Donald Trump has said that his Florida home was “raided” by the FBI on Monday night.
“A large group of FBI agents” carried out an “unannounced raid” on his residence Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach the former US president said in a statement.
The search by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly connected to Trump’s handling of official paperwork.
Writing on his social media channel on Monday evening, Trump described the move by the FBI as “not necessary or appropriate”, adding he had cooperated with the authorities.
“There are dark times for our Nation,” his statement read.
A months-long investigation is currently ongoing to work out how classified documents ended up in more than a dozen boxes located at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year.
The search comes amid a separate investigation into the chaotic aftermath of the 2022 presidential election in which Trump supporters stormed the White House.
This has created potential legal peril for Trump who is preparing to have a third stab at the presidency in 2024.
Trump claimed the “raid” was a “weaponisation of the Justice System” to prevent him from running for the White House again.
“Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries,” he said. “Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before.
“They even broke into my safe,” Trump added.
He did not elaborate on why the FBI search had taken place or if anything had been confiscated by the agents.
The ex-president’s second-oldest son, Eric Trump, told Fox News that the FBI’s search was related to an investigation into the handling of the US National Archives.
In February, the National Archives retrieved from Mar-a-Lago 15 boxes of official documents related to the Trump presidency which contained classified material.
All communication surrounding presidential duties, such as emails and work documents, has to be preserved under US law.
However, officials claim Trump illegally ripped up many documents, with the National Archives saying some had to be repaired with tape.
Trump was in New York City at the time of Monday’s raid.
The US Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson declined to comment on the search.
While a search warrant does not suggest criminal charges, federal officials looking to obtain one must convince a judge that they have probable cause that a crime occurred.
Two people familiar with the matter, who spoke to AP on the condition of anonymity, said agents were looking to see if Trump had additional presidential records or any classified documents at the estate.
Trump has previously maintained that presidential records were turned over “in an ordinary and routine process.”