The highly controversial raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence has stirred up questions on whether the FBI went too far. Now Republicans are investigating the source of the raid in the first place.
According to the redacted FBI affidavit that led to the raid, the National Archives and Records Administration is the agency that referred to the Department of Justice that Trump had given them classified documents that had been kept at his Florida residence.
Finish the story below, but first see Trish Regan’s comments on the raid:
House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer, R-Ky., sent a letter to NARA’s Inspector General investigating how and why this arose.
The letter requests documents and related materials to get to the bottom of this.
See part of the letter below:
On August 8, 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided the home of former President Donald J. Trump. This raid was unprecedented. Unfortunately, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has refused to be transparent with the American people about the details of this unprecedented action. The raid was apparently necessary to collect certain documents sought by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) allegedly in former President Trump’s possession. According to the recently released affidavit predicating the issuance of a search warrant, NARA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) referred the matter to DOJ. Republicans on the Committee on Oversight and Reform request information and documents regarding this referral, including the OIG’s role in reviewing this matter.
On August 10, 2022, Committee Republicans requested documents and information from Acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall about NARA’s role in the Mar-a-Lago raid. However, in response to our request, NARA denied possessing any responsive documents despite publicly available information indicating otherwise. We requested NARA amend what appears to be an incomplete response to our first request for information.
While Committee Republicans pursue answers from NARA, the affidavit filed by the FBI before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida described the need for a search warrant for the Mar-a-Lago raid when unsealed in a heavily redacted form and revealed the OIG’s participation in referring this matter to DOJ. According to the affidavit, on February 9, 2022, “the Special Agent in Charge of NARA’s Office of the Inspector General sent the NARA Referral via email to DOJ.” Transparency is particularly important in the post-pandemic era when Americans are lacking trust in our nation’s institutions. Congress, and particularly the Oversight Committee, has a duty to provide transparency and accountability for the American people.