If someone in Donald Trump’s circle tipped off the FBI ahead of the raid of Mar-a-Lago, that person would have to be ‘very close’ to the former president, according to former acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
‘I didn’t know there was a safe at Mar-a-Lago and I was the chief of staff for 15 months,’ Mulvaney told CNN’s New Day.
The former chief of staff said that a potential informant would have to be ‘really close’ to the former president to know where he kept documents at Mar-a-Lago.
‘This would be someone who was handling things on day to day, who knew where documents were, so it would be somebody very close inside the president, my guess is there’s probably six or eight people who had that kind of information,’ Mulvaney predicted.
Newsweek reported earlier this week that Monday’s raid had been guided by details an from an informant who told the FBI what documents were still in Trump’s possession and where they would be located. The Wall Street Journal confirmed there was a ‘rat’ within Trump’s orbit.
The former president has increasingly become paranoid even some of his closest friends may be working against him. On multiple occasions in May, Trump wondered aloud if Republicans who visited him at his golf club could be ‘wearing a wire,’ sources told Rolling Stone.
And as of Wednesday Trump and his allies have begun speculating who among them could be the snitch.
All official documents are supposed to be handed over to the National Archives upon leaving the presidency.
The National Archives already retrieved 15 boxes of documents from Trump’s property earlier this year, but someone familiar with Trump’s document storage reportedly told investigators there still may be more documents at the private club.
Two months before the raid, FBI officials wrote to Trump’s lawyers requesting they install a stronger lock on the room where he stored documents, scattered among the former president’s suits, sweaters and golf shoes.
But then on Monday, 30 agents showed up and hauled away 12 more boxes of documents after reportedly breaking into the former president’s safe and sifting through ex-First Lady Melania’s closet.
Mulvaney, a longtime Trump loyalist who’s distanced himself since the January 6 riot, said he was no longer in touch with Trump’s inner circle and could not speculate who the informant might be.
He said that he agrees with Republicans that the Justice Department should be more transparent but that Trump ‘probably should’ release the receipt of what was taken during the raid and a copy of the warrant.
‘Maybe the best thing for everybody to do right now in order to calm things down and sort of reset the playing field is for Trump to come forward with the search warrant that he received and the receipt of the documents that were taken, and the DOJ to come forward with the affidavit that they swore out to a judge,’ Mulvaney said.
Eric Trump told DailyMail.com Trump’s attorneys were not given a copy of the warrant, but Trump’s attorney Christina Bobb reportedly told the New York Times she has a copy of it.
Mulvaney got into a heated back-and-forth with CNN host Brianna Keilar when he called conducting a raid ‘just about documents’ ‘absurd.’
‘You folks know I’ve been critical of the president’s conduct on January 6th,’ said Mulvaney. ‘But if it is just about documents, that’s almost absurd. That’s the same thing that the FBI was investigating Hillary Clinton for, and I don’t remember them invading her home. If you are Republican, the reason you’re asking to act the way you are, the last 48 hours, is that you really do feel like you’re not getting fair treatment from your own government and that’s a very dangerous place to be.’
‘But there are pictures of documents Donald Trump flushed down the toilet,’ Keilar interjected. ‘Does he not get the benefit of the doubt as well?’
‘Sure, I think that’s worth investigating,’ said Mulvaney. ‘Keep in mind, what was that piece of paper? It had Elise Stefanik’s name on it.’
‘Mick, we can’t — in fairness, Mick, it was torn up,’ said Keilar. ‘We don’t know what was on it. That’s just a fact.’
‘It says Stefanik on it,’ repeated Mulvaney.
‘One word, it said a lot of other — we don’t know what the whole document said,’ said Keilar. ‘You can see Stefanik’s name was on there but you can’t extrapolate from just one word.’
Secret Service looks on as FBI removes a dozen boxes from the property
Secret service members stand guard outside former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home after Trump said that FBI agents raided it, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., August 8, 2022
Eric said lawyer Christina Bobb was forced to wait at the end of a driveway during the search. Pictured: Armed Secret Service agents stand outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, late Monday, August 8 in Palm Beach, Florida
‘I’m not defending destroying documents,’ said Mulvaney. ‘I don’t think this was related to the Presidential Records Act directly. It is not a criminal statute. It is in code 44 of the USC, not 18, the criminal statute. I’m not really sure how the Presidential Records Act ties in. Yes, the president has to keep almost everything, but not everything when you are the president. Again, if we’re talking about documents, that’s part of my point here, Brianna. You just invaded the home of a former president of the United States, to look for documents? Why was it so important? Why couldn’t it be handled by a subpoena?’
Earlier this week, images published by Axios from a forthcoming book by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman purportedly showed two sets of notes stuffed into toilets, one of which is said to be a White House bathroom and the other from a bathroom on a presidential foreign trip.
Trump called Haberman a ‘maggot’ and denied flushing the documents – destroying official documents would also violate the Presidential Records Act.