Recently unsealed documents from the investigation into classified materials at Mar-a-Lago reveal that the FBI was authorized to use deadly force during their 2022 raid on former President Donald Trump’s estate, highlighting the extreme measures taken by federal law enforcement in the operation.

Central to the newly released files is a directive allowing FBI agents to use lethal force against perceived threats if necessary. This authorization was part of the operation to recover classified materials allegedly retained unlawfully by Trump after his presidency.

The documents indicate preparedness for potentially violent confrontations, including scenarios involving Trump’s security detail, which consists of former Secret Service personnel. This aspect of the plan suggests an expectation of resistance, although such resistance appears implausible.

Legal commentator Julie Kelly compared the measures taken to those of a totalitarian regime. “Armed FBI agents were preparing to confront Trump and even engage Secret Service if necessary,” Kelly tweeted. She also said that, according to the released documents, FBI agents were prepared to engage Trump’s Secret Service agents in a gun battle if need be.

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“Head of Washington FBI field office when this was executed: Steven D’Antuono. Recall who authorized the raid: Merrick Garland. The FBI risked the lives of Donald Trump, his family, his staff, and MAL guests for a publicity stunt to make it look like Trump stole national security files. People need to be arrested for this,” Kelly added in another tweet containing screenshots of some of the released documents.

The FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, carried out on August 8, 2022, marked a notable and unprecedented event in U.S. history. The search of the residence of former President Trump was conducted as part of an ongoing investigation into his handling of classified documents after his presidency ended in January 2021.

A federal judge approved a search warrant based on evidence indicating that Trump had kept classified materials at his Palm Beach estate, contravening federal laws governing national security information. The FBI conducted the raid to retrieve these materials, which allegedly remained unreturned despite repeated requests from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

The raid on Mar-a-Lago sparked significant controversy and political tension, drawing sharp criticism from Trump and his supporters, who labeled it a politicized action by the Biden administration. Many Republicans contended that the raid represented an unnecessary escalation in the enforcement of laws concerning the handling of classified materials, which are typically addressed through subpoenas and cooperation with the parties involved.

They also pointed out that neither former Vice President Mike Pence nor President Joe Biden’s residences were similarly assaulted by FBI personnel despite their possession of classified documents.

Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.