Trump's passports that were seized during the FBI's raid of Mar-a-Lago have been returned.
In Washington, A law enforcement source verified to CBS News that the former president's passports, which were obtained by the FBI during the investigation of his South Florida home last week, have been returned to him.
According to the source, a "filter team," a squad of federal investigators that screens the items taken during the execution of a search warrant for privileged or superfluous information, found the passports and returned them to Trump.
When carrying out search warrants, the FBI said in a statement that it "follows search and seizure procedures ordered by judges, then returns items that we do not require to be retained for law enforcement purposes."
When officials searched Mar-a-Lago last week, according to Trump, the FBI "stole" three passports, one of which was, he said, expired. Trump made this claim in a post on Truth Social, the former president's social media platform, at roughly 1:30 p.m. ET on Monday.
He wrote, "This was an onslaught on a political rival at a level never witnessed in our country." Threerd World!
A few hours later, Taylor Budowich, a Trump spokesperson, posted an email that Jay Bratt, a senior Justice Department official, had sent to the former president's attorneys informing them that the passports had been taken and would be returned.
"We now know that President Trump's three passports—two of which were expired and one of which was his current diplomatic passport—were taken by the filter agents. They are being returned, and they will be available at WFO at 2:00 PM today "Bratt wrote, referring to the bureau's field office in Washington.
A couple of hours later, a Trump spokesperson named Taylor Budowich published an email that Jay Bratt, a top Justice Department official, had sent to the former president's lawyers alerting them that the passports had been confiscated and would be returned.
"We now know that the filter agents stole President Trump's three passports, two of which were expired and one of which was his current diplomatic passport. They will be ready at WFO at 2:00 PM today after being returned "Bratt wrote in reference to the bureau's Washington field office.
The president is reportedly being investigated for alleged violations of three federal laws, including the Espionage Act and particularly the provision of that law regarding acquiring, distributing, or losing defence material, according to the warrant and supporting documents.
Trump has blasted the Justice Department and FBI numerous times since the FBI conducted its search, alleging without providing any proof that it was a politically motivated attack on a potential rival to President Biden in 2024.
The former president claimed on Friday that his legal team had been obedient to government requests for the papers, but CBS News has found that weeks prior to the search, one of Trump's attorneys signed a statement attesting to the removal of all classified information from Mar-a-Lago. A grand jury subpoena was also issued in the spring, and the certification followed a meeting between Justice Department representatives and Trump's attorneys on June 3 at the South Florida property, according to two people.
Investigators discovered there might still be more at Mar-a-Lago after the former president's attorney certified all classified information had been removed from the property.
Additionally, Trump stated that the FBI "knowingly should not have seized" certain records because they were protected by executive privilege and the attorney-client privilege. Bratt's mention of filter agents, however, shows that the FBI is attempting to prevent federal prosecutors from processing confidential information outside the parameters of the search warrant.