House Intel chair responds to Trump lawyer plea for Congress to intervene on FBI raid, document grab
Committee Chairman Mike Turner says he's "very concerned about the disparate treatment" between the Trump and Biden administrations.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner said Thursday that he has "been very concerned about the disparate treatment" between the Trump and Biden administrations with handling classified documents, and the House Republicans are looking at changing the laws regarding how such documents are handled.
Turner was responding to a letter sent to him and the Gang of Eight congressional leadership Wednesday from former President Donald Trump's attorneys that states the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago last August was unnecessary. The Gang of Eight consists of the top four congressional leaders and the head Republicans and Democrats from the intelligence committees of both the House and Senate.
The letter also argues the FBI shielded Congress from being alerted to a lax White House security system that boxed up classified documents with mementos and shipped them to the Florida compound without regard to protecting national secrets.
Additionally, the letter referred to the Justice Department's criminal investigation into Trump, calling it "a misguided, politically infected, and severely botched criminal investigation."
The lawyer's solution is that the "DOJ should be ordered to stand down, and the intelligence community should instead conduct an appropriate investigation and provide a full report to this Committee, as well as your counterparts in the Senate," according to the letter.
"We have been very concerned about the disparate treatment between the Trump administration, as they've departed, and the Department of Justice and the Biden administration with the past documents that he had from his time at Senate and also as vice president," Turner told Fox News on Thursday.
"Both currently have special prosecutors, and I think people frequently miss [that fact]. The Biden administration – President Biden himself – has a special prosecutor looking at the criminal aspects of his misuse of classified documents.
"But our committee has already been looking at this issue on the misuse of classified documents. We had the archivists into our committee to testify, and they actually testified that every administration since Reagan has delivered to them boxes of a mixture of classified and declassified documents – unclassified documents – that were mixed together.
"There's been mishandling with a history that goes all the way back to the Reagan Administration. We're looking at how do we change the laws, how do we change the rules, and how do we address this so it doesn't affect future administrations and it certainly shouldn't affect these two."
The Trump team letter also claimed that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) "unfortunately has become overtly political and declined to provide archival assistance to President Trump's transition team."
Read NARA's response here.