A spokesperson for former President Donald Trump disclosed evidence on Monday allegedly corroborating Trump's claim that FBI agents seized his passports at Mar-a-Lago.
What is the background?
On Monday, Trump accused FBI agents of seizing his passports when they raided his residence at Mar-a-Lago last week.
"Wow! In the raid by the FBI of Mar-a-Lago, they stole my three Passports (one expired), along with everything else," Trump alleged. "This is an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our Country. Third World!"
Hours later, CBS News anchor Norah O'Donnell reported, citing sources, that the FBI was not in possession of Trump's passports, which suggested that the FBI never seized them.
"NEW: According to a DOJ official, the FBI is NOT in possession of former President Trump's passports. Trump had accused the FBI of stealing his three passports during the search of his Mar-a-Lago home," O'Donnell reported.
But what is the proof?
In response to O'Donnell's reporting, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich shared an email sent earlier in the day from Jay Bratt, an official in the National Security Division of the Justice Department, confirming that the FBI had in fact confiscated Trump's passports and was in the process of returning them.
The email, which was sent to Trump attorneys Evan Corcoran and Jim Trusty, read:
We have learned that the filter agents seized three passports belonging to President Trump, two expired and one being his active diplomatic passport. We are returning them, and they will be ready for pickup at WFO at 2 pm today. I am traveling, but you can coordinate further with [redacted] copied above. Thanks.
The email also confirms a second point of O'Donnell's reporting, which said the DOJ is working to return any items seized from Mar-a-Lago that were not included in the search warrant.
Importantly, Bratt's email was sent before Trump's public accusations.
The DOJ is fighting to keep the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant, which contains the probable cause for the search, under government seal.
Trump, however, is pushing for the government to publicize the documents.