"I personally approved the decision": Merrick Garland breaks silence after FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago

The Department of Justice has applied to unseal the search warrant — leaving it to Donald Trump to contest

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor
Published August 11, 2022 3:37PM (EDT)
Updated August 11, 2022 11:50PM (EDT)
Merrick Garland and Donald Trump (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Merrick Garland and Donald Trump (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

With a brief statement on Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland broke the Department of Justice's (DOJ) silence following Monday's search of former president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. The nation's top prosecutor confirmed that he personally signed-off on the decision to send agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to Trump's Palm Beach resort. Garland then announced that the Justice Department had applied to unseal the search warrant. 

"The public's clear and powerful interest in understanding what occurred under these circumstances weighs heavily in favor of unsealing," the DOJ's motion reads. 

Acknowledging that he "personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant," Garland said the department first pursued "less intrusive" means to retrieve the materials. According to NBC News, Trump received a federal grand jury subpoena for documents that Trump's legal team discussed with the Justice Department months before the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago home. 

Trump has until August 12 to respond to the government's motion.

Less than five minutes in length, Garland's statement set off a barrage of rage from right-wing pundits, many of whom have clamored for the Justice Department to speak and release the search warrant. 


By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia Tesfaye

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Brief Department Of Justice Doj Fbi Mar-a-lago Merrick Garland Search Warrant Twitter