Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were spotted going out for a casual dinner date on Monday night while former President Donald Trump's home was being searched by the FBI. Photojournalist Joe Ahlquist took pictures of Ivanka and Kushner in downtown Rochester, Minnesota smiling and walking arm-in-arm, in spite of the high-stakes family drama playing out across the country. According to a report by CBS News, they did not tell Ahlquist why they were in town.
Ivanka and Kushner typically reside in New York City, but Ahlquist said he somehow got word that they were in his area and went out looking for a photo op. He said that they were taken just before 8 p.m. local time, which would have been shortly after Trump posted about the search on social media. According to a report by TMZ, Ivanka and Kushner got dinner at a restaurant called Bleu Duck Kitchen where witnesses said they seemed to be in a good mood. They were accompanied by one security guard.
There's no telling whether this public appearance was planned before the FBI executed a search warrant on Trump's personal residence at Mar-a-Lago. According to CBS News, the search was related to a Justice Department investigation of claims by the National Archives that Trump had taken 15 boxes of records from the White House to Mar-a-Lago with him, including some classified material.
The FBI, Justice Department and all the other government bodies involved kept this search warrant very secret until the last moment, but Trump himself broke the news to the world. He posted about it on the Truth social media app, and a version of his statement circulated on political email lists as well. He was reportedly at Trump Tower in New York City while the search warrant was executed, but he referred to it as a "siege" and a "raid."
"Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before," Trump wrote "After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate... they even broke into my safe!"
The search reportedly stemmed from concerns raised by the National Archive about Trump's handling of official records. He and his administration failed to turn over all the necessary documents when leaving the White House, and in early 2022 the National Archive discovered that some had been brought back to the president's personal home. When documents were turned over to the archives, some had reportedly been ripped up and taped back together.
The Justice Department has not given any new details on what this search could mean for Trump – or for his supposed 2024 presidential ambitions. It's not clear when we will know more either.