and her officer spend a big percentage of their time and money on their 'Trump' vendetta."

His son, Eric Trump, shared a video compilation of James speaking about "going after" Donald Trump.

"I want to remind everyone exactly who this evil woman is," he said in a tweet.

In a separate post, Trump said James' office was "very plush, beautiful and expensive."

"Nice working conditions, as people are being murdered all over New York - and she spends her time and effort on trying to 'get Trump,'" he wrote.

Trump Pleads Fifth During Deposition

Former President Donald Trump said he refused to answer any questions during his deposition with the New York Attorney General.

In a statement released on his Truth Social account, Trump said Attorney General Letitia James has levied political attacks on him and made a "corrupt promise" to "get and destroy Trump."

He said James has built her career out of "maliciously attacking" him amid "rampant" crime in New York City. Trump said her case is a "scam."

"What Letitia James has tried to do this last three years is a disgrace to the legal system, an affront to New York State taxpayers and a violation to the solemn rights and protections afforded by the United States Constitution," Trump said.

Trump said he "did nothing wrong," which is why the federal, state and local governments have "found nothing."

"We cannot permit a renegade and out-of-control prosecutor to use this investigation as a means of advancing her political career," Trump said. "This is a vindictive and self-serving fishing expedition, the likes of which our Country has never seen before."

This is why Trump chose to plead the Fifth during his deposition.

"Accordingly, under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution," he said.

He said that he once asked, "If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?" Now, he said, "I know the answer to that question."

"When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become targets of an unfounded, politically motivates witch hunt... you have no choice," he said.

Trump added that Monday's FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago home "wiped out any uncertainty" for him.

"I have absolutely no choice because the current administration and many prosecutors in this country have lost all moral and ethical bounds of decency," he said.

Trump Waves to Crowd Outside Trump Tower

Former President Donald Trump has arrived at the New York Attorney General's office.

He left Trump Tower in Manhattan Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m., waving to a crowd of cheering supporters and critics shouting, "lock him up!"

Trump NY Attorney General
Trump New York City
Trump Waves to Crowd
Trump Leaves Trump Tower

He then arrived at Attorney General Letitia James' office in lower Manhattan around 9 a.m.

Trump will sit for a deposition related to a criminal investigation into potential fraudulent activity by his company.

Will Trump Take the the Fifth?

Donald Trump will not plead the Fifth Amendment while testifying today in New York Attorney General Letita James' probe into his family businesses, NBC's justice reporter has suggested.

Ken Dilanian said that Trump may not choose to invoke his fifth amendment right to protect himself from self-incrimination when he testifies on Wednesday.

"That would be a bad look for somebody who wants to run for President, and Trump himself has said that only guilty people take the Fifth," Dilanian said

One of the former president's children, Eric Trump, invoked his Fifth Amendment right more than 500 times during his deposition in October 2020 as part of James' probe.

Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump reportedly did not invoke the Fifth when they recently testified.

Trump's Civil and Criminal Cases

The FBI investigation criminal and Letitia James' civil probe are not the only inquiries the former president is facing right now...

  • Potential charges loom in Georgia, where a special grand jury is hearing evidence on whether he committed a crime by asking Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" 11,780 votes to help him beat Joe Biden in 2020. The investigation, led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, is also looking into what it calls a "a multi-state, coordinated plan" by Trump's allies to influence or overturn the 2020 election results in a number of other key states.
  • The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack is also set to hold further hearings in September, having already had nine live televised sessions. "Doors have opened, new subpoenas have been issued, and the dam has begun to break," Panel vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney said in July.

'Release the Warrant,' Lawyer Tells Trump

Several Republican figures have called on the FBI and the Department of Justice to release the search warrant needed to carry out the raid at Trump's home to the public in order to justify what they believe was a politically motivated move.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is one of those who suggested that Attorney General Merrick Garland should have already "provided answers to the American people and must do so immediately."

However, a number of legal experts have noted that there is nothing stopping Trump making the search warrant public himself, which would also reveal which items were removed from his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Supreme Court lawyer Neal Katyal told Morning Joe on Tuesday: If you [Trump] believe this is such an abuse, release the warrant and let us decide for ourselves."

Barbara McQuade, a University of Michigan law professor and former U.S. attorney, tweeted a little earlier: "The law prohibits DOJ from discussing a search warrant that is under seal. Secrecy rules are designed to protect the person under investigation.

"You know who could discuss it? Donald Trump, who would have received a copy of the inventory of items seized."

Trump Suggests FBI May Have 'Planted' Evidence

Prior to his deposition hearing in New York, Donald Trump appeared to suggest that the FBI may have "planted" evidence against him while they were searching his Mar-a-Lago resort on Monday.

Federal agents raided the former president's home in Palm Beach, Florida, as part of an investigation into whether he illegally removed or destroyed classified documents when he left the White House last January, with Trump previously saying how "they even broke into my safe!"

"The FBI and others from the Federal Government would not let anyone, including my lawyers, be anywhere near the areas that were rummaged and otherwise looked at during the raid on Mar-a-Lago," Trump wrote on social media.

"Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, 'planting.' Why did they STRONGLY insist on having nobody watching them, everybody out? Obama and Clinton were never 'raided,' despite big disputes!"

Ivanka Trump, Don Jr. Already Testified: Reports

Donald Trump declared he is willing to cooperate with Letitia James' investigation into his family business on Wednesday.

Two of his children already said to have done so, according to reports.

"In New York City tonight. Seeing racist N.Y.S. Attorney General tomorrow, for a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. history! My great company, and myself, are being attacked from all sides. Banana Republic," Trump posted on Truth Social on Tuesday.

Associated Press and NBC reported that Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., who were ordered to testify alongside their father, have already answered questions under oath as part of the New York Attorney General's probe.

NBC reports that Ivanka Trump testified on August 3, with her elder sibling doing so the week prior. Neither of them pleaded the Fifth Amendment.

James' long running inquiry is looking into allegations The Trump Organization exaggerated the value of a number of assets and properties in order to obtain better loans and other financial benefits.