Paul, 23, took to YouTube in a since-deleted video on Wednesday to “set the record straight,” according to Entertainment Tonight.
“Just to clarify things and set the record straight, the FBI raid is entirely related to the Arizona looting situation that had happened,” the internet personality said in the video, which was obtained by TMZ.
He continued: “It’s an investigation. There are rumors about it having to do with so many other things that have nothing to do with me or my character and the s–t that people are making up is absolutely absurd.”
Paul went on to say that currently his “goal right now is to continue to focus on myself, boxing, music.” “Thank you to all the fans who have been sticking by my side through all of these crazy times,” he added.
When news of the raid initially broke on August 5, the reason behind it was unclear, but a spokesperson for the FBI in Phoenix confirmed to Fox News hours later that the raid was in connection with their investigation into the “criminal acts surrounding the incident at Scottsdale Fashion Square in May 2020,” of which Paul is allegedly part.
(Eric Espada/Getty Images)
A SWAT team was used during the raid but no arrests have been made.
“The FBI is investigating allegations of criminal acts surrounding the incident at Scottsdale Fashion Square in May 2020,” the spokesperson told Fox News at the time. “This morning the FBI executed federal search warrants in California and Las Vegas, Nevada in connection with this investigation. The search warrant affidavits are sealed and we are, therefore, prohibited from commenting further.”
Paul’s attorney Richard Schonfeld previously confirmed the home was his.
“We understand that a search warrant was executed at Jake’s Calabasas home this morning while Jake was out-of-state,” Schonfeld said in an email. “We are still gathering information and will cooperate with the investigation.”
Back in May, Paul was allegedly involved in what local authorities called a “riot” at the Scottsdale Fashion Square in Arizona, and was charged with criminal trespass and unlawful assembly after he allegedly joined a group of looters at the mall amid a slew of protests throughout the country sparked by the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
However, police in Scottsdale, Ariz., said last week that they were dismissing charges of criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly against Paul and two others “so that a federal criminal investigation can be completed,” but that they may be refiled later.
In May, Paul addressed the incident, tweeting: “To be absolutely clear, neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism. For context, we spent the day doing our part to peacefully protest one of the most horrific injustices our country has ever seen, which led to us being tear-gassed for filming the events and brutality that were unfolding in Arizona.”.
“We were gassed and forced to keep moving on foot. We filmed everything we saw in an effort to share our experience and bring more attention to the anger felt in every neighborhood we traveled through; we were strictly documenting, not engaging. I do not condone violence, looting, or breaking the law,” he added.
After the Arizona incident, police offered a statement to Fox News.
“Following the riots and looting that occurred on the evening of May 30th 2020 at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall, the Scottsdale Police Department received hundreds of tips and videos identifying social media influencer, Jake Joseph Paul (23), as a participant in the riot,” they said at the time.
“Our investigation has revealed that Paul was present after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly and the rioters were ordered to leave the area by the police. Paul also unlawfully entered and remained inside of the mall when it was closed. As a result, Paul has been charged with Criminal Trespass and Unlawful Assembly (both misdemeanor charges),” the statement continued.
Fox News’ Nate Day and The Associated Press contributed to this report