US federal agents were reportedly looking for documents relating to nuclear weapons when they raided former president, Donald Trump’s home in Florida this week, reports AFP.
The Washington Post, which reported the story, said it was not clear if such documents were recovered at Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.
The US Justice Department on Thursday asked a judge to make public the warrant that authorised the FBI search, after the Republican former president portrayed it as political retribution.
The request means the public could soon learn more about what investigators were looking for during the unprecedented search of a former president’s home.
The move was part of an investigation into whether Mr Trump illegally removed records from the White House as he left office in January 2021, some of which the Justice Department believes are classified.
Attorney General Merrick Garland – America’s most senior law enforcement officer and an appointee of Democratic President Joe Biden – told a news conference that he had personally approved the search.
The Justice Department also seeks to make public a redacted receipt of the items seized.
“The department does not take such a decision lightly,” Mr Garland said.
“Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search, and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.”
His decision to publicly confirm the search was highly unusual.
US law enforcement officials typically do not discuss ongoing investigations in order to protect people’s rights.
In this case, Mr Trump himself announced the search in a statement last Monday.
Mr Garland said the Justice Department made the request to make public the warrant “in light of the former president’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter”.
A source familiar with the matter said the FBI retrieved about ten boxes from Mr Trump’s property during the search.
Officers outside Mr Trump’s Florida home
He was not in Florida at the time of the search.
Late last night, Mr Trump called for the immediate release of documents related to the search.