Ex-US President Donald Trump has said his Florida home was “raided” by the FBI, and that agents broke open a safe.
Trump said in a statement that Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach was “occupied by a large group of FBI agents”.
The search was reportedly connected to an investigation into Trump’s handling of official papers.
US media reports that the search is related to documents which the president may have taken to Mar-a-Lago on leaving the White House.
Trump’s lawyer, Christina Bobb, told NBC News that some papers had been seized during the search.
The dramatic escalation of law enforcement scrutiny of Trump comes as he prepares for a possible third presidential run in 2024.
“These are dark times for our Nation,” Trump’s statement began.
He said he had co-operated with all relevant government agencies and so the “unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate”.
Trump said it amounted to “prosecutorial misconduct” and “the 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!”
According to CBS News, the BBC’s US partner, Trump was in Trump Tower in New York City at the time of Monday’s reported raid.
Eric Trump, the president’s second-oldest son, told Fox News that the FBI’s execution of the search warrant on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was related to an investigation into the handling of National Archives records.
In February, the National Archives, the US government agency that manages the preservation of presidential records, asked the justice department to investigate Trump for his handling of official papers.
The National Archives said it had retrieved 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago, some of which contained classified records.
US presidents are required by law to transfer all of their letters, work documents and emails to the National Archives.
But officials say the former president illegally ripped up many documents.
Some of them had to be taped back together, the Archives said. Trump at the time rejected reports that he had mishandled official records as “fake news”.
A senior Trump adviser in Palm Beach told CBS that the search by federal agents on Mar-a-Lago was about the presidential records. (BBC)