House Intelligence Committee Republicans say they will still have questions after the Justice Department’s expected release of the warrant that led to the search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida.
GOP lawmakers on the committee say they remain concerned about the perception of an unwarranted escalation by the FBI that led to the raid and reports that the FBI had an informant placed within Mr. Trump’s inner circle. They vowed to continue to press Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray for answers.
“We believe that after the release today that these questions will still remain unanswered,” the top Republican on the committee, Rep. Michael Turner of Ohio, told reporters on Friday. “That’s why our request remains that the director of the FBI and the Attorney General disclose to this committee the imminent national security threat upon which they based their decision to order a raid on the president’s home, underscoring that there were many other options available to them.”
Mr. Turner said in a letter to Mr. Wray hours after the raid that he was “unaware of any actual or alleged national security threat” posed by any documents in Mr. Trump’s possession. He demanded an immediate briefing by Mr. Garland.
Since the search on Monday, several news outlets have reported, citing unnamed sources, that the FBI was in search of classified, nuclear-related documents believed to be in Mr. Trump’s possession.
The committee Republicans on Friday cautioned against drawing conclusions from the reporting.
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“I’ve dealt with classified information in my several decades of being here, including nuclear issues,” Mr. Turner said. “It would be very, very narrow of anything that just has the umbrella of nuclear weapons in it, that would rise to the level of an immediate national security threat.”
“Presidents deal, except in the Situation Room, largely with policy issues,” he said. “It would be highly unusual for a president to have anything even in the Oval Office that rises to the level of an imminent national security threat.”
Other Republicans on the panel were highly skeptical of the reporting that the documents allegedly in Mr. Trump’s possession posed a threat to national security.
“We’ve been here before,” said House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York. “I remember getting questions on the Russia collusion for years. So before you jump to conclusions and just accept information from sources who are not the attorney general or director of the FBI, let’s see what the facts are. That’s why transparency is key here.”
Mr. Garland on Thursday broke his nearly weeklong silence about the raid to dispel rumors surrounding the Mar-a-Lago search.
During his address, Mr. Garland announced that he had filed a motion to unseal the warrant leading to the raid.