Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, the third-highest-ranking GOP House member, argued on Friday that the American people have good reason to question the Biden administration’s raid of former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida, home.
On Monday, FBI agents descended on Mar-a-Lago and presented a search warrant reportedly focused on confidential documents Trump allegedly had in his possession in violation of the Presidential Records Act.
Stefanik, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, promised Republicans will hold the Biden administration accountable for “weaponizing” the Department of Justice against Trump.
“Republicans are committed to immediate oversight, accountability and a fulsome investigation to provide needed transparency and answers to the American people regarding [President] Joe Biden and his administration’s weaponization of the Department of Justice and FBI against Joe Biden’s political opponent,” Stefanik said during a news conference.
“President Donald Trump is Joe Biden’s most [likely] political opponent in 2024 and this is less than 100 days from critical midterm elections,” she added.
.@RepStefanik: “President Donald Trump is Joe Biden’s most likeliest political opponent in 2024, and this is less than 100 days from critical midterm elections. The FBI raid of President Trump is a complete abuse and overreach of its authority.” https://t.co/t6Gb4NvNSg pic.twitter.com/jrp9hBaVdP
— The Hill (@thehill) August 12, 2022
“The FBI raid of President Trump is a complete abuse and overreach of its authority. And as the American people know, unfortunately, this is the same agency leadership that protected Hillary Clinton, James Comey and continues to protect Hunter Biden, the same agency leadership that perpetrated the false Russia hoax for years,” Stefanik said.
Former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton kept classified documents on her unsecured personal email server at her home — making them potentially hackable to foreign powers worldwide — but faced no legal consequences.
Then-FBI Director James Comey announced in July 2016 that the Justice Department would not be bringing charges for mishandling classified information because its prosecutors would not be able to prove the requisite intent, though he also acknowledged gross negligence would constitute a violation.
“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Comey said. He cited past cases.
“All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here,” Comey explained.
The same month the director announced Clinton would face no consequences for her conduct, the FBI launched its “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation looking into whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia in the 2016 presidential race.
The operation, in part, involved spying on Trump campaign associates, including Carter Page. Comey signed multiple warrant applications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to surveil Page starting in October 2016.
The FISA warrants relied heavily on a dossier compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, whose work was paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Comey, like Clinton, has faced no legal consequences for his actions, though Trump did fire him in May 2017.
“Hardly a day goes by without another revelation about how intimately involved Joe Biden was with his son Hunter Biden’s corrupt foreign business dealings. The fact that Joe was in meetings with senior foreign leaders on behalf of Hunter and his business associates while Vice President further proves that Joe has been lying to the American people,” Stefanik told the New York Post last month.
On Friday, she said, “The American people are smart and they have had enough. It is unfortunately why there is a fundamental lack of trust in these agencies, and the American people deserve answers.”
“A House Republican majority will leave no stone unturned when it comes to transparency and accountability into the brazen politicization of Joe Biden’s DOJ and FBI targeting their political opponents,” Stefanik promised.
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