Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee defended former President Donald Trump, attacking the integrity of the Justice Department and the FBI, during a press conference on Capitol Hill on Friday.
“President Donald Trump is Joe Biden’s most likely political opponent in 2024 and it’s less than 100 days from the crucial midterm elections,” said No. 3 House Republican Rep. Alice Stefnik. “The FBI raid of President Trump is an outright abuse and an overabundance of his authority.”
Intelligence Committee ranking member Michael Turner, R-Ohio, told reporters that Republicans on the committee were “happy” that the Justice Department has begun the process of releasing “some” information about the raid to the public, but more asked for Turner said committee Republicans want access to an affidavit outlining the “imminent security threat” justifying the raid.
“Our request is that the director and attorney general of the FBI disclose the imminent national security threat to this committee, at which point they decided to order a raid on the president’s home, again underlining that there are many other options available to him.” were,” Turner claimed. “We believe these questions will remain unanswered once it is released today.”
,The real story will happen with the release of the affidavit,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. “The bureau and the attorney general and the DOJ clearly decided that this extreme measure was necessary. We will await their reasoning as to why that extreme measure was appropriate and some less intrusive means were not.”
Turner did not call for public disclosure of the underlying affidavit, which is expected to remain under seal, but did say that members of the Intelligence Committee and other committees in the jurisdiction should have access. He called on committee Democrats to endorse a subpoena for this affidavit if non-compliance occurs.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy avoided questions from ABC News about whether he supports the issuance of a warrant authorizing the raid, saying instead that he would like to see a subpoena against Trump.
ABC News reported that Trump received a summons in the spring for documents not to return to the National Archives. It is not clear to what extent they complied. The Justice Department has not publicly confirmed the existence of a subpoena.
Stefanik promised there would be a “full investigation” if Republicans back Gavel in November.
“House Republicans are committed to immediate surveillance, accountability and a full investigation to provide the American people with the necessary transparency and answers,” Stefnik said.
The group also emphasized that they are in “full support” of those who serve in the FBI and law enforcement agencies and condemn any violence against agents, while repeatedly accusing the credibility of law enforcement. raise questions.
-ABC News’ Ellie Pecorin and Katherine Folders