U.S. Rep. Mike Turner is asking for documents and answers that will shed light on the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach, Fla. home
Turner, lead Republican of House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, requested Acting National Archivist Debra Steidel Wall “disclose the communication between the FBI and the NARA” regarding the search of Trump’s home, the Dayton Republican said in a statement.
Turner asked that all documents be delivered by Aug. 24. He also cautions Wall to preserve all relevant documents relating the archives’ role in the search.
“I would assume that an escalation of this magnitude — for the bureau to obtain a court ordered-search warrant and conduct an unannounced search, for the first time in our country’s history, to seize documents stored at a former president’s residence — would indicate that the federal government perceived something in those documents posed a serious, ongoing threat to our national security,” Turner said in his letter to Wall.
“As such, the substance of any communications between NARA, the FBI, and/or the DOJ, including whether any formal criminal referral was made by NARA related to what was ultimately seized by the FBI yesterday and the basis for such referral, is of keen interest to the investigative and legislative activities of this Committee,” he wrote.
FBI agents executed a search warrant at the former president’s home, called “Mar-a-Lago,” Monday in what was reportedly a search for presidential records and classified documents. A lawyer for Trump who received a copy of the search warrant said agents were looking for “presidential records or any possibly classified material,” according to the New York Times.
It is thought to be the first time an FBI search warrant of a former president’s home was ever executed.
On Monday, Turner also demanded that FBI Director Christopher Wray answer questions about the search.
“Congress deserves immediate answers from you as to the actions you ordered,” Turner wrote Wray. “I hereby request an immediate briefing by you to members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence concerning any national security threats used to justify your decision.”
Democrats have said the Justice Department should continue its investigation and the FBI should be allowed to its job without political interference.
The National Archives’ mission is to preserve government documents.