Supporters of former President Donald Trump gathered near Mar-a-Lago Monday in the wake of the news that the FBI was conducting a search at his Palm Beach estate.
Dozens of vehicles — many adorned with Trump 2020 and American flags — were parked along the property. Supporters cheered, yelled, waved flags, blasted music and honked their car horns.
The circumstances around the search were not immediately clear. A source familiar with the matter told NBC News that the search was tied to classified information Trump allegedly took with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago.
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Trump was not home at the time. The former president didn’t respond to reporters' questions outside Trump Tower in New York.
But in a lengthy statement earlier in the day, he wrote in part that Mar-a-Lago "is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents."
“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Trump said in his statement.
The Secret Service said they facilitated access to the property but did not participate in any aspect of the search. The Trump team’s understanding is that this is related to the transfer of documents from the White House to the Palm Beach estate.
"President Trump and his legal team have been cooperative with the FBI and DOJ officials every step of the way," Trump lawyer Christina Bobb told NBC News. "The FBI did conduct an unannounced raid and seized paper."
Protesters outside of Mar-a-Lago on Monday night planned to stay there for as long as they were allowed to.
"We live in a police state that the FBI and the Democrats are using the justice system for political ends as if we were in a third world country," said one demonstrator, who declined to give a name.
"I see this is really wrong," said Elaine Fandino, a Cuban exile who has lived in South Florida for 58 years. "If this happened to Trump, why has this (not) happened before to Hunter (Biden)?"
Florida's governor also brought up Biden in the wake of the search.
"The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves," Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted. "Now the Regime is getting another 87k IRS agents to wield against its adversaries? Banana Republic."
"Biden's out of control DOJ is ripping this country apart with how they're openly targeting their political enemies," the former president's son, Donald Trump. Jr., tweeted in part.