The FBI is facing a potentially major problem in the wake of their raid of the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida where former President Donald Trump lives.
Outside of the Phoenix office of the FBI, armed protesters stood holding signs such as “Abolish FBI” and “Honor your oath.” Protesters are nothing new, of course, but many of these people were observed as being armed.
A local photographer took photos of the group protesting early in the morning on August 13. Less than two hours later, though, some of the people in the group were leaving the FBI office.
Two days later, the FBI released a statement about the protest that happened over the weekend. It read:
“There was a small group of people outside the FBI building in Phoenix Saturday morning between 10 a.m. and around noon. The group of approximately 25 people were peacefully exercising First Amendment rights, staying on the sidewalks and across the street.
“At no time did they come onto FBI property. The group dissembled around noon. No FBI action was taken.”
It’s nice to read a statement from a government agency that understood that the protesters were exercising their First Amendment rights and that they could do so peacefully. The FBI apparently didn’t escalate the situation any, either, since the protesters disbanded on their own.
Many media outlets hyped up the fact that the protesters were armed. They seemed to make more out of it than it actually was, since even the FBI apparently wasn’t concerned about the crowd forming.
The protest, though, is an example of how the raid on Mar-a-Lago, carried out by the FBI after the Department of Justice signed off on a warrant to do so, may be backfiring on President Joe Biden already.
Many people have called the raid “unprecedented,” and it’s not just all Republicans coming to the defense of Trump, either.
The FBI and DOJ have said they were looking for documents that were classified that Trump had taken away from the White House and not given back. Some, according to the warrant as well as the property receipt, were labeled as being “top secret.”
For his part, Trump disputes this, saying that the records in question were declassified.
The warrant was issued on August 5, and the FBI had until August 19 to conduct the raid. They executed the raid before that deadline, waiting for Trump to be out of town to do so.
The warrant allowed FBI agents to search parts of Mar-a-Lago where Trump resides as well as where his office was. It stated:
“The locations to be searched including the ’45 Office,’ all storage rooms, and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or available to be used by FPOTUS and his staff and in which boxes or documents could be stored, including all structures or buildings in the estate.”
It did not give agents authority to search any areas of Mar-a-Lago where other people resided, or that weren’t used by Trump and any of his staff members.