GOP lawmakers demand more information on Trump’s FBI search

Republican lawmakers on Sunday continued to press the Department of Justice (DOJ) for even more information about the FBI’s search for Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, as many continued their unwavering support for the former president while casting doubt on the operation and its conclusions. far.

Trump himself condemned the raid, calling it an “un-American, unwarranted and unnecessary raid.” Some Republicans joined the former president in denouncing the DOJ’s decision as politically motivated, while others questioned the basis of the research and called for more oversight.

Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Attorney General Merrick Garland “has a lot of questions to answer” about whether the “unprecedented” search was justified and necessary. .

“They had other options. I’m sure you have to understand that going into his house, especially the former president, President Biden’s political rival, into his house for nine hours is the most intrusive, invasive – and attorney Garland has to justify it,” Turner said.

Files unsealed on Friday revealed the FBI had seized 11 sets of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago, but Turner said he wondered if the files were in fact classified as they were labeled.

“We have this list from the FBI, but we are uncertain as to whether or not it is classified material and whether or not it rises to the level of the highest classified material. On a bipartisan basis, Congress is saying, show us the goods,” Turner said.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) both demanded more information about the search, but fired back at critics who hit out at the FBI for carrying out the warrant.

McCaul, appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” warned against “inflammatory” rhetoric that unfairly and dangerously targets law enforcement, including sentiments expressed by Trump.

Hutchinson on CNN’s “State of the Union” said the FBI was “just fulfilling its responsibilities under the law” when it searched Trump’s home.

Democrats are also asking for more clarity on what happened. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (DN.Y.), chair of the House Night Committee, wrote to the Director of National Intelligence on Saturday requesting a damage assessment. and a classified briefing “on the conduct of damage assessment”.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was appointed by Trump but has also been at times at the center of the former president’s anger, spoke last week of an influx of online threats and harassment against agents from the FBI and the DOJ after the search.

“I’m always concerned about threats against law enforcement,” Wray said, according to The Associated Press. “Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re mad at.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (right) told ABC’s ‘This Week’ that the DOJ was justified in its search for Mar-a-Lago and that the unsealing of the documents was ‘a step in the right direction’, but echoed his Republican colleagues. ‘ feeling that there are still ‘a lot of unanswered questions’.

Hogan pressed the DOJ to further explain its actions, but differentiated himself from those who rushed to condemn the research itself, “just reacting, just defending Donald Trump.”

Garland told a rare press conference last week that the DOJ did not take the decision to search Mar-a-Largo lightly and said the department would ask a judge to unseal the warrant as well as a receipt of what was taken during the search.

Few Republicans have spoken out to condemn Trump of the findings, which include possible violations of the Espionage Act. Trump claimed he declassified the documents before he left office, but the National Archives still considers them classified, meaning Trump may not have followed proper protocol in doing so and some of the information obtained at Mar-a-Lago are classified as top secret. cannot be declassified by anyone.

After the search warrant was made public, many GOP members are now demanding the release of an affidavit with much more information regarding the search and what is being investigated regarding Trump.

“This was an unprecedented action that must be backed by an unprecedented rationale,” Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “This has never happened before in the history of our country.”