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Former President Donald Trump returns to Mar-a-Lago

Trump returns home for first time since FBI search
bird's eye view of Mar-a-Lago Club, Sept. 19, 2022
Posted at 9:32 AM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 18:22:04-04

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former President Donald Trump has returned to Mar-a-Lago for the first time since FBI agents searched his home last month.

Trump announced his return early Monday on his social media platform.

His motorcade was spotted at about 9 p.m. Sunday heading to his Palm Beach estate.

"Arrived in Florida last night and had a long and detailed chance to check out the scene of yet another government 'crime,' the FBI's Raid and Break-In of my home, Mar-a-Lago," Trump wrote on Truth Social.

Trump spent the weekend in Ohio, where he attended a rally for Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance.

Supporters lined Southern Boulevard to greet Trump as he made his way from Palm Beach International Airport to his home on Palm Beach.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.

Trump thanked his supporters and said he'll "never forget the great people of this Country."

Laurence Leamer, the author of "Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump's Presidential Palace," said Trump is back in town for a reason.

"Mar-a-Lago is Trump's spiritual home. It's the one place in the world where he feels totally comfortable," Leamer said. "He's never come back so early as he has this year, but I think it's a function of how much he is in need of this. He's in a very difficult place in his life."

Laurence Leamer, the author of "Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump's Presidential Palace," speaks about Trump return to Palm Beach County, Sept. 19, 2022
Author Laurence Leamer explains why he thinks Donald Trump has returned to Palm Beach County before the start of winter.

The Justice Department asked a federal appeals court Friday to lift a judge's order that temporarily barred it from reviewing a batch of classified documents seized during the FBI search's search Aug. 8.

The FBI said it took about 11,000 documents, including roughly 100 with classification markings found in a storage room and an office, while serving a court-authorized search warrant at the home. Weeks after the search, Trump lawyers asked a judge to appoint a special master to do an independent review of the records.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon on Thursday assigned Raymond Dearie, the former chief judge of the federal court based in Brooklyn, to serve as the special master.

Pages from Department of Justice court filing about classified documents at Mar-a-Lago
Pages from a Department of Justice court filing on Aug. 30, 2022, in response to a request from the legal team of former President Donald Trump for a special master to review the documents seized during the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, are photographed early Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. Included in the filing was a FBI photo of documents that were seized during the search.

Attorneys for both sides are scheduled to meet with Dearie on Tuesday in New York.

"The whole scenario we're seeing play out is unusual at best," David Weinstein, an attorney at Jones Walker in Miami and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in South Florida, said.

He said the special master is looking to lay out some ground rules for the document review.

"He's asked them to submit any potential issues they think are on play so that they can be prepared to address those with him," Weinstein said.