The US Department of Justice has made a rare request to a Florida court to unseal the search warrant. If the request is granted, it would mean the documents are made available to the public and could confirm the reason for Monday’s search of Trump’s Florida home – something that the justice department has not yet revealed.
The FBI search is believed to be connected to an investigation into whether the former president removed classified records and sensitive material from the White House.
According to the Washington Post, citing anonymous sources, documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items FBI agents were looking for at Trump’s home.
Trump had a deadline of 15:00 EST (19:00 GMT) on Friday afternoon, August 12 to object to the unsealing but it is not clear what his statement now means for when the documents could be published.
In a statement on his social media network, Truth Social, Trump said he was encouraging its “immediate release” – but repeated his claim that the search was unnecessary and politically motivated.
“Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid and break-in of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago, I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents,” the statement read.
He said this was despite them being “drawn up by radical left Democrats and possible future political opponents, who have a strong and powerful vested interest in attacking me, much as they have done for the last six years”.
Monday’s search was the first time in American history that a former president’s home has been searched as part of a criminal investigation. Trump and other Republicans have condemned the move as politically motivated.
The justice department has followed its normal practice of remaining silent during an active investigation as search warrants traditionally remain sealed during a pending investigation.
But US Attorney general Garland said he was asking a court to make documents connected to the search warrant publicly available, as the public has taken a keen interest to the investigations.
“The public’s clear and powerful interest in understanding what occurred under these circumstances weighs heavily in favour of unsealing,” justice department lawyers said in a motion filed in federal court on Thursday.