Former US President Donald Trump has said his Florida home has been raided by the FBI.
Trump said in a statement Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach was “occupied by a large group of FBI agents”.
CBS News, the BBC’s US partner, reports that the raid was connected to an investigation into Trump’s handling of official papers, reports the BBC.
Trump is also currently the focus of a congressional inquiry into last year’s US Capitol riot.
According to CNN, Trump was in Trump Tower in New York City at the time of Monday’s reported raid.
“These are dark times for our Nation,” Trump’s statement began.
He said he had co-operated with all relevant government agencies and so the “unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate”.
Trump said it amounted to “prosecutorial misconduct” and “the weaponisation of the Justice System” to prevent him from running for the White House again in 2024.
“Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries,” he said. “Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before.
“They even broke into my safe!”
CBS News has confirmed that the FBI’s execution of the search warrant on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was related to an investigation into the handling of National Archives records.
In February, the National Archives, the US government agency that manages the preservation of presidential records, asked the justice department to investigate Trump for his handling of official papers.
US presidents are required by law to transfer all of their letters, work documents and emails to the National Archives.
But officials say the former president illegally ripped up many documents.
Some of them had to be taped back together, the Archives said. Trump at the time rejected reports that he had mishandled official records as “fake news”.
A senior Trump adviser in Palm Beach told CBS the raid by federal agents on Mar-a-Lago was about the presidential records.
“This is about the PRA [Presidential Records Act violations],” said the Trump source, who only agreed to speak on condition of anonymity.
“When have you ever heard about a raid because of PRA?”
The source added: “They [the FBI] just left and they left with very little.”
A senior White House official has told CBS the West Wing was given no notice of the FBI raid on Trump’s home.
“No advance knowledge,” said the senior official, who was not authorised to speak publicly about the matter. “Some learned from old media, some from social media.”
US President Joe Biden’s White House has said it is limiting its interactions with top justice department officials to avoid any hint of political pressure or impropriety.
Biden pledged during his White House campaign to stay out of justice department affairs. The president and his family are also waiting to see whether federal prosecutors will indict his son, Hunter Biden, on tax evasion or other federal charges.