Partisan Divide In Response To FBI Mar-A-Lago Search

Lawmakers on both sides highlight the sharp partisan divide over the treatment of former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Posted at 7:45 PM, Aug 14, 2022

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered over the weekend near former U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate to show their support as the FBI's investigation into whether he violated statutes under the Espionage Act continues.

"The search warrant, the witch hunts, we've had enough. The American people have had enough," said Maria Statts, a Trump supporter.

The FBI seized several items labeled 'secret' and 'top secret' from Trump's home last Monday. Unsealed court records indicate 11 sets of classified documents were recovered.

In a series of Truth Social posts, the former president called the FBI "corrupt," and claimed the search was "just the latest in a series of attempts to undermine him."

Sunday on ABC, Biden White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment on the implications of the search.

"It would be inappropriate for any of us, including the president or anyone in the administration, to comment on this. This is a law enforcement matter, and the Department of Justice is going to move forward as they see fit," said Jean-Pierre.

The warrant directed agents to look for evidence that official records had been altered, concealed, or destroyed, all part of an ongoing Justice Department investigation into missing White House files.

Earlier this year, 15 boxes of documents were returned to the National Archives. In a statement Friday, the former president claimed the remaining items had been declassified.

"This is going to be up to the Justice Department to make a decision about what happened here, why it happened and if it rises to the level of a crime," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

On Sunday, comments by Democrats and Republicans were among the first reactions from members of Congress to Friday's release of the search warrant that authorized the FBI to search Mar-a-Lago.

"What is, to me, most disturbing here is the degree to which it appears to be willful, on the president's part — the keeping of these documents after the government was requesting them back," said Rep. Adam B. Schiff.

"Attorney General Garland could have gone to court to enforce the subpoena that he had, asking the court to demand that Donald Trump deliver the materials to the court. Instead, he spent nine hours in his home," said Rep. Mike Turner.

On Saturday, a group of armed Trump supporters gathered outside the FBI office in Phoenix. As threats against the bureau continue to rise, the FBI has placed a protective fence around its Washington, D.C. headquarters.

And Sunday afternoon, waving flags and cheering, supporters gathered near Trump's golf course in New Jersey.

The affidavit that was filed with the request for the search warrant has not been made public, and legal experts say it's unlikely to be released unless criminal charges are filed in the case.