Turner says Congress should investigate FBI search

Spyware Hotel Rwanda (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Spyware Hotel Rwanda (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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The Associated Press offers video of Representative Michael Turner of Ohio commenting on the FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Turner, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said there will be “significant investigations by Congress into the actions of the FBI.”

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Republicans in Congress say they are launching an investigation into the actions of the FBI for a search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home.

FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago, which is also a private club, on Monday as part of a federal investigation into whether the former president brought classified White House documents to his property, people familiar with the matter said .

It marked a dramatic escalation of law enforcement scrutiny of Trump, who is facing a series of inquiries related to his conduct in the waning days of his administration.

Rep. Mike Turner, an Ohio Republican and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said there will be “significant congressional investigations into the actions of the FBI.”

“This is certainly something that bears a high degree of scrutiny because it certainly rises to the level of significant constitutional questions about the actions of the president, the actions of the attorney general and the actions of the FBI director,” Turner told the Associated Press.

Attorney General Merrick has not tipped his hand despite an outcry from some Democrats impatient with whether the department was even pursuing evidence that has emerged in the Jan. 6 investigation and other probes — and from Republicans who were quick to echo Trump’s claims that he was the victim of political prosecution.

All Garland has said publicly is that “no one is above the law.”

Trump and his allies quickly sought to use the search as a weaponization of the criminal justice system and a Democratic-driven effort to prevent him from winning another term in 2024 — even though the Biden White House said they had no prior knowledge and current FBI Director Christopher Wray was appointed by Trump five years ago.

Monday’s search intensified the months-long investigation into how classified documents ended up in boxes of White House records placed at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year. A separate grand jury is investigating efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, all adding up to potential legal jeopardy for Trump as he lays the groundwork for a potential re-election bid for the White House.

A federal judge had to sign the warrant after determining that FBI agents had shown probable cause before they could descend on Trump’s shuttered home for the season — he was in New York, 1,000 or so miles away, at the time of the search.

Turner said the congressional investigation is seeking answers to the content of the criminal referral from the archivist to the FBI.

“The president of the United States has the ability to classify or declassify documents. So just because they’re marked as classified, that doesn’t mean that something is substantively classified,” Turner says. “It’s certainly not the archive making that decision.”

Trump did not elaborate on the basis for the search, but the Justice Department has been investigating the potential mishandling of classified information after the National Archives and Records Administration said it had received 15 boxes of documents from the White House, including documents from Mar-a-Lago. containing classified information, earlier this year.

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Localize It is an occasional feature produced by The Associated Press for the use of its customers. Questions can be directed to Katie Oyan at koyan@ap.org.

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