'DEFUND THE FBI!': Republicans speak out against raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate

FBI agents searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on Monday.

ByMorgan Winsor via ABCNews logo
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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Dan Abrams, ABC's chief legal analyst, explains what we know and don't know about the FBI's raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

WASHINGTON -- Since news broke that the FBI searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on Monday, a growing number of Republicans have spoken out against the raid.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., took to Twitter, posting a statement that read in part: "I've seen enough."

"The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization," McCarthy continued. "When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned."

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., took it a step further, tweeting: "DEFUND THE FBI!"

A Twitter account for Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee run by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, tweeted: "This is what happens in third world countries. Not the United States." Another tweet read: "If they can do it to a former President, imagine what they can do to you."

MORE: Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate raided by FBI agents, sources confirm

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in a series of tweets that "launching such an investigation of a former President this close to an election is beyond problematic."

"We're 100 days away from midterm elections. President Trump is likely going to run again in 2024," Graham tweeted. "No one is above the law. The law must be above politics.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, called the raid "incredibly concerning."

"We need answers NOW," Scott tweeted. "The FBI must explain what they were doing today & why."

Several Republican senators used the raid to further criticize President Joe Biden's sweeping climate, health care and tax bill, which Senate Democrats passed on Sunday and which includes nearly $80 billion in funding for the Internal Revenue Service. For instance, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted: "After todays raid on Mar A Lago what do you think the left plans to use those 87,000 new IRS agents for?"

Other Republicans, including potential 2024 presidential candidates, continued to attack the Justice Department and the FBI.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted that the raid "is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies," then said: "Banana Republic."

Former Secretary of State and ex-CIA Director Mike Pompeo said executing a search warrant against a former president "is dangerous."

"The apparent political weaponization of DOJ/FBI is shameful," Pompeo tweeted. "I served on Benghazi Com where we proved Hilliary possessed classified info. We didn't raid her home."

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tx., called the raid "unprecedented."

Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel also released a statement, asserting -- without evidence -- that the search was an attempt by Democrats to "weaponize the bureaucracy against Republicans."

"Countless times we have examples of Democrats flouting the law and abusing power with no recourse. Democrats continually weaponize the bureaucracy against Republicans," McDaniel said. "This raid is outrageous. This abuse of power must stop and the only way to do that is to elect Republicans in November."

Multiple sources confirmed to ABC News that Trump's residence in Palm Beach was raided by FBI agents on Monday, starting around 10 a.m. local time. The former president was not there at the time.

Sources said the search of Mar-a-Lago was related to the 15 boxes of documents that Trump took there when he departed the White House, some of which the National Archives has said were marked classified. In January, Trump handed over the documents to the National Archives, and his attorneys said they were searching for any more records they may have.

The former president issued a statement Monday evening, saying Mar-a-Lago "is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents." He added: "They even broke into my safe!"

Later Monday, during a planned tele-rally with Sarah Palin ahead of her upcoming special election in Alaska, Trump didn't specifically mention the raid but appeared to briefly reference it when saying: "Another day in paradise. This is a strange day."

Law enforcement sources told ABC News that the FBI's activities at Trump's compound are court-authorized.

The Justice Department and FBI declined to comment.

A senior official briefed on Monday's events told ABC News that the Secret Service was notified by the FBI a short time before agents arrived that they would be coming. The Secret Service validated the search warrant and facilitated entry into the residence, in accordance with a court order, the official said. Secret Service agents were not involved in the search.

The Secret Service declined to comment.

A Biden administration official told ABC News that the White House received no advanced notice of the raid.

The White House has otherwise referred requests for comment on the investigation to the Justice Department.

ABC News contributor and former federal prosecutor Kan Nawaday said the raid is "extraordinary" but not "that surprising."

"I don't think we've ever seen this," Nawaday told ABC News Live Prime on Monday night. "At the same time, to me, it doesn't seem that surprising, given all the evidence that the Jan. 6 committee has set forth about possible crimes relating to [the Capitol riot]."

"I think the indication is that it's moving forward. They are taking active action and following the leads and following the evidence," he added. "It's only a matter of time, in my view, that they're going to work up the chain to other potential targets."

ABC News' Luke Barr, Jack Date, Chris Donovan, Katherine Faulders, Sarah Kolinovsky, Josh Margolin, Allison Pecorin, Olivia Rubin, John Santucci and Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.