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Trump allies on House Judiciary Committee ask Biden officials to save records related to Trump search warrant

DOJ opposes unsealing search warrant affidavit
Justice Department opposes unsealing Trump FBI search warrant affidavit 03:20

Trump allies on the House Judiciary Committee are now asking the Biden administration to do what it appears former President Donald Trump failed to do: save and hand over sensitive records to another part of government.

House Republicans have sent letters to top officials in the Biden administration demanding they send to Congress documents and communications about the FBI search of Trump's residence.

The letters, addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, are signed by 18 Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, led by ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio.

They ask Garland, Wray and Klain to provide to Congress records about the Aug. 8 FBI search at Mar-a-Lago, how a search warrant was obtained and any communication between the Justice Department and White House related to the execution of that warrant.

The White House said last week it learned of the search from news reports, and Garland said on Thursday he personally approved seeking the warrant. One committee Republican, Rep. Ken Buck, did not sign the letters. A senior staffer for Buck declined to comment.

Republicans are also pursuing any communications between the FBI, Justice Department  and National Archives related to Trump's presidential records. The letters ask for the administration to comply within two weeks.

For now, Republicans lack subpoena power, so the letters carry more political weight than legal clout. But that could change if the GOP takes control of the House after this fall's midterm elections.

"Please preserve all responsive documents in your possession, custody, or control," the letters say, calling the FBI search of the former president's compound a "weaponization of law-enforcement resources against its political opponents."

The Presidential Records Act requires White House records be turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). In January, NARA officials retrieved 15 boxes of presidential records from Mar-a-Lago, some of which contained classified information. 

In July, a lawyer for Trump certified to investigators that all classified material had been handed over to NARA. But Monday's search revealed there was more. FBI search teams recovered 11 sets of classified material — some were marked top secret and above. CBS News has learned this trove likely included highly sensitive communication intercepts.

"We will settle for nothing but your complete cooperation with our inquiry," the House Republican wrote, echoing the sentiment of Justice Department investigators probing the former president.

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