Aug 14, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Rubio, Warner send bipartisan request for info on Mar-a-Lago search

Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) sent a private letter on Sunday to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding the FBI's search of former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago home last week, Rubio's office told Axios.

Why it matters: The search, which led to the seizure of 11 sets of classified information from Trump's residence, has prompted separate calls for more information from Republicans and Democrats about the search and the contents it yielded.

  • On Thursday, the Department of Justice filed a motion to unseal parts of the search warrant. In remarks announcing the news, Garland said he had "personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant."

The big picture: The letter asks for all information regarding the rationale behind the search.

  • “In his remarks, Attorney General Garland claimed there was a substantial public interest in the execution of an unprecedented search warrant on President Trump," Rubio said in a statement.
  • "As such, the Intelligence Committee has asked the Department of Justice to share with us, on a classified basis, the specific intelligence documents seized from Mar-a-Lago," he added.

“The Senate Intelligence Committee is charged with overseeing counterintelligence matters, including the handling and mishandling of classified information, which appears to be at the core of the search of Mar-a-Lago," a committee spokesperson told Axios.

  • The spokesperson confirmed the panel "requested that DOJ and ODNI provide the committee with the classified documents that were seized in the search of Mar-a-Lago, and an assessment of potential risks to national security as a result of their mishandling."

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Alayna Treene: This is the first bipartisan effort at oversight of the FBI’s search on Mar-a-Lago, and shows that members across the aisle are interested — even after the unsealing of the warrant — in more transparency from the DOJ over the rational for the search. 

  • The members of the Senate Intel committee are asking to review the documents in a classified setting, giving them greater access to the materials that were unable to be shared with the public. 

Editor's note: This post was updated with comment from a Senate Intelligence Committee spokesperson.

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