Eric Trump said his father, Donald Trump, had nothing in a safe they claim the FBI breached as part of a raid of the former president’s Mar-a-Largo resort on Monday.
The second son of the 45th president said he was with his father in New York City when they found out about the search, and he indicated that it was related to records that Donald Trump brought back with him to his resort in Florida after leaving office.
“Today, to have 30 FBI agents, actually more than that, descend on Mar-a-Largo, give absolutely no notice, go through the gate, start ransacking an office, ransacking a closet, you know — they broke into a safe. He didn’t even have anything in the safe,” Eric Trump told Fox News.
Donald Trump said in a statement earlier Monday that his Florida home was “under siege” by the FBI and claimed agents “broke into [his] safe.”
Eric Trump, who is an executive vice president at the Trump Organization, said his father “saves” and keeps extensive records of things such as press clippings, pictures, notes from his children, letters from his ex-wife, and more.
“The purpose of the raid, from what they said, was because the National Archives wanted to cooperate, whether or not Donald Trump had any documents in his possession,” Eric Trump said. “My father has worked so collaboratively with them for months. In fact, the lawyer that’s been working on this was totally shocked. He goes, ‘I have such [an] amazing relationship with these people.’ And all of a sudden, no notice, they send, you know, 20 cars and 30 agents. … I mean, this is just more political persecution of Donald J. Trump.”
Records kept at Donald Trump’s resort were collected by the National Archives in January after the agency had identified documents removed from the White House. The agency said its officials had obtained 15 boxes of records from Mar-a-Lago, including materials marked as classified national security information, that were not given to the National Archives, as is required by the Presidential Records Act.
The Justice Department and the FBI declined to comment on the search. The FBI notified Secret Service that a warrant would be executed, and Secret Service agents facilitated access to the resort but did not take part in the search itself, per NBC News. A senior White House official told CBS News that the president’s team had no prior notice of the raid, with some West Wing staff learning of it on social media.
The raid lasted approximately from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and three lawyers representing Donald Trump showed up as the search was conducted, people familiar with the search told NewsNation. Throughout the raid, FBI agents wearing street clothes grabbed documents and boxes and broke open a hotel-style safe located in Donald Trump’s office. Agents were only authorized to remove items from the property related to the search, per the report.
Eric Trump criticized the raid as being politically motivated by fears that Donald Trump will run for president in 2024.
“They know and they worry that Donald Trump will come back in and win this very easily,” Eric Trump said.