FBI’s raid on Trump’s Florida home draws GOP backlash, demands for explanation

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FBI's raid on Trump's Florida home draws GOP backlash, demands for explanation

A crowd of supporters rally near Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday night after the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s residence. Photo By Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

The FBI’s raid of Donald Trump’s home in Florida — which was related to an investigation into documents from Trump’s White House — has spurred criticism and backlash among some Republicans and supporters of the former president.

Agents raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday night. As expected, the raid drew backlash from Trump, who criticized the operation as politically motivated.

The FBI carried out the raid as part of a court-authorized search related to an investigation into potential mishandling of classified documents that ended up at Mar-a-Lago. All presidential records are required to go to the National Archives when a president leaves office.

Earlier this year, the National Archives said it retrieved 15 boxes of White House documents and other items, including classified information, from Trump’s home in January. The Archives also asked the Justice Department to examine whether Trump’s handling of White House records, which included ripping up documents in some cases, violated federal law.

Despite the potential for criminal activity on Trump’s part, the raid upset a number of Trump-aligned Republicans and supporters of the former president. Some have called for an investigation into the Justice Department and demanded that FBI Director Christopher Wray explain the search.

FBI's raid on Trump's Florida home draws GOP backlash, demands for explanation

A crowd of supporters are seen near Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday night after the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s residence. Photo By Gary I Rothstein/UPI

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, one of Trump’s primary allies in Congress, even vowed to launch an investigation into Attorney General Merrick Garland if the GOP wins back control of Congress in November.

“I’ve seen enough,” McCarthy said in a tweet. “Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar.”

Rep. Mike Turner, the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee, accused the Justice Department of being “politically motivated.”

“I am exceptionally skeptical of this being anything other than politically motivated,” Turner tweeted. “I am demanding an immediate briefing by FBI Director Wray regarding the national security risk that allegedly rose to the level of ordering a raid on the residence of a former president.”

During the raid, agents broke into a safe and were looking for the boxes of classified materials that Trump took with him to Florida.

For nearly a year, Trump delayed giving the documents to the Archives. The agency eventually referred the case to the Justice Department, which continues to investigate Republican efforts in Georgia to swing the 2020 election in Trump’s favor.

In obtaining the search warrant, the FBI persuaded a judge that there was probable cause that a crime had been committed and that evidence might be found at Mar-a-Lago.

Rep. Jim Jordan, the ranking Republican on the House judiciary committee and a vocal Trump supporter, told Fox News that he would consider holding a hearing on the raid as soon as Friday.

“Doesn’t the FBI have better things to do than harass the former PRESIDENT?” he wrote in a tweet.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, another staunch Trump supporter, called the raid “an unprecedented political weaponization of the Justice Department” — and others even called for the FBI to be defunded.

Late on Monday, Axios posted photos that were said to be taken from the Trump White House and from a trip overseas. The photos showed toilets containing scraps of torn-up documents with Trump’s handwriting on them.

The photos were obtained by reporter Maggie Haberman, who will include them in a forthcoming book about Trump’s presidency titled Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.

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Former President Donald Trump says FBI ‘raided’ his Mar-a-Lago home

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