The FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, including an apparent search for a safe, drew widespread backlash in Washington as Republicans criticized the agency.
Here’s the latest we know:
Why did they raid your home? Two people familiar with the search told USA TODAY the action was related to Trump allegedly moving documents from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago estate when his term ended.
What investigations involving Trump are there?: In February, the National Archives said they had contacted the Justice Department on Trump’s removal of classified material from the White House. An Atlanta-area grand jury is hearing testimony in an investigation into whether Trump tried to meddle in the 2020 election. And the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots wrapped up its first round of hearings last month.
Politically motivated? As Republicans launched accusations that the FBI search was an effort by President Joe Biden’s administration to attack a political opponent, the organization that represents FBI agents defended the agency’s work.
Republicans promise to investigate: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and other members of his caucus have promised to investigate the Justice Department if Republicans gain control of Congress in November.
No comment: The Justice Department has not commented on the search.
Former AG Gonzales: Search Probably Got ‘Highest Level’ Approval
Alberto Gonzales, a former attorney general in the George W. Bush administration, believed that a police action of this magnitude would surely have carried the approval of Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
“Unless there is a serious flaw, I have to think this was approved at the highest level,” Gonzales said.
To proceed with the action, Gonzales said Justice Department officials would have to be “convinced there was no other way” to get the information.
“It raises a number of questions that need to be considered: Why do you need to take the action? Because right now? What has been done to obtain the information in the absence of a search? Was there any kind of concern that the documents had been destroyed?”
Trump to dine with conservative House Republicans in New Jersey on Tuesday
Donald Trump will meet with a group of House Republicans on Tuesday, a day after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida as part of an investigation into the handling of classified material.
Trump will dine with a dozen members of the House Republican Study Committee at his summer home in Bedminster, New Jersey, an official familiar with the plan said.
The dinner has been planned for weeks, but Trump is expected to discuss the various investigations into him, the official said.
The Republican Study Committee describes itself as “the conservative caucus of House Republicans” and says it has been “a major influencer on the right since its original founding in 1973.” Under the chairmanship of Rep. Jim Banks, R-Indiana, the RSC has been a strong supporter of Trump.
While planning the meeting with Trump last month, Banks told Breitbart News that his committee “has visited him many times before. We have a very close relationship with him, and the Republican Study Committee believes he is the most effective president in his life or more. .”
Pelosi weighs in on the search for Mar-a-Lago
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday that “no one is above the law,” regarding the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s home.
“We believe in the rule of law. That’s what our country is about,” Pelosi said. “And no one is above the law. Not even the president of the United States. Not even a former president of the United States.”
On House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s comments on the search for Mar-a-Lago and “immediate oversight” from the Justice Department if Republicans win the House, Pelosi said “whatever I say the leader is probably inactive.”
– Merdie Nzanga
FBI agent organization: Agents work with ‘integrity and professionalism’
The organization that represents FBI agents on Tuesday defended the agency’s work in the face of ridicule from former President Donald Trump and his allies. the search for your house from Mar-a-Lago as politically motivated.
“FBI special agents perform their investigative duties with integrity and professionalism, and remain focused on complying with the law and the Constitution,” Brian O’Hare, president of the FBI Agents Association, said in a prepared statement.
O’Hare noted that all search warrants are issued by federal district courts or magistrate judges and must follow detailed rules of procedure. Agents also work with Justice Department attorneys on their search warrants, he said.
Under the law, any search must be authorized by a federal judge after probable cause is found that a crime has been committed and that there is evidence of the crime at the location to be searched.
Agents conducted a search of Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday, in what two people familiar with the search told USA TODAY was an action related to the alleged removal of documents from the White House by Trump when his term ended in 2021.
What’s happening at Mar-a-Lago?: Was the FBI at Trump’s house? Answers to your questions
Trump called the search “weaponizing the justice system” intended to hurt him politically, a refrain repeated by his Republican allies in the hours after the search became public.
“It’s prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the justice system, and an attack by radical left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for president in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will also do anything to stop Republicans and conservatives in the upcoming midterm elections,” Trump said in a prepared statement.
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Kevin McCarthy gives DOJ a warning, AG Merrick Garland
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Monday that the Justice Department had “reached an intolerable state of armed politicization” and promised new investigations into the department if Republicans regain control of the House in the election. half term.
“Attorney General (Merrick) Garland, keep your documents and clear your calendar,” McCarthy tweeted.
Representative Jim Jordan and Senator Ted Cruz react
In an appearance on Fox News, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, DN.Y., should call Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray before the committee as soon as possible. like Friday to answer questions about the search.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the administration of President Joe Biden was using the department to attack his political enemies. But The New York Times reported on Monday that White House officials had no advance notice of the search.
Reaction: Trump loyalists descend on Mar-a-Lago as news of FBI manhunt breaks
Republican governors jump to Trump’s defense
Republican governors also rushed to Trump’s defense on Monday. including Florida Governor Ron DeSantisWidely seen as Trump’s biggest competition for the 2024 presidential nomination.
“They have been behind President Trump as a candidate, as president and now as a former president.” South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem tweeted. “Using the criminal justice system in this way is un-American.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Search for Mar-a-Lago: FBI agent organization defends work – live updates