An FBI informant inside former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was reportedly behind the bureau’s raid earlier this week, two senior officials told Newsweek on Wednesday. Trump’s former chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, speculated that if there was an informant, the individual is likely part of Trump’s inner circle.
According to the officials, the informant identified classified documents being held by Trump at his home and provided the FBI with information on where the documents were located.
The bureau then executed the raid on Trump’s home at a time when they knew the former president wasn’t there in an effort to prevent him from having a good photo opportunity or platform from which he could address the developing situation.
One of the officials said the effort to keep the raid low-key was a “spectacular backfire.”
“I know that there is much speculation out there that this is political persecution, but it is really the best and the worst of the bureaucracy in action,” the official asserted. “They wanted to punctuate the fact that this was a routine law enforcement action, stripped of any political overtones, and yet [they] got exactly the opposite.”
The second official said the bureau was hoping to “avoid any media circus” with the help of the FBI informant.
“So even though everything made sense bureaucratically and the FBI feared that the documents might be destroyed, they also created the very firestorm they sought to avoid, in ignoring the fallout,” the source claimed.
Mulvaney suggested that if an FBI informant inside Mar-a-Lago exists, it’s likely someone “really close” to the former president.
“I didn’t even know there was a safe at Mar-a-Lago, and I was the chief of staff for 15 months. My guess is there’s probably six or eight people who had that kind of information,” Mulvaney said during an appearance on CNN.
“If you know where the safe is and you know the documents are in 10 boxes in the basement, you’re pretty close to the president,” he added, referring to a possible FBI informant.
Mulvaney also urged the bureau to provide the public with additional information about the search, noting that “the burden is on them to show that they are absolutely on the up and up.”
The raid sparked outrage from both Democrats and Republicans, including former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who warned the raid “will be viewed as a political tactic” if the DOJ doesn’t provide an explanation for the unprecedented search.
“DOJ must immediately explain the reason for its raid & it must be more than a search for inconsequential archives or it will be viewed as a political tactic and undermine any future credible investigation & legitimacy of January 6 investigations,” Cuomo tweeted.