“I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant,” Garland told reporters. “The Department of Justice (DOJ) does not take such a decision lightly.”
“The search warrant was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause,” he said.
The FBI raid on Trump’s palatial Mar-a-Lago residence has sparked a political firestorm in an already bitterly divided country and comes as he is weighing another White House run in 2024.
The raid, conducted on Monday in search of classified official material, drew swift condemnation from some GOPers, who backed Trump’s message that DOJ and FBI are acting for political purposes against him.
Garland criticized “unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors” following the raid.
“Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy,” he said. “Holding the rule of law means applying the law evenly without fear or favor.”