Hill Republicans demand more from Garland on Mar-a-Lago search

Many Republican leaders immediately attacked the search when it took place on Monday, but some have since softened their criticism, particularly those like Turner who have expressed concern over the possible presence of classified documents. GOP moderates have criticized fellow Republicans for harsh rhetoric directed at the FBI and other law enforcement officials.

“I’m not one of the people who say that, you know, ‘immediately attack the FBI or the Department of Justice,'” Sen. Mike Rounds (RS.D.) said on “Meet the Press.” “I think it’s very important that you give them the opportunity to state their case. But I think it’s very important in the long run for the Department of Justice – now that they’ve done this – that they show that it was not just a fishing expedition.

For his part, on Sunday morning, Trump claimed on Truth Social that some of the information seized by authorities contained material covered by solicitor-client privilege and professional secrecy.

“By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to where they were taken from,” he posted.

Congressional Republicans quickly closed ranks around Trump – who raised money on the saga – in the days after the research was released, with some alleging Garland and the Biden administration were trying to harm a political rival .

“Nobody is above the law. Donald Trump is not above the law and Attorney General Garland is also not above the law,” Turner said.

The White House and top Biden administration officials have been adamant that Garland and the Justice Department acted independently in their decision to investigate Trump’s ownership.

“We learned this the same way the American people learned it,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on ABC’s “This Week.” She added that President Joe Biden was not briefed on the FBI investigation.

The Justice Department released parts of the documents related to the search in the days following his execution, revealing that investigators are investigating whether the former president violated the Espionage Act or possibly obstructed justice in his handling of sensitive documents – including those marked with the highest classification of government levels.

However, a growing chorus of Republicans has called on the DOJ to release more information, particularly the affidavit filed in support of the search warrant request approved by a federal magistrate judge.

“This was an unprecedented action that must be backed by an unprecedented rationale,” Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “It’s an open question, and we know where to look: the Probable Cause Affidavit.”

Leading House Democrats have called for a review to determine whether storing these records outside of government auspices endangers national security. Turner and other Republicans have demanded that they be given more information about the records to assess whether the search itself was justified.

“These are materials that are two years old,” Turner said. “We don’t know what they are. We do not know if they reach the national security threat level.

Some GOP members less sympathetic to Trump have raised concerns about the inflammatory rhetoric coming from other GOP members and its potential to lead to violence. Representatives Paul Gosar (R-Arizona), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) are among those who have spoken of destroying or defunding the FBI.

“That’s outrageous rhetoric,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“It’s absurd and dangerous. There are threats everywhere, and losing faith in our federal law enforcement officers and our justice system is a very serious problem for the country,” said Hogan, whose father was an FBI agent, while like other members of his family.

Hogan’s comments were echoed by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

“The GOP will be the party that supports law enforcement — law enforcement includes the FBI,” Hutchinson said on CNN. “We have to stop passing judgment on them.”

A veteran of the Watergate scandal saw the current situation as one that could have serious consequences for Trump.

“It can have very, very, very serious effects because the government has always been very tough on national security information,” John Dean, former White House attorney for President Richard Nixon, told “Reliable Sources. from CNN.


Politico

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