Aug 12, 2022 - Politics & Policy

House Republicans eye affidavit in call for more details on Trump search

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol August 12, 2022 in Washington, DC

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on Aug. 12 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The affidavit in support of the search warrant for former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence remains under seal, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) said Friday during a press conference urging the Justice Department to release more information.

The big picture: The affidavit would lay out details about the investigation, including what prosecutors believed was the probable cause to warrant the search in the first place, the New York Times notes.

  • "The real story will be with the release of the affidavit itself, which is not currently planned to be released — it is filed under seal," Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent, said during the press conference held by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee.
  • "The prosecution does have to repeatedly go back to the court and ask that it remain under seal. There is a baseline presumption that that document be released to the public in the interest of transparency."
  • "That's what's going to tell us really what most of us want to know," he said.

What they're saying: Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, on Friday urged for transparency in what led to the investigation.

  • "If these things rise to the level of national security threats, to which there is immediate need to enter the residence of a former president ... that should have a higher level of scrutiny, right?"
  • "But just tell us .... if there are rational answers for it, then [Attorney General Merrick Garland] needs to come to this committee to disclose what the classified information is, disclose what the national security threat is so that we know."

What to watch: By 3 p.m. on Friday, a federal judge in Florida will have an answer on whether Trump opposes the Justice Department's request to unseal parts of the search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago.

Go deeper... What we know — and don't know — about Trump and the FBI

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