FBI raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate: Former agent talks significance, what's next
Just two days after the FBI raided former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, and people on both sides of the aisle are wondering what will come of it.
The task at hand still falls with the investigation, so what are the next steps there? Former FBI agent Chuck Stuber spoke with FOX 5 to further detail the unprecedented nature of the raid and what could happen next.
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Stuber worked on multiple political cases during his time in the FBI and says the Department of Justice most likely decided that the cooperation that Trump was giving was not sufficient.
"To get a search warrant in a case like this is extraordinary," Stuber says. "To go and search the residence of a former president is practically unprecedented. The Department of Justice, to get a search warrant because of the Fourth Amendment protections that citizens have, they've got to show that there was evidence that a crime was committed and put that in their affidavit. They've got to show that there's probable cause that evidence of that crime is at that location at that particular time. They've got to describe in particularity the information that they expect to find."
The former agent says a raid like this takes a lot of preparation.
"In order to do this raid, obviously an operation of this magnitude take extensive planning, there are probably hundreds of agents involved," says Stuber. "It's a massive operation with a lot of moving parts that have to work together to have a search warrant come off successfully."
Stuber says the records seized from Trump's estate could contain classified information that could jeopardize national security.
"With a search warrant, the FBI can go in and seize the records immediately," he says. "Through the negotiations or with a subpoena, you don't have that power. You're basically reliant on the person that's issued the subpoena or is involved with the negotiations to comply on their own."
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So, what's next? Stuber says the FBI will most likely be taking the records seized during the raid and looking for criminal intent in order to build a case.
"In a criminal case, you've got to prove criminal intent," he says. "A lot of times that can be done by using records like emails, correspondence between parties to show that the person intended to commit a crime."
Stuber says the raid shows that the FBI and the DOJ are serious about this case and there's probably a strong chance that some criminal charges will be filed down the line.
"I can't see them going to this extraordinary step without having a real serious interest in pursuing this case to a prosecution," he says.