Source: AUN News
In Washington, When it was revealed on Friday that top secret documents had been found at the residence of former President Donald J. Trump, Republicans found it difficult to agree on how to react to the F.B.I.’s search of Mar-a-Lago.
They disagreed on whether and how aggressively to assault the central law enforcement authorities in the country.
In the public eye, Mr. Trump’s supporters received urgent-sounding fund-raising messages as they continued an aggressive campaign to paint the former president as a political target. Privately, however, some of Mr. Trump’s aides started quietly advising fellow Republicans to tone down their remarks because they were unsure of what the F.B.I. may have found.
The House Freedom Caucus canceled a news conference that was scheduled for Friday morning on Capitol Hill, a group of conservative Republicans who dined with Mr. Trump on Tuesday at his Bedminster, New Jersey, club and condemned the F.B.I. search as evidence that the Biden administration was transforming the nation into a “banana republic.” They intended to continue their assault on the Justice Department.
After a shooter opened fire on an F.B.I. office in Cincinnati on Thursday afternoon and as new information concerning Mr. Trump’s possession of secret documents came to light, that decision—publicly attributed to a scheduling conflict—was made.
Instead, members of the House Intelligence Committee provided a more nuanced message to the media on Friday, saying they still supported law enforcement and emphasized their desire to preserve the F.B.I.
They committed to holding the Justice Department accountable. Still, they acknowledged that significant issues remained for Attorney General Merrick B. Garland regarding his choice to request a search of the former president’s house.
The committee’s top Republican, Representative Mike Turner of Ohio, criticized remarks made by other Republicans, like Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who asked Congress to “defund the F.B.I.” before being fully aware of what agents were looking for. (Ms. Greene has started donning a cap that reads, “Defund the F.B.I.
Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, another House Republican, went so far as to post on Twitter immediately following the search, “We must dismantle the F.B.I.” (On Friday, Mr. Gosar dodged the F.B.I. search by using his Twitter account to discuss unrelated topics.)
Mr. Turner, on the other hand, stated bluntly on Friday: “We support our men and women in uniform. And we ask that you question anyone who has said something absurd like that, not us.
Republicans responded in various ways after a federal court revealed the search warrant permitting Mar-a-Lago and an inventory of the things taken from the property by federal investigators. In an investigation into possible violations of the Espionage Act and two other statutes, the records revealed that the F.B.I. had retrieved 11 classified documents, including four sets of top secret documents.
While all Republicans claimed to support Mr. Trump, others supported a more restrained approach.
Representative Tom Cole, a Republican from Oklahoma, declared, “I’m not for anything critical of law enforcement.” The D.O.J. and the F.B.I. should appear and answer questions, though, as this is a very uncommon circumstance. Said, in my opinion, this was excessive and unnecessary.
In response to the Justice Department’s arguments, Mr. Cole said he was “ready to listen.”
For Ms. Greene, not so.
In the same way
Ms. Greene announced to a crowd of reporters on the Capitol steps that she intended to march inside the structure to present articles of impeachment against Mr. Garland, whom she charged with “political persecution” of Mr. Trump.
She declared, “The whole point of this is to stop President Trump from ever being able to hold office.”
Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a steadfast supporter of Mr. Trump, dismissed concerns about his handling of top-secret information in an identical manner, pointing to the previous president’s assertion that he had declassified the records collected by the F.B.I.
He’s the ultimate divider and classifier, Mr. Jordan remarked. “Everyone understands how absurd this is. Everyone is aware of it.
The statement Mr. Turner made to reporters a few hours earlier that read: “The issue of the handling of classified information is one that, of course, our committee deals with and that we’re extremely concerned with” was a long cry from what he said in that message.
For their part, Democrats appeared to be looking forward to getting the upper hand after Republicans leveraged their internal conflict within the party over whether and how to reform police agencies against them.
On the House floor on Friday, Representative Tim Ryan, the Democratic candidate for the Ohio Senate, said, “While the other side wants to starve the F.B.I., we want to support our kids’ future.”
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network