• About 30 FBI agents raided Donald Trump's Florida home last Monday.

    This is the first time that a former American president has been so worried about justice.

    A set of documents classified “top secret” or “secret” or “confidential”, as well as a document “1A Info re:”, without further details, were found.

  • The FBI suspects him of having violated an American law on espionage which very strictly regulates the possession of confidential documents linked to national security.

    But the legal consequences against the former American president are still unclear.

  • 20 Minutes

    takes stock, a week after the shock search, a first in the history of the United States.

This is a first in the history of the United States.

The FBI conducted a search of Donald Trump's home last Monday, in his huge home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

Outraged, the 45th American president wrote on his Truth Social network on Thursday that his lawyers were cooperating "fully" with the authorities when "suddenly and without warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided, at 6:30 a.m., by a VERY large number of agents.

The authorities found several documents that could be classified as state secrets, and that the real estate magnate would have illegally taken home at the end of his mandate.

20 Minutes

takes stock of this unprecedented event across the Atlantic.

Why did the FBI raid Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence?

On the night of Monday to Tuesday, around thirty FBI agents entered Donald Trump's home to search his Florida villa.

An act “personally approved” by the American Minister of Justice Merrick Garland.

On the other hand, he did not reveal anything about the reasons and the results of this operation, stressing that “ethical obligations” prevented him from delivering more details on this raid.

Does the federal police search have to do with the many boxes that Donald Trump took with him when he left the White House in January 2021?

Is it linked to the investigation into his responsibility in the assault on the Capitol?

Does it rather concern the suspicions of financial fraud of which the Trump Organization is the subject in New York?

US Presidents are required by law to submit all of their emails, letters and other working documents to the US National Archives.

However, Donald Trump had taken, when he left the White House in January 2021, 15 boxes of documents, which agents from the Archives had had to recover in January, already at Mar-a-Lago.

Why does Justice oppose the publication of documents on this search?

Several organizations, including the media, had asked a judge to release a court document in which investigators usually explain why the search is necessary.

The Ministry of Justice assured on Monday that such a publication "would irreparably harm the ongoing criminal investigation", according to a court document.

This document contains “very sensitive information on witnesses”, techniques used by the police and “extremely important facts about the investigation”, estimated the ministry.

Its publication could reveal the strategy of the investigators and "compromising [the success] of the next steps of the investigation", he added.

The minister, however, asked a Florida judge to lift the confidentiality of the mandate,

What did the FBI find in Donald Trump?

According to representatives of Donald Trump, the FBI was looking for archival documents from the White House and possibly classified.

They suspect him of having violated an American law on espionage which very strictly regulates the possession of confidential documents linked to national security.

According to the

Washington Post

, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, some of the documents sought relate to nuclear weapons.

Among the court documents made public Friday by a federal judge in Florida, a long inventory of documents seized by FBI agents.

In this list is mentioned a set of documents classified as "top secret" or "secret" or "confidential", as well as a document "1A Info re: President of France", without further details.

About thirty boxes were seized, as well as binders with photos and a handwritten note, according to this inventory.

On Wednesday, the former head of state suggested that the FBI may have "planted" evidence against him during the operation.

What's next for Donald Trump?

But invoking the Espionage Act does not mean the former US president is at risk of being accused of espionage, experts say.

"The Espionage Act includes a bunch of crimes that have nothing to do with espionage," espy attorney Bradley Moss said on Twitter.

But the established presence of confidential documents in those handed over in January - when he was forced to hand over 15 boxes to the National Archives, which contained classified files - makes the matter serious enough for Donald Trump.

Does he face charges?

There are too many unknowns at this point.

“There is in theory enough time by November 2024 to indict and prosecute Donald Trump if the government decides to do so,”

Bradley Moss, a Washington lawyer specializing in national security issues , recently explained to

20 Minutes .

With the prospect of tearing a little more a country already cut in two. 

And for his political future?

Can he become ineligible?

There is debate among lawyers.

Lawyer Marc Elias, who fought Donald Trump's appeals in the 2020 presidential election, notes on Twitter that a statute in the US Criminal Code provides for possible ineligibility but acknowledges that a president's case is covered by the Constitution .

And according to Bradley Moss, Congress could not declare Donald Trump ineligible based on a criminal conviction.

This is only possible after a conviction in impeachment proceedings or by invoking the 14th Amendment in the event of an insurrection.

And Bradley Moss to conclude: “In theory, Donald Trump could be a candidate even if he was in prison.



Search at Donald Trump: What consequences for the former president after this coup?


United States: Prosecutors oppose the publication of the reasons for the search at Trump's house


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