The US House GOP leader has decried the ?weaponized politicization? of law enforcement after the ex-president's home was searched
US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and other Republican lawmakers have condemned President Joe Biden's administration for raiding the Florida home of Donald Trump, warning that they will investigate politicization of the Department of Justice (DOJ) when they take back control of Congress.
"The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization," McCarthy said on Monday night, hours after FBI agents executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence. "When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned. Attorney General [Merrick] Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar."
A "large group" of FBI agents raided the former president's home and broke into his safe, Trump said on Monday. The search was reportedly related to a probe into Trump's handling of classified documents. "Such an assault could only take place in broken, third-world countries," he said. "Sadly, America has now become one of those countries - corrupt at a level not seen before."
Republicans in Congress fumed over the raid and demanded explanations from Garland and FBI Director Chris Wray. "Why don't Chris Wray and Merrick Garland come in front of us this Friday and answer our questions?" Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked. "If this is so important to go after President Trump in this unprecedented way, come and answer our questions in the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives."
Jordan argued that Democrats have used intelligence and law enforcement agencies to go after their political enemies, as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) warned they would after Trump was elected in 2016. "First it was the Mueller investigation, then it was impeachment one, then it was impeachment two. And now it's January 6 committee, and none of that's working, so they go to this step. They raid a president's home."
Representative Mike Turner (R-Ohio), the top-ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a letter to Wray on Monday that the FBI director must explain to lawmakers the national security justification for the Mar-a-Lago raid. "In the history of our country, this action is unprecedented," he said, adding that as the top Republican overseeing intelligence, he was unaware of any alleged security threat posed by documents in Trump's possession.
"I am exceptionally skeptical of this being anything other than politically motivated," Turner said. "There are serious questions about the unprecedented FBI raid reportedly seeking classified materials from former President Trump's residence."
Trump has repeatedly hinted that he will run for president in 2024, setting up a potential rematch with Biden. Critics, such as Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), have suggested that the January 6 committee investigating the US Capitol riot was convened to block Trump from seeking public office again. Representative Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania) called the committee's televised hearings a "Soviet-style show trial."
"The FBI flew agents from Washington, DC, to Mar-a-Lago for the sole purpose of advancing the bureau's years-long campaign to take down President Trump," Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) said on Twitter. She called the raid "a political witch hunt."
Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) joined the calls for an investigation of the FBI raid. "This cannot wait," she said. "We are turning into a banana republic at record speed."