Republicans Push For Affidavit That Justifies FBI Search In Trump’s House

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (Reuters) – Republicans stepped up calls on Sunday for the release of an FBI affidavit showing justification for the seizure of documents from former President Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago amid reports on heightened threats against federal law enforcement personnel.

A search warrant released last week after the unprecedented search showed that Trump had 11 sets of classified documents in his home and that the Justice Department had probable grounds for conducting the search based on possible violations of the Espionage Act. read more

Republicans are calling for the release of more detailed information that persuaded a federal judge to issue the search warrant, which may include sources of information and details about the nature of the documents and other classified information. Disclosing such affidavits is highly unusual and would require the approval of a federal judge. read more

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“I think releasing the affidavit would help, at least confirm that there was justification for this raid,” Republican Senator Mike Rounds told NBC’s Meet the Press.

“The Justice Department must “prove that this wasn’t just a fishing expedition, that they had a good reason for doing this, that they exhausted all other resources,” Rounds said. “And if they can’t do that, then they have we have a serious problem.”

Separately on Sunday, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Democrat Mark Warner and Republican Marco Rubio, asked the Department of Justice and the office of the director of national intelligence to provide the seized documents on an undisclosed basis.

A spokesman for the commission, charged with overseeing the handling of classified information, said the two senators had also requested “an assessment of potential risks to national security” due to possible mishandling of the files.

Representative Mike Turner, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN on Sunday that the Biden administration should provide more details about what led to the search.

“Congress says, ‘Show us. We want to know what the FBI told them? What did they find?'” Turner said.

The Justice Department has responded to a request for comment on the FBI’s affidavit.


The Republicans’ calls came amid reports that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned of heightened threats to law enforcement emanating from social media platforms in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago search.

The FBI said in a statement that it is always concerned about threats to law enforcement and is working with other agencies to assess and respond to such threats, “which are reprehensible and dangerous.”

Republican Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent and prosecutor from Pennsylvania, said he was concerned about the safety of federal law enforcement officers amid such threats, adding that “everyone should call for calm.”

He told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the search of Trump’s house was “an unprecedented action that must be backed by an unprecedented justification” and the affidavit would demonstrate whether that standard was met — even if only shown to lawmakers in a secret briefing.

“I have encouraged all my colleagues on the left and right to hold their own judgment and not get ahead of ourselves because we don’t know what that document contains. It’s going to answer a lot of questions.”


Democrats did not heed the call for the release of the affidavit on Sunday.

Instead, Representative Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said he asked for an assessment of potential damage to US national security from Trump’s possession of the classified documents, along with an intelligence briefing. .

The “Top Secret” and “Sensitive Compartmented Information” documents could cause “extremely serious damage to national security” if disclosed, Schiff told CBS.

“So the fact that they were in an unsecured place that is guarded with nothing more than a padlock, or whatever security they had in a hotel, is very alarming,” Schiff said.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told NBC she could not pass judgment on whether the Justice Department should charge Trump on criminal charges.

“It’s up to the Justice Department to make a decision about what happened here, why it happened and whether it rises to the level of a crime,” Klobuchar said.

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Reporting by David Lawder; Additional reporting by David Shepardson and Michael Martina; Editing by Heather Timmons and Lisa Shumaker

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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