Rