Attorney General Merrick Garland's claims that former President Donald Trump's attorneys were provided with copies of the search warrant and property receipt and that the attorneys were on-site during the FBI search are untrue, Trump lawyer Alina Habba told Newsmax.
When Trump's legal team in Florida first came on the premises of Mar-a-Lago on Monday during the surprise raid, they were not given the warrants, Habba told "Rob Schmitt Tonight" guest host Carl Higbie.
"They asked for a copy. They wouldn't hand it to them," she said. "And if anything was given to them, it was not until after the search."
Habba said she's never heard of such a scenario during a search, and certainly not of attorneys being told to leave the premises and not being permitted to watch the search to ensure everything was handled appropriately.
Habba noted that Trump and his legal team had been cooperating with the Department of Justice and had met with DOJ officials previously at Mar-a-Lago, when some documents that the government said were improperly taken from the White House when Trump left office were returned to Washington.
Media reports have indicated that Monday's action took place likely after an informant provided the DOJ with information that confidential documents remained at the former president's Florida residence. If true, that would be a violation of the Presidential Records Act and, if charged and convicted, Trump would be ineligible to serve in federal office again.
That, Trump and his supporters say, gets to the very heart of the motive, which Trump has called a "witch hunt" and others in his orb have called a politically motivated, rather than a legitimate, search for justice.
Garland on Thursday vehemently denied that in a short statement to reporters in which he announced that the DOJ had requested the warrant – which Trump's team had not released — be unsealed.
"It's all optics," Habba told Newsmax. "It's all because he's leading in the polls. It's because we have [a midterm] election coming up in November. This is calculated, calculated, calculated, and it was two days before our deposition" before the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in an unrelated civil investigation into his family's business practices.
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