Republicans Slam Trump

Republicans Slam Trump: The comments came as a federal judge considered whether to release a warrant that would explain what authorities were seeking in their search of the former president’s home.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, on the FBI serving a search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s home in Florida. She is joined by, from left, Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., Rep. Trent Kelly, R-Miss., and House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep Mike Turner, R-Ohio.

House Republicans pushed back on the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home on Friday, as all eyes are focused on a release of the search warrant that could come as soon as today and provide more information about what authorities were seeking.

Republicans slam FBI search of Trump’s home; Democrats cautious

Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee held a press conference on Friday on the FBI search with a notably different tone than earlier this week, pledging support for rank-and-file members of the agency and condemning an attack on an FBI office in Ohio. But some reiterated claims made among Republican lawmakers earlier this week – even after major developments on Thursday – that the investigation is politically motivated and an “abuse” or “overreach” of the agency’s authority.

“House Republicans are committed to immediate oversight, accountability, and a fulsome investigation to provide needed transparency and answers to the American people regarding Joe Biden and his administration’s weaponization of the Department of Justice and FBI against Joe Biden’s political opponent,” Rep. Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 House Republican, said on Friday. “President Donald Trump is Joe Biden’s likeliest political opponent in 2024 and this is less than 100 days from critical midterm elections.”

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The press conference came after another group of House Republicans reportedly canceled a similar event slated for Friday following Thursday’s statement from Attorney General Merrick Garland, who had remained quiet on the issue since the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this week.

Garland said on Thursday that the Justice Department has asked a federal court to make the search warrant public. In its motion, the Justice Department noted that the former president “should have an opportunity to respond” to the motion to lodge any objections. A federal judge gave the Justice Department until 3 p.m. on Friday to confer with Trump’s team to find out whether he objected to the release of the warrant.

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But Trump released a statement overnight, saying that “not only will I not oppose the release of the documents,” but he encourages their “immediate release.”

On Monday, Trump announced that the FBI had entered his Florida home, declaring the act an indicator of “dark times for our nation” and blaming Democrats for using the justice system to keep him from running in 2024. Since then, violent rhetoric has circulated about the FBI’s treatment of the former president, while speculation about the subject of the investigation, which was thought to be part of an investigation into the handling of presidential documents, has run rampant.

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Sources familiar with the investigation told The Washington Post that the property included classified documents related to nuclear weapons, although additional details about the information the agents sought were not clear, including whether the information involved weapons belong to the U.S. or another nation. Trump called the reports of documents about nuclear weapons a “hoax.”

On Friday, GOP Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio suggested the possibility that Trump had documents related to nuclear weapons in his possession, but that those documents were not “truly classified,” saying that reporters could find that information on their phones in a matter of moments, suggesting that it may not pose an imminent national security threat “that would rise to the level of you have to raid Donald Trump’s home and spend nine hours there.”

“Donald Trump has more classified information in his head than he does in his desk,” Turner said. “So we are demanding disclosure to this committee: what was the national security basis that was an apparent immediate threat requiring this action?”

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