FORMER US President Donald Trump has said his home in Florida was raided by the FBI, and that agents broke into a safe. 

Trump said in a statement that Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach was “occupied by a large group of FBI agents”.

Mar-a-Logo is a private members club as well as the Trump family’s winter getaway. 

The search was reportedly connected to an investigation into Trump’s handling of official papers. 

His statement said: “These are dark times for our nation. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.”

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The FBI and the justice department have not commented on the search. 

American presidents are required by the Presidential Records Act (PRA) to transfer all of their letters, work documents and emails to the National Archives (NA). 

There are also laws surrounding the handling of any classified documents. 

Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb confirmed to NBC News that some papers had been seized during the search. 

The escalation of scrutiny from law enforcement comes as Trump prepares another possible presidential run in 2024.

He said he had co-operated with all relevant government agencies and that the “unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate”.

Trump added that it amounted to “prosecutorial misconduct” and the “weaponization of the justice system” in order to prevent him from running for the White House again. 

He continued: “Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World countries.

“Sadly, America has now become one of those countries, corrupt at a level not seen before. They even broke into my safe!”

According to CBS News, Trump was in New York City at the time of the reported raid. 

Eric Trump, the former president’s second-oldest son, told Fox News that the FBI’s execution of the search warrant on the Mar-a-Lago estate was related to an investigation into the handling of the National Archives records. 

In February, the NA – which manages the preservation of presidential records – asked for the justice department to investigate Trump for his handling of official documents. 

The National: Trump was reportedly in New York City during the raidTrump was reportedly in New York City during the raid

Earlier this year, the NA said it had retrieved 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago, some of which contained classified records. 

Trump rejected reports that he had mishandled official documents, labelling it “fake news”. 

A senior Trump adviser in Palm Beach told CBS the new search by federal agents on Mar-A-Lago was about the presidential records. 

They said: “This is about the PRA. When have you ever heard about a raid because of the PRA? 

“They [the FBI] just left and they left with very little.”

A federal search warrant has to be signed by a judge although such a warrant is not confirmation that criminal charges are expected as law agencies must first demonstrate they have evidence of illegal activity. 

An unnamed law enforcement official told CBS that the Secret Service was notified shortly before the warrant was served around 10am local time on Monday, and that agents protecting Trump helped the FBI investigators.

The source confirmed that several boxes were taken away and that no doors were kicked down. 

In an upcoming book, titled Confidence Man, New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman writes of how staff at the White House residency would sometimes find wads of paper clogging a toilet and that they believed Trump was the one who had attempted to flush them.  

Haberman has previously posted photos which she says show paper in a toilet bowl at the White House. 

A senior official at the White House also told CBS that President Joe Biden’s administration was given no notice of the search. 

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The White House said it is limiting interactions with top justice department officials to avoid any allegations of political pressure or impropriety.

In addition to the NA inquiry, a US House of Representatives select committee is investigating Trump’s actions surrounding the US Capital riot on January 6 2021, when a large group of Trump supporters stormed Congress as lawmakers met to certify Biden’s election win. 

The US Justice Department is also examining Trump’s challenge to the results of the 2020 presidential election with Attorney General Merrick Garland stating he intends to hold “everyone” accountable.

And a prosecutor in Fulton County, Georgia, is also investigating whether Trump and his associates attempted to interfere in the state’s results from the 2020 election.