Merrick Garland pushed to publicize the court-approved subpoena amid anger at the GOP, saying he personally approved the search.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland defended an FBI search conducted at the former President’s home Donald Trump’s House in Florida earlier this week, said he personally approved it.
At a news conference on Thursday, Garland told reporters that the Justice Department had asked a federal judge to cancel a court-approved subpoena authorizing the search and receipt of assets related to it.
“The Department has submitted a motion to publicly release the warrant and receipt in light of the former president’s public endorsement of the search, the circumstances surrounding it, and the substantial public interest in this matter,” Garland said. .
The attorney general did not provide details about the nature of the investigation that led to a search of Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago in Florida on Monday night. But several US media outlets have cited unidentified sources as saying the investigation is looking into possible mishandling. classified documents.
“I personally have passed the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Garland said, adding that the Justice Department does not take searches of citizens’ homes lightly and will use “less invasive” means. more crime” if possible.
The Trump House Search spark rage among his supporters, with several Republican lawmakers promising to investigate the Justice Department, including Garland, if they win power by the upcoming midterms. vote.
Others threatened to defame the FBI, accusing law enforcement agencies of being involved in the investigation into Trump for political reasons.
On Thursday, Garland responded to what he called “baseless attacks” against the Justice Department and FBI agents and prosecutors.
“I will not stand by and watch when their integrity is unjustly attacked. The men and women of the FBI and the Department of Justice are dedicated, patriotic public servants… I am honored to be working alongside them,” he said.
Garland’s statement comes amid growing reports of violent threats and even talk of a “civil war” among Trump supporters online following the search.
Republicans rallied around Trump and defended him after the search. “If Democrats want to deal a fatal blow to trumpetusing the FBI as a tool for political gain is not the way to do it,” Representative Lauren Boebert wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
“Seeing the FBI Mar-a-Lago raid had the opposite effect. The Republican Party has not been this unified for a long time! “
Trump announced late Monday that a “large number” of FBI agents entered his Mar-a-Lago residence in an “unannounced raid,” saying they located the place ” surrounded” and “break into” his safe.
The former president described the search as part of a Democratic-led political push to prevent him from running for office. again in 2024 and called it “political persecution”.
But President Joe Biden’s White House has repeatedly said it had no prior knowledge of the search and that it did not interfere with investigations led by the Justice Department.