Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, urged FBI Director Christopher Wray in an Aug. 9 letter to hand over materials, including court filings showing the “evidentiary basis” for the raid.
“To send the FBI in to raid his home must require—and that’s why we’re demanding answers from FBI Director Wray—actual national security threats and information,” Turner said on Newsmax.
“The American People deserve transparency and accountability. We must see the probable cause for the warrant to search President Trump’s residence and know what caused a Judge to approve the warrant,” Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) said in a statement. “Anything less will permanently discredit both the DOJ and FBI.”
According to court docket entries, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart approved search warrants before the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago in southern Florida. One of Trump’s lawyers told The Epoch Times that a copy of the warrant she saw listed Reinhart as approving the warrant.
The warrant and supporting materials, such as any affidavits lodged by bureau agents explaining why a warrant should be granted, are under seal, or shielded from the public. At least one nonprofit has asked the court to unseal the documents.
“The American people deserve a clear explanation as to why the FBI got a warrant and searched the former president’s home. The reasons for probable cause should be released. If this search was not justified, the motivations of those who authorized it should be investigated,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said in a statement.
The Department of Justice, the FBI’s parent agency, and the FBI should release both the warrant and the supporting affidavit, Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, added.
“These raids and seizures are a fishing expedition and a fascade. The FBI is pretending this is about noncompliance with the Presidential Records Act when we all know it’s about Jan 6. Let’s see the warrant and judge who signed off,” Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) wrote on Twitter.
Calls for Transparency
Other lawmakers focused on urging the Biden administration to offer an explanation for the raid, which it has not done as of yet.
“Executing a warrant against an ex-POTUS is dangerous and upends 250 years of precedent. The Attorney General must immediately provide the American people with justification for such an extreme measure,” Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) said in a statement.
“The country deserves a thorough and immediate explanation of what led to the events of Monday,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement.
The FBI has declined to comment on the raid, while the Department of Justice has not responded to requests for comment.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the FBI’s intelligence activities, has also not returned a query.
The White House has said it was not notified of the raid and has not been briefed afterwards, though press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to say whether Biden has spoken with Attorney General Merrick Garland.