Mar-a-Lago search: House GOP pushes back on FBI search; all eyes on possible warrant release




  • In Politics
  • 2022-08-12 14:41:18Z
  • By USA TODAY

On his social media site Truth Social late Thursday night, former President Donald Trump said he won't oppose a federal court in Florida unsealing the search warrant that authorized federal agents to search his Mar-a-Lago residence.

"Not only will I not oppose the release of the documents," Trump said in a statement late Thursday, "I am going a step further by encouraging the immediate release of those documents."

Trump's comments came after the Department of Justice earlier Thursday filed a motion to unseal the search the warrant "absent objection from the former president," putting the ball in the former president's court.

The former president's legal team has until 3 p.m. Friday to formally respond to the Justice Department's filing.

Document: Read the Justice Department's motion to unseal Trump Mar-a-Lago search warrant

Former President Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump's home at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.  

Latest developments: 

►The Washington Post reported Thursday that classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items sought by FBI agents in the search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence Monday, citing anonymous sources. Trump responded on Truth Social calling the report a "hoax."

► The Palm Beach Post, part of the USA TODAY Network, filed court papers to ensure the entire search warrant that allowed FBI agents to search former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate - not just parts of it - are available to the public.

FBI searched Trump home for nuclear documents, 'highly classified' material: reports

FBI agents who searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home Monday were looking for highly classified material, according to reports by the Washington Post and New York Times.

Citing anonymous sources, the New York Times reported that investigators were concerned about Trump having material from "special access programs," which the Times described as a designation saved for sensitive operations carried out by the United States abroad or closely held technologies and capabilities.

Trump's purported possession of such material has raised concern among government officials that the information could be vulnerable to acquisition efforts by foreign adversaries, the Times reported.

Also citing anonymous sources, The Washington Post reported that classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items sought by federal agents.

-- Ella Lee

After the search: FBI's Christopher Wray denounces threats following search of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home

House intelligence committee Republicans question Mar-a-Lago search

In a Friday press conference, Republican members of the House intelligence committee raised concerns over the Monday search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence by federal agents, calling on the Justice Department to release additional information about the reason it was executed.

"We love our law enforcement officers. We would protect and defend them to thank them for their service, but when we have a brewing matter of distrust, we have to get to the bottom of it and fix it," Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., a former FBI agent, said of the search.

Though the committee Republicans said they supported rank-and-file members of the FBI and Justice Department, several questioned whether the agencies' leadership authorized the search for political reasons. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., the No. 3 House Republican, claimed without evidence that the raid was the Biden administration's attempt to act against his political opponent.

Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, ranking member of the committee, said that he and other committee members are "certainly" concerned about unsecured classified information possibly being in a storage area, but added that the documents are just one piece of the puzzle.

"Donald Trump has more classified information in his head than he does in his desk," Turner said.

-- Candy Woodall, Ella Lee

Previously: GOP, long the law and order party, slams FBI, Justice Department over search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago

More: GOP Rep. Liz Cheney criticizes Republicans 'attacking the integrity of the FBI'

'#BillionDollarLawyer'  joins Trump legal team in Georgia

While Donald Trump's legal troubles are focused, for now, on the search of his Florida estate, a high-profile lawyer has joined the former president's legal team to deal with a far-reaching criminal investigation into election interference led by the Atlanta-area district attorney.

Drew Findling, a former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and counselor to rap artists and professional athletes, will now advise a former president, along with attorneys Jennifer Little and Dwight Thomas.

"We are committed to fighting this misuse of the law and taxpayer resources," Findling's firm said in a statement. "The team is confident that there have been no violations of Georgia law. The focus on President Trump may be newsworthy, but this investigation is wholly misdirected and politically driven."

Findling has long been a prominent figure on the Atlanta legal scene who not only maintains a distinguished client list but a colorful Twitter account that carries the hashtag #BillionDollarLawyer.

-- Kevin Johnson

Trump under scrutiny: Mar-a-Lago document inquiry is one of many investigations Trump faces

When will we see the Trump search documents?

