Republicans are up in arms over the FBI's raid of President Trump's home, and they're pressuring the Department of Justice to explain the reasons for the search. They're also calling for investigations into the FBI and the DOJ.
The FBI's unprecedented targeting of a former president by his successor's administration is fueling speculation about the 2024 presidential race. Republican leaders say it could lead Trump to announce his candidacy sooner, rather than later.
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New details are emerging about the raid. At least 30 federal agents spent more than nine hours searching Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, reportedly removing more than 12 boxes of documents.
In a statement released late Tuesday, Trump called the search a "horrible thing" and "a coordinated attack" by Democrats.
The probe is reportedly part of a federal investigation into whether Trump took classified records from the White House after he left office. Trump had previously cooperated with federal officials, allowing them access to his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida to reclaim documents.
Republican lawmakers are criticizing the Department of Justice for the unprecedented search and seizure event and now demand answers.
"Doing this 90 days before an election reeks of politics," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
"It has to be of incredible magnitude for at least my side of the aisle to say that was warranted. Without that I think we're going to find ourselves in a very big mess as it relates to the credibility of the FBI," the other South Carolina Senator Tim Scott (R) told CBS News.
Legal experts say the DOJ must explain their reasons for the unprecedented move.
"The Justice Department needs to be very transparent about this," Hans Von Spakovsky of The Heritage Foundation told CBN News. "They need to release the search warrant, the supporting affidavit, so we can understand why they would engage in a raid like this."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell added his voice to those calling for accountability. "The country deserves a thorough and immediate explanation of what led to the events of Monday," McConnell said in a statement.
And Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told FBI Director Christopher Wray that the bureau will have "sealed their own fate" if they aren't "extraordinarily transparent" about its justification for the search.
The White House said President Biden had no prior knowledge of the search.
"The president was not briefed, did not, was not aware of it. No, no one at the White House was given a heads up. No, that did not happen," said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
GOP leaders are calling for an investigation to determine if the raid was politically motivated.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) issued a warning on Twitter saying, "Attorney General Garland, Preserve your documents and clear your calendar."
Texas Senator Ted Cruz agreed.
"I believe Congress should hold hearings, we should have subpoenas," said Cruz. "And we should examine what is the basis for this extraordinary invocation of federal power against President Biden's chief political rival?"
With Republicans rallying around him, Trump, who is expected to run again in 2024, might announce his campaign sooner than previously expected.
"I talked to the president just about an hour ago," said Graham. "The one thing I can tell you is that I believe he was going to run before. I'm stronger in my belief now."
On Tuesday night, Trump met with a dozen House Republicans at his golf club in New Jersey who encouraged him to jump in the race soon.
Meanwhile, a congressman who supports Trump, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, reports that the FBI has now seized his cell phone.
"As with President Trump last night, DOJ chose this unnecessary and aggressive action instead of simply contacting my attorneys," Rep. Perry said. "These kinds of banana republic tactics should concern every citizen—especially considering the decision before Congress this week to hire 87,000 new IRS agents to further persecute law-abiding citizens."