By Mimi Nguyen Ly
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he spoke with FBI Director Christopher Wray expressing his concerns over the agency’s conduct a day after former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Florida, was raided.
“Less than a week ago, I expressed serious concern that what little remains of the FBI’s credibility is on the line following its inconsistent handling of politically sensitive investigations, failure to hold its own employees accountable for misconduct and consistent disregard for congressional oversight,” Grassley, Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement on Aug. 9.
“Last night’s raid on the home of a former U.S. president without explanation will only further erode confidence in the FBI and the Justice Department,” Grassley said, referring to the FBI’s execution of a search warrant on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence late on Aug. 8.
“I reiterated these concerns to Director Wray today,” he continued. “If the FBI isn’t extraordinarily transparent about its justification for yesterday’s actions and committed to rooting out political bias that has infected their most sensitive investigations, they will have sealed their own fate. The FBI’s mission and the many patriotic agents who work hard to carry it out will be forever overshadowed by the distrust the bureau has sown.”
As of late Aug. 9, the FBI and its parent agency, the Department of Justice (DOJ), have not revealed the reason for the search warrant.
Grassley said that the Justice Department “bears responsibility in upholding the public trust, and in a matter so consequential to our democratic process, Attorney General Garland also owes the American people full transparency.”
On Twitter, the senator wrote: “Transparency brings accountability & if the FBI & DOJ aren’t transparent about raiding a former president’s home they risk further damaging their credibility.
“I’ve already raised issues from whistleblowers about political bias in investigations so we’ve got a right to be skeptical,” he added.
The Epoch Times has reached out to the Justice Department for comment over Grassley’s statement.
Trump on his social media app Truth Social decried the raid, saying: “These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”
“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Trump said.
In a fundraising email on Aug. 9, Trump said: “They are trying to stop the Republican Party and me once more. The lawlessness, political persecution, and Witch Hunt, must be exposed and stopped.”
The FBI previously declined to comment on a press inquiry about the raid from The Epoch Times on Aug. 8, while its parent agency, the Department of Justice (DOJ), did not respond to a request for comment.
Christina Bobb, a lawyer for Trump who was on the scene while agents were at Trump’s property, told The Epoch Times on Aug. 9 that FBI agents were looking for “presidential records, what they deemed to be presidential records, and anything that could potentially be classified.”
“We had been very cooperative with them before. And it’s unclear to me why they went to such drastic measures to do this. But they did. And as far as the probable cause goes, they wouldn’t give that to us,” she added.
Besides Grassley, other Republican figures have sought for answers from the FBI following the raid.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Aug. 9 called for a “thorough and immediate explanation.”
“The country deserves a thorough and immediate explanation of what led to the events of Monday,” he said in a statement. “Attorney General Garland and the Department of Justice should already have provided answers to the American people and must do so immediately.”