Republicans push for more answers on FBI Mar-a-Lago search; White House offers no comment

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WASHINGTON - The White House would not comment Sunday on most aspects of the FBI's search of former President Donald Trump's home. But Republicans pushed for more answers, seeking explanation beyond what the Justice Department has released.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized to host Jonathan Karl on ABC's "This Week" that she "absolutely cannot" shed light on where President Joe Biden stands on the search or recent FBI revelations because it is an ongoing investigation.

Federal agents seized boxes that included 11 sets of classified documents, according to the search warrant and a property receipt, both of which were released Friday. Some documents categorized as "secret" or "top secret." The warrant showed the investigation was examining possible violations of the Espionage Act.

Search warrant released: The search warrant for Trump's Mar-a-Lago home has been released. Here's what it says.

Jean-Pierre added that the president is not involved in issues handled by the Justice Department.

"It would be inappropriate for me to speak on that because the president has been very clear and unequivocal about this is that when it comes to law enforcement matters, investigation, the Department of Justice has complete, complete independence," she said, referencing the investigation.

Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida on August 12, 2022.
Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida on August 12, 2022.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., said on CBS' "Face the Nation," the search was "an unprecedented action that needs to be supported by unprecedented justification."

More: Latest unprecedented Trump chapter brings mystery and political thorniness

Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent, suggested the Justice Department should brief lawmakers on what is in the affidavit.

"At the very least, if they don't want to unseal it for public consumption, they can certainly bring it into the SCIF to bring it to our house intelligence committee members. We after all do have oversight over the entire intelligence apparatus,” he said, referring to a secured room in which people with authorization examine classified information.

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., on NBC's "Meet the Press," said the Justice Department needs to lay out its case to "show that this was not just a fishing expedition."

He said, "releasing the affidavit would help. At least that would confirm that there was justification for this raid."

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, said on "This Week," that he was satisfied the Justice Department gave an explanation for the Mar-a-Lago search, but there were questions.

"I was happy that they did come out and unseal the – the documents for – on the search. And I think it was a step in the right direction, but I think we still have a lot of unanswered questions, and we’re going to continue until people understand more," Hogan said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Republicans want more details released on search of Trump's home