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Retired FBI agent: ‘Informant’ likely gave evidence that led to raid

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Published: 15:41 BST, 9 August 2022 | Updated: 15:47 BST, 9 August 2022

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Retired FBI Special Agent Michael Tabman told it’s likely an ‘informant’ revealed information to the FBI that led to the raid of Trump’s home on Monday

The FBI raid on Donald Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday was likely sparked by new information from an ‘informant’ and a breakdown in cooperation between the agency and former president, a former agent told

Retired FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Tabman, who served the agency for 24 years, said a raid of this level of sensitivity would need to be approved by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

‘I think somebody gave them information indicating that these documents are there,’ Tabman said, adding two hypothetical ‘insider’ revelations: ‘You have not been told the truth about their existence. You’re not getting them unless you come get them.’

‘I think there was inside information – call it an informant if you want,’ he told ‘I believe either someone told them something or some other information was stumbled upon, which was kind of conclusive in their minds that they had to go now to get that or they’re not getting it.’

Trump’s Florida residence was raided by the FBI Monday. It was most likely in relation to seizing official documents reportedly taken from the White House to his Palm Beach home upon leaving office last year.

Tabman claimed while there was cooperation between Trump and the FBI at one point, the agency may have gotten a sense that the former president and his team were ‘telling you what they want to tell you with limited information.’

FBI protocol, according to Tabman, is to move forward with seizing information once they feel that ‘voluntarily’ obtaining it is no longer viable.

‘You know, everything could disappear,’ Tabman said. ‘You got evidence that you need to get before it disappears or it moves and you can’t see it anymore.’

In order to obtain the warrant for a raid, the FBI would need to prove probable cause and conduct the search in a timely manner. Agents can’t just ‘poke around’ someone’s home in a case like this, Tabman said.

The FBI raided Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on Monday in apparent relations to a probe into him taking official White House documents to Florida upon leaving office. Pictured: Secret Service stand guard outside an entrance to the Palm Beach residence on Monday evening

‘I think somebody gave them information indicating that these documents are there,’ Tabman said. Trump was spotted leaving Trump Tower in NYC on Monday. He lamented of the search: ‘They even broke into my safe!’

He also claimed the FBI could have gotten the sense that Trump was just no longer being ‘fully cooperative’ with the investigation – leading them to see the raid approval.

Supporters of the former president gathered outside Mar-a-Lago Monday evening in protest of the raid and ongoing investigations into Trump.

Tabman said that while it doesn’t appear any protocols were broken in conducting the raid, it’s still an ‘unprecedented’ move in the sense that the FBI has never raided a former president’s home before.

‘I can’t think of this having happened to a former president,’ Tabman noted.

‘I don’t see any protocols that were broken in any way,’ the retired FBI special agent added. ‘They must have obviously had probable cause.’

Republican lawmakers immediately bashed the FBI, President Joe Biden, the Justice Department and its head Merrick Garland for conducting the raid.

Biden and his staff, however, had no heads up on the matter. Senior White House officials found out about the raid via Twitter, according to The New York Times.

Tabman told ‘I believe the Attorney General approved it himself given the sensitivity.’

‘You know, maybe he delegated to a Deputy Attorney General again, maybe in order to avoid perceptions since he is a political appointee,’ he added.

Trump supporters descended on Mar-a-Lago following news of the raid. Some camped out in the beds of their trunks

Getting the go-ahead from Garland is an internal DOJ process, Tabman explained. Adding that after approval, the matter would go before a ‘neutral third party’ judge to approve the raid based on proof of probable cause.

Tabman, through his near two-and-a-half decades of FBI service, retired at the level of Special Agent in Charge.

He served on the FBI-NYPD Organized Crime Task Force and FBI-NYPD Drug Task Force for eight years. During that time, Tabman served as an affiant on numerous arrest and search warrants and applications for wiretaps.

Tabman has been involved in a great number of arrests and execution of search warrants.

During his years in management, Tabman has reviewed affidavits and commanded the execution of arrests and search warrants.

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