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Trump falsely says Biden was 'locked & loaded and ready to take me out' in Mar-a-Lago search

Former President Trump falsely claimed in a fundraising email Wednesday that President Biden was “locked & loaded and ready to take me out” — twisting standard language from documents prepared as law enforcement readied to search Mar-a-Lago for classified records.

Trump’s comment plucks from court filings a policy statement prepared by law enforcement that lays out protocol for the search.

In reality, the statement allows deadly force “only when necessary,” such as when someone “poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.” 

Nonetheless, the email claims at various turns that either Biden or the Justice Department “was authorized to shoot” Trump.

Various links encourage readers to donate anywhere from $20.24 to more than $3,000 to his campaign.

Despite Trump’s claims, he was not home when the FBI conducted its Aug. 8, 2022, search of his Florida estate, a decision made to help avoid any potential conflict with the former president.

One of the only diversions from standard FBI protocol was that officers donned polo shirts and khakis while conducting the search in order to draw less attention while on site at the club.

The FBI said it “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.”

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

Trump’s comments — boosted by a social media post stating the FBI authorized lethal force — were further amplified by his supporters in Congress.

“The Biden DOJ and FBI were planning to assassinate Pres Trump and gave the green light,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) wrote on the social platform X.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) condemned Trump for making the claim, calling it “the stuff that leads to political violence.”

“What Donald Trump is doing [is] using conspiracy theories to spin the hard right into a frenzy, and it’s despicable for members of Congress to spread Donald Trump’s lies. This is how people get killed, how the seeds of political violence are sowed, and how people lose faith in democracy,” he said.

The policy statement on force was raised by Trump as he seeks to strike his Mar-a-Lago case by claiming Biden coordinated with the Justice Department to bring the charges to hinder his electoral prospects.

There is no evidence of any improper White House coordination with prosecutors, and the bulk of documents unsealed in the Wednesday filings indicate an earlier judge weighing the case deemed Trump to be legally culpable for concealing classified records.

New details unearthed in the filings indicate Trump even had classified documents in his bedroom after the initial search of his home and that he directed boxes to be returned by his two co-defendants without their being spotted on camera.

Trump’s own attorneys have argued in his other federal case that a president ordering the assassination of a rival would be covered by presidential immunity, barring prosecutions from bringing charges on the matter once a president leaves office.

Trump’s legal team made the argument as it tries to toss charges related to his efforts to remain in power after losing the election, most recently asking the Supreme Court to block the case.

Source: The Hill

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