Updated Aug 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

McCarthy vows probe of DOJ over Mar-a-Lago raid

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Monday the House would investigate the Department of Justice if Republicans took the majority.

Why it matters: McCarthy's pledge was the crescendo to widespread Republican condemnations of the DOJ after the FBI raided former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

What they're saying: "I've seen enough," McCarthy said in a statement, asserting the DOJ "has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization."

  • McCarthy said if Republicans retook 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," he concluded, signaling plans to subpoena Garland.
  • House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said in a Fox News interview he wants to hold a hearing on the raid when the House returns Friday, calling on Chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) to “call up [FBI Director] Christopher Wray, call up Merrick Garland.”

Driving the news: Trump decried the "unannounced" raid in a statement as "not necessary or appropriate."

  • "It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024," he said.
  • The raid was in connection to Trump's handling of classified documents brought to Mar-a-Lago, Axios' Jonathan Swan reported.

The big picture: Republicans were quick to denounce the move, especially Trump allies, who called for action against the FBI and DOJ.

  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) tweeted: "DEFUND THE FBI!"
  • Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) said on Twitter he supports "a complete dismantling and elimination of the democrat brown shirts known as the FBI."
  • Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) tweeted, "Congress must look into the viability of enforcement agencies that abuse their authorities for political purposes."

Meanwhile, other Republicans drew a connection between the raid and funds in Democrats' tax, climate and health care bill for the Internal Revenue Service to crack down on tax avoidance — or contrasted it with the DOJ's treatment of Hunter Biden.

  • "Now the Regime is getting another 87k IRS agents to wield against its adversaries? Banana Republic," tweeted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
  • Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) said, "The same [FBI] that has turned a blind eye to Hunter Biden's laptops and shady overseas dealings, is now raiding the President's home."
  • Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel used it to pitch her party in the midterms: "This abuse of power must stop and the only way to do that is to elect Republicans in November."

Between the lines: A handful of Republicans offered a more measured response to the raid.

  • "No one is above the law. The law must be above politics ... Time will tell regarding this most recent investigation," said Sen. Lindsey Graham(R-S.C.), though he called the timing in relation to the midterms "beyond problematic."
  • Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), a former FBI agent, said he's had "many inquiries" about the raid: "I will get to the bottom of this, will follow the facts wherever they lead, and will report with unimpeachable integrity. I will get to the truth."

The other side: Democrats, by comparison, defended the raid as justified and praised the Justice Department for taking what many of them view as long overdue action.

  • Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chair of the House Oversight Committee, told Axios in a statement, "It is clear that the Department of Justice must fully investigate President Trump’s potentially grave mishandling of classified information."
  • Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said on MSNBC the move gives him "confidence that the Justice Department is really pursuing this thoroughly, objectively and in a non-political way."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Jordan.

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