Republican lawmakers who didn’t wait for details of the case before attacking the FBI and the Department of Justice after federal agents executed a search at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence are now in a tough spot following Attorney Genera Merrick Garland’s announcement that the DOJ has asked a Federal court to release the search warrant. Adding to their predicament, multiple news outlets reported that FBI agents searched for classified documents related to nuclear weapons, which explains the urgency of the unprecedented operation.
After Trump took to his social media platform to condemn the search, Republicans were quick to attack the FBI, claiming the raid was more typical of a tyrannical state and demanded an immediate explanation from the DOJ.
In an unusual move, however, Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday called their bluff and asked a court to unseal the search warrant and inventory of property taken from Trump’s home.
Then, a report from The Washington Post cited people familiar with the investigation as saying that federal agents were looking for classified documents related to nuclear weapons, among other items, at Trump’s resort.
If it turns out that Trump did take such material from the White House, it would raise the question of why a former president would need such closely guarded secrets after leaving office. The possibility that such material would be held at an unsecured facility, where guests come and go and where it would be potentially vulnerable to penetration by a foreign intelligence service, would alarm government officials.
The reports about the FBI seeking nuclear documentation at Mar-a-Lago raises new questions for Republicans who have been attacking the bureau and the Justice Department over the search without any apparent knowledge of what it was about.
In perhaps a telling sign of how Thursday night’s developments have shut down the talking points of Trump’s usual defenders, the conservative House Freedom Caucus abruptly canceled a planned news conference on the Mar-a-Lago search hours after the Post report on the nuclear documents was released.