Donald Trump's claims that the FBI planned his assassination during the Mar-a-Lago raid debunked

Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence was raided back in 2022 for classified documents. The former President now claims the FBI planned his assassination. The FBI responded.

Fact-checking Donald Trump FBI assassination Mar-a-Lago
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Fact-checking Donald Trump FBI assassination Mar-a-Lago

On August 8, 2022, Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida was raided by FBI agents to search for classified documents that the former President had failed to return after leaving the Oval Office.

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As per ABC News, over 100 documents with classification markings were found in Trump’s Florida residence and it is believed that the former President ‘misled’ his lawyers to sign a ‘false certification’ confirming that all classified documents had been returned.

Almost two years after the raid, Donald Trump has claimed that the FBI had planned his assassination during said raid on his social media platform, Truth Social. The FBI has made a rare statement following Trump’s accusations. Here’s everything we know.

Donald Trump’s assassination claim

As reported by Newsweek, Donald Trump shared FBI paperwork on Truth Social showing that agents were allowed to use ‘deadly force’. Trump shared the document on Tuesday, May 21.

As per The Hill, Trump claimed that the FBI were ‘locked & loaded ready to take me out’ due to the fact that the document stated they were authorised to use ‘deadly force’ if they were confronted with ‘imminent danger of death or serious physical injury’.

He posted on Truth Social:

WOW! I just came out of the Biden Witch Hunt Trial in Manhattan, the “Icebox,” and was shown Reports that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, in their Illegal and UnConstitutional Raid of Mar-a-Lago, AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE. NOW WE KNOW, FOR SURE, THAT JOE BIDEN IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO DEMOCRACY.

Shortly after the official document had been shared, Trump’s former strategist Stevie Bannon and Mike Davis, a Trump ally, deemed the statement as an ‘assassination plot’. X user @TRHLofficial then posted the following on May 22:

Steve Bannon and Mike Davis detail the assassination attempt of Donald Trump. 'If we tolerate this, we tolerate the end of this republic.’

Along with a video of Bannon and Davis discussing the Mar-a-Lago raid. They explained:

They authorized deadly force, they had a medic, they had a plan to triage the wounded, they had a trauma center 18 miles away on a map.

Adding that it was an ‘attempted assassination’:

This was an attempted assassination on Donald John Trump or people associated with him. They wanted a gun fight.

As per ABC News, Trump’s lawyers made no assassination accusations during their filing on May 21. Donald Trump claims that he first learned of the filing after being ‘shown Reports’ after court proceedings had ended for his New York state criminal hush money case.

However, Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene shared on X that she ‘made sure’ Trump was aware of the false claim that the ‘Biden DOJ and FBI were planning to assassinate’ him

The FBI responds to the ‘assassination’ claims

Following the ‘assassination’ claims made by Donald Trump and his allies, the FBI released a rare statement explaining the proceedings that took place during the raid. The FBI said that agents had followed ‘standard protocol’ during the raid.

The FBI followed standard protocol in this search as we do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force.

The FBI added that no 'additional steps' had been ordered during the raid:

No one ordered additional steps to be taken and there was no departure from the norm in this matter.

Moreover, several former FBI and Department of Justice (DOP) officials confirmed that ‘deadly force’ is standard procedure, as per ABC News. Former DOJ official and ABC News contributor Sarah Isgur explained:

If there is danger to you or public and there's no alternatives, you are authorized to use deadly force. This is standard policy.

As per ABC News, the FBI agents were made aware that Trump would not be present at Mar-a-Lago during the raid as it was during the off-season and the former President typically resides in his Bedminster property in New Jersey.

However, the FBI did have a ‘contingency plan’ in case Donald Trump turned up to the property mid-raid, at which point agents on site would be ready to ‘engage with’ him.

The FBI weren’t in uniform

It has also been reported that the FBI agents who searched Mar-a-Lago were ordered to dress ‘business casual’, meaning they wore ‘unmarked polo or collared shirts’ and their law enforcement equipment was concealed.

The former director of the FBI's Washington, D.C, field office Steve D'Antuono explained that there ‘wasn’t even a show of force’ and there were no FBI vehicles adding that it wasn’t like a scene out of a Die Hard movie:

It wasn't even a show of force. [...] No raid jackets, no blazed FBI ... We weren't bringing any like FBI vehicles, everything that was reported about helicopters and a hundred people descending on, like, a Die Hard movie, was completely untrue, right. That is not how we played it.

Senate Majority Leader called out Donald Trump’s claims

On Wednesday, May 22, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called out Donald Trump in a floor speech for falsely accusing the DOP. Schummer added that Trump’s claims could lead to ‘political violence’, as per ABC News.

What Donald Trump said, falsely suggesting his political opponents are out to kill him, is beyond the pale and is the stuff that leads to political violence.

Schummer went on to say that Trump is using ‘conspiracy theories’ to turn ‘the hard right into a frenzy’ and explained that his actions could have serious consequences.

As per The Hill, Schummer added:

This is how people get killed, how the seeds of political violence are sowed, and how people lose faith in democracy.

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Sources used:

CNN: ‘Fact-checking Trump's lie that Biden tried to have him assassinated’

ABC News: ‘Trump falsely claims Biden, FBI had plan to assassinate him during Mar-a-Lago search’

Newsweek: ‘FBI Was Prepared to Use 'Deadly Force' at Mar-a-Lago Raid’

Newsweek: ‘Fact Check: Did FBI Plan Donald Trump's 'Assassination?'

The Hill: ‘Democratic leader calls Trump political assassination claim ‘outlandish and dangerous’

Donald Trump: How much is Mar-a-Lago really worth? Donald Trump: How much is Mar-a-Lago really worth?