Obama ethics tsar says it’s entirely possible that Garland knew about Mar-A-Lago search

·2 min read

Former president Barack Obama’s former ethics tsar told The Independent that it is entirely likely that Attorney General Merrick Garland signed off on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s executing a search warrant on former president Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago.

The FBI searched Mr Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, which the ex-president immediately criticised, saying that the agency “even broke into my safe.”

In turn, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pledged that if Republicans win the majority in the House of Representatives, they will call in Mr Garland.

Norman Eisen, who served in the Obama administration as a special counsel on ethics and government reform, spoke with The Independent and said Mr Garland likely knew about the search.

“I don't believe that FBI agents and prosecutors would have taken such a momentous step without consulting with the Attorney General,” he said. “We'll see if that's true, but I would be astonished if a search warrant on the premises of a former president - the first one in American history - took place without the Attorney General being notified.”

Mr Eisen, who also served as counsel to Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee during Mr Trump’s first impeachment, added that if an investigation had reached the point where it required a search warrant, deputy attorney general Lisa Monaco would likely have known.

The White House told The Independent that they ‘did not have notice of the reported action’, which Mr Eisen said was normal.

Still, Mr Eisen said that it is entirely possible that they would not want Mr Garland to be caught flat-footed.

“Anybody who works in the chain of command leading up to the Attorney General of the United States, you don't want him to call you and say, ‘how come I learned about this first on CNN’,” he said.