National Security

Director Wray Says FBI Did Not Use SWAT Team To Search Mar-A-Lago, Waited Until Trump Was Off Property

(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday that the Bureau followed “standard procedure” in searching former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence for national security material.

“We had the case team follow its standard procedure. It has sometimes been described as a SWAT operation. It was not. There was no SWAT involvement,” Wray told Committee ranking member Jerrold Nadler of New York. “But beyond that, I think I want to be really careful with getting too far into the details now that this case is not only in the hands of a special counsel but more importantly, in my view, in front of the court. I learned a long time ago as a line prosecutor and defense lawyer to respect the court process.”

FBI agents seized 102 classified documents during the Aug. 8 search of the Palm Beach resort, according to prosecutorial filings. They allegedly detailed American, allied, and enemy military defense capabilities, including nuclear weapons. (RELATED: ‘I Cannot Defend What Is Alleged’: Pence Speaks Out On Trump’s Arrest)

“We did not have people coming in so-called raid jackets, which is something you would see,” Wray said.

“In other words, FBI agents executing the search wore plain clothes so as not to attract undue attention, and the FBI waited until after Trump left Mar-a-Lago to execute the search,” Nadler interjected.

Trump is charged with 31 counts of violating the Espionage Act, one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, one count of withholding a document or record, one count of corruptly concealing a document or record, one count of concealing a document in a deferral investigation, one count of scheme to conceal, and one count of false statements and representations. He has pleaded not guilty.

Aide Walt Nauta, who is charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal, and false statements and representations, also has pleaded not guilty in the probe.