Lawyers, journalists, government officials and political professionals across the world are busy refreshing websites Friday while waiting to see records from the search of Donald Trump's home.

Only one thing unites them: No one has any idea when the search warrant and related documents will actually surface.

Could be Friday; could be next week.

The only thing known is that Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart asked the Justice Department to submit a filing by mid-afternoon today:

"On or before 3:00 p.m. Eastern time on August 12, 2022, the United States shall file a certificate of conferral advising whether former President Trump opposes the Government's motion to unseal."

Reinhart then has to decide when and how to order release of the documents - and no one is saying how that might play out.

For one thing, the Justice Department will likely redact details they say are related to national security, the trigger for the search in the first place.

In the meantime: Keep refreshing.

-- David Jackson

Who is he?: Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart facing firestorm for signing Mar-a-Lago search warrant

\"I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant.\" Attorney General Merrick Garland says.
\"I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant.\" Attorney General Merrick Garland says.  

Cincinnati FBI breach suspect may have posted on Trump's Truth Social during incident

The man who authorities say attempted to breach security at an Ohio FBI office Thursday morning may have been posting messages to former President Donald Trump's Truth Social site, even as he was engaged in the attempted incursion.

The man, who was shot and killed after a standoff that lasted much of the day, was identified to the Associated Press and others as Ricky Shiffer. A USA TODAY review of online postings by an account in that name shows the account had recently posted angry reactions to news of the FBI raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago Florida home. The same account posted during or just after the incursion at the FBI, appearing to describe the man's efforts.

"Well, I thought I had a way through bullet proof glass, and I didn't. If you don't hear from me, it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I., and it'll mean either I was taken off the internet, the F.B.I. got me, or they sent the regular cops while"

The post apparently ended mid-sentence. Truth Social deleted the profile for "@rickywshifferjr" Thursday afternoon, shortly after media reports began identifying Shiffer.

-- Will Carless

Read the whole story here: Suspect in Cincinnati FBI breach may have posted on Trump's Truth Social during incident

House Republicans on intelligence committee probe Mar-a-Lago search

Republican members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will offer their defense of embattled former President Donald Trump during a 9 a.m. news conference Friday at the Capitol, where they will demand more answers about the Monday search at Mar-a-Lago.

Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, the lead Republican on the committee, said Thursday he was "unaware of any actual or alleged national security threat posed by any information, data or documents in the possession of former President Trump."

A report from the Washington Post Thursday night said, "Classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items FBI agents sought" at Mar-a-Lago.

That was of concern to Rep. Val Demmings, D-Fla., one of the majority members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

"The Justice Department should continue to act with total independence as it works to safeguard classified national security secrets," she said Thursday night.

-- Candy Woodall

Unprecedented: Donald Trump's scandals are unique in history. Here's how.

The entrance to former President Donald Trump
The entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is shown Monday, Aug.  

Palm Beach Post asking court to unseal 'entire' Mar-a-Lago search warrant

Although the Justice Department on Thursday moved to unseal a warrant that allowed FBI agents to search former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, The Palm Beach Post filed court papers to ensure the entire warrant - not just parts of it - are available to the public.

In the motion filed late Thursday, the Post joined other news organizations that claim the release of all documents connected to the warrant is needed to rein in wild speculation about why the nation's top law enforcement agency took the unprecedented step of asking to search the home of a former president. The request to unseal the warrant could keep key parts of it off-limits to the public, said attorney Martin Reeder, who is representing the Post.

"The scope of all the warrant materials is broader than what the government is addressing," Reeder said. "The government is only speaking to some of these documents."

The Palm Beach Post is part of the USA TODAY network.

Republican response: GOP, long the law and order party, slams FBI, Justice Department over search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago

More: GOP Rep. Liz Cheney criticizes Republicans 'attacking the integrity of the FBI'

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump lawyers to respond to DOJ move to unseal search warrant

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