Attorney General Merrick Garland suggested Thursday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) sought “less intrusive” means of obtaining presidential documents before using a search warrant, and an FBI raid, on former President Donald Trump’s home.
Garland’s remarks were the first public comments made by the DOJ since Monday’s raid, which shocked many observers. He confirmed that he had personally approved the search warrant — though he left open the question of the methods of the raid.
Garland did, however, suggest that the DOJ saw the raid as a last resort: “[T]he department does not take such a decision lightly 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,” he said.
That claim seemed to be contradicted by recent events, as well as actions taken by DOJ against Trump associates for years.
Last month, a federal judge appointed by President Barack Obama opined that the DOJ’s methods in arresting Peter Navarro for contempt of Congress — sending several agents to march him away from Reagan National Airport — were bizarre.
The FBI also conducted a pre-dawn raid, guns drawn, on the Miami home of former Trump aide Roger Stone in 2019.
Garland said Thursday that the DOJ had filed a motion in the federal court in Florida that approved the warrant to unseal it, as well as the property register detailing items taken from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.