The House Intelligence Committee should subpoena the FBI and the Department of Justice if top officials at the agencies refuse to hand over materials on the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump, the top Republican on the House panel said on Aug. 12.
Republicans on the committee, led by Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), asked the bureau and its parent agency, the department, to share the search warrant FBI agents executed at Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8, as well as supporting materials like the affidavit outlining the reason for the raid.
But the agencies have not yet complied with the request, Turner told reporters in Washington.
“We are requesting that the chairman of the committee support our request for the disclosure of this information to our committee and we are requesting that it be backed up if they do not comply with our request, by a subpoena from our committee,” Turner said.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) chairs the panel. A spokeswoman for Schiff did not respond to a request for comment.
“Our committee is intended to work with classified information. There is nothing that would be the subject matter of this that cannot be disclosed to our committee and we also are the committee that deals with the issue of national security threats, and we want to know what was this imminent national security threat upon which this was based,” Turner said.
The Department of Justice asked the same judge who approved the search warrant to unseal the warrant and some related materials, but some experts say the request does not appear to extend to the affidavit, a view Turner shares. Even if the judge agrees with the government’s request, which Trump said overnight that he supports, then the committee’s request would thus remain relevant, lawmakers say.
Republicans want the affidavit shared with the committee. After reviewing the document, the lawmakers would decide whether to make any or all public.
“It should be released to us,” Turner said. A release “depends on what’s in it,” he added.
Other GOP members of the panel decried the raid, saying that there were a number of steps that could have been taken instead of a search, such as a forthwith subpoena.
The search was reportedly based on the FBI believing Trump possessed classified materials.
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), a former FBI agent, said that the public “needs to know the law is being enforced equally” and noted that former First Lady Hillary Clinton’s home was not raided when she was found to hold classified messages on a private server.
“We love our law enforcement officers. We would protect and defend them. We thank them for their service,” Fitzpatrick said. “But when we have a brewing matter of distrust we have to get to the bottom of it and fix it, not just for the sake of this individual instance but the sake of our counterterrorism cases, our counterintelligence cases, our cybersecurity cases, all the critical cases that our federal law enforcement agencies are working on to keep us safe.”