Within hours of an FBI raid on the bedroom of former President Donald Trump, House Republicans quickly fired off a letter to National Archives officials, the first move in a likely congressional investigation of the investigators should the GOP take control of Congress next year.
“House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and Committee Republicans expressed serious concerns over the recent unprecedented raid of the former president’s residence and the Biden Administration’s ongoing efforts to weaponize the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to target political rivals,” Comer and Committee Republicans announced in a statement.
But it was what preceded the statement that could land the FBI itself in an investigation of its own.
“In a letter to the Acting Archivist of the United States, Debra Wall, the Republican lawmakers are seeking to understand the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) role, if any, in the FBI raid, and are requesting an immediate briefing and preservation of all documents and communications referring or relating to the warrant executed by the FBI on August 8, 2022 at Mar-a-Lago,” the statement announced.
The demand for records preservation usually precedes a formal investigation, which would be all but certain if Republicans gain majority control of the U.S. House in this November’s election.
“On August 8, 2022, several dozen Federal Bureau of Investigation agents descended upon Mar-a-Lago—the private residence of former President Donald J. Trump. According to media reports, the FBI executed a search warrant to retrieve ‘documents sought by the National Archives [and Records Administration],’” the letter reads.
“Law enforcement raiding a former president’s residence is unprecedented. Committee Republicans are concerned that NARA would utilize the FBI to gather documents that the president, by the very nature of his constitutional role, could declassify himself, if this was indeed the case as media has reported,” the letter notes.
“The Biden Administration is continuing to weaponize the FBI against political rivals. The FBI and NARA’s actions—apparently to enforce the Presidential Records Act—are so contrary to the customary treatment of former administrations that it begs scrutiny into whether a political motivation underlay the raid,” Committee Republicans added.
“As has been widely reported for years, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not utilize a government email address and made no effort to preserve personal emails as required by the Federal Records Act. Secretary Clinton faced no repercussions—let alone an FBI raid— which demands an explanation for the disparate treatment received by President Trump,” Committee Republicans noted in the statement.
“NARA’s singling out of President Trump’s handling of official records stands starkly in contrast to the way NARA has treated far clearer violations committed by politicians and officials who are not Republicans,” continued the Republican lawmakers.
“Committee Republicans are content to leave Secretary Clinton to her retirement, yet the FBI and NARA’s behavior towards President Trump deserves an explanation as to why the latter deserved a raid by the FBI. Committee Republicans demand answers about the FBI and NARA’s investigation of President Trump and any coordination between the two agencies,” the letter notes.
“The seeming weaponization of the federal government against President Biden’s political rivals cannot go unchecked, and if NARA is working to further these efforts, it will be only the latest agency to lose its credibility in the eyes of the American people under the Biden Administration,” the letter concludes.
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