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House Republicans vow to investigate FBI’s Trump raid

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Then-US President Donald Trump speaks to the press from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 22, 2018. (Getty Images file photo)

Republicans in the US House of Representatives have decried the “weaponized politicization” of law enforcement after former President Donald Trump’s sprawling Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida was searched on Monday.  

House GOP leaders pressured the Department of Justice (DOJ) to explain its rationale for executing the search warrant on Trump’s home, American media reported on Tuesday.  

Trump on Monday confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents “raided” his Mar-a-Lago residence in what he called an act of “prosecutorial misconduct.”

Trump said that the FBI agents “broke into his safe” in Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach while he was away at Trump Tower in New York.

US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and other Republican lawmakers condemned President Joe Biden’s administration for raiding his Florida home of Trump.

They warned that they will probe the politicization of the DOJ when they take back control of Congress.

“The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization,” McCarthy said on Monday night.

“When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned. Attorney General [Merrick] Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar,” he added.

Trump said on Monday, “Such an assault could only take place in broken, third-world countries.”

“Sadly, America has now become one of those countries – corrupt at a level not seen before,” he added.

Republicans demanded explanations from Garland and FBI Director Chris Wray.

“Why don’t Chris Wray and Merrick Garland come in front of us this Friday and answer our questions?” Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked. “If this is so important to go after President Trump in this unprecedented way, come and answer our questions in the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives.”

The FBI’s search warrant included examining the spots where documents were kept in the plush property, which was described as “the winter White House” during the Trump presidency.

According to a report in the Guardian, the Justice Department officials have refused to comment on the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, including whether it informed the White House, whether attorney general Merrick Garland approved the court-approved search warrant - or even if he was briefed on the raid.

Representative Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), House Republican Conference chair, described the search as a “dark day in American history” and accused the Biden administration of “weaponizing this department against their political opponents.”

Representative Mike Turner (R-Ohio), who is the top-ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a letter to Wray on Monday that the FBI director must explain to lawmakers the national security justification for the Mar-a-Lago raid.

“In the history of our country, this action is unprecedented,” he said.

“I am exceptionally skeptical of this being anything other than politically motivated,” Turner said. “There are serious questions about the unprecedented FBI raid reportedly seeking classified materials from former President Trump’s residence.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) promised “immediate oversight” of the department if Republicans win the House majority in the upcoming midterm elections.

“The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization,” McCarthy said in a statement Monday. “Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar.”

“Transparency brings accountability & if the FBI & DOJ aren’t transparent about raiding a former president's home they risk further damaging their credibility,” tweeted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The unprecedented move signals a major escalation in the various investigations into the final stages of Trump’s presidency, while his legal problems continue on several other fronts, including a congressional probe into the Jan. 6, 2021, assault by Trump supporters on the US Capitol and accusations that Trump tried to influence Georgia's 2020 election results.

Pertinently, the penalties for the removal of official records include disqualification from holding any federal office in the future.

As Trump is widely believed to be preparing to run for presidential elections in 2024, that unusual penalty has raised the prospect that he might be legally barred from returning to the White House.

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