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In a series of blustering statements on Friday, the former president, who campaigned for the White House by calling for rival Hillary Clinton to be locked up for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, attempted to cast the investigation into his actions as being politically motivated.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that the DOJ had sent Trump a subpoena to hand over the documents at issue and then subsequently asked a federal judge to approve a search warrant when he failed to do so.

Despite this, Trump said investigators could have requested the documents, which he said were securely stored at his palatial Florida compound.

“They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago,” Trump said in a statement. “It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request. They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago. ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”

He also sought to shift attention to former president Barack Obama — whom Trump referred to in a statement using his middle name, Hussein, in an apparent attempt to stoke the racist and anti-Muslim rhetoric that spurred his national political emergence — by accusing him of taking millions of pages of classified documents when he left office.

“How many of them pertained to nuclear?” Trump said. “Word is, lots!”

In response, the National Archives and Records Administration released a statement stating that it had moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to its facilities in Chicago and Washington, DC, where Obama has no control over where and how they are stored or managed.

Trump has also attempted to argue that he himself declassified the documents he took with him when he was president, but there is a formal federal process for doing so.

Allies of the former president, who has teased another run for the White House in 2024, have suggested without evidence that the Biden administration is orchestrating the investigations. Representatives for Biden have said he has been unaware of the probe, which is being handled independently by the attorney general and his staff, as is custom.

Garland said Thursday that he personally approved the decision to request a search warrant and defended the investigation’s integrity. “Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly without fear or favor,” Garland said. “Under my watch, that is precisely what the Justice Department is doing.”

Apparently undeterred by the fallout from false claims of election fraud that compelled his supporters to attack the US Capitol, Trump and his allies have again used apocalyptic rhetoric to describe the legal storm that has enveloped him.

A campaign fundraising email to supporters on Friday from Donald Trump Jr. warned that the “nation is on the line.”

“Biden and the Democrats are following in the footsteps of all the 3rd world Communist Dictators that the Left worships,” Trump Jr. wrote. “Their out-of-control Department of Justice is ripping this Country apart with how they’re openly targeting their political enemies.”

That statement came a day after a Trump supporter attacked an FBI building in Cincinnati before being shot dead by authorities. The man, Ricky Shiffer, had participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection and had written on Trump’s Truth Social website that he intended to avenge the former president.

“Well, I thought I had a way through bullet proof glass, and I didn’t,” Shiffer posted on the website while he was in a standoff with authorities on Friday. “If you don’t hear from me, it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I., and it’ll mean either I was taken off the internet, the F.B.I. got me, or they sent the regular cops while.”


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