Ranking Intelligence Committee Republican Mike Turner (OH) said Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation that the FBI’s Mar-A-Lago raid might be an “abuse of discretion” by Attorney General Merrick Garland, who admitted that he ordered the raid.
With a redacted version of the affidavit ordering the raid set to be released to the public as early as sometime this week, Turner said that the action was needed in order to understand the justification for the raid when there were other options available to the DOJ, such as subpoenas.
“What’s important about this affidavit is it will give us the information to understand how did the FBI justify raiding Mar-a-Lago and spending 9 hours in the president’s house when we know the former president’s home, they had other options besides just raiding the house. They could have gone in and asked for the subpoena to be enforced,” he said.
“And the mystery sort of here deepens, because we know Attorney General Garland himself has taken responsibility, said he approved it,” he continued.
Was there a security threat?
“The American public want the attorney general focused on issues like human and drug smuggling at the border, Chinese espionage, out of control crime in our cities,” he argued. “But if you’re going to turn to this, if you’re going to turn to the former president and Mar-a-Lago, they want to make certain that this is to the highest level, there’s an imminent national security threat.”
Turner wondered if the affidavit mentioned a national security threat. “Did they even allege so?” he asked. “Because in their document, trying to keep the affidavit sealed, they didn’t even allege that there was a national security threat.”
Host Ed O’Keefe pointed out that a new poll showed that six in 10 Americans wanted the investigation into Trump to continue, showing that there was interest in finding out whether Trump did have classified nuclear documents at Mar-A-Lago and how serious his infractions were.
But Turner was quick to point out that different polls said different things about what Americans wanted, and that they also wanted to know that the FBI had not abused its power with the raid.
Show us what you found
“There are lots of polls out there, by the way. The polls also indicate that people want to make certain that- that if this is an imminent national security threat, that it’s pursued. But also, they want to make certain that you don’t have abuse of discretion here,” he said.
“Show us what you found, because the affidavit is going to have them tell publicly now what they told the court they were going to go find,” he went on. “Show us what you found. It certainly won’t affect the investigation. We deal with classified documents and information all the time. Show us what it is that you went into the president’s residence, spent 9 hours at former President Trump’s residence.”
Turner reminded O’Keefe that the raid was on a political rival of the current administration, which always looks bad even when there may be a valid reason for it.
And Turner said he didn’t know whether Trump had declassified any of the documents because presidents didn’t make that knowledge known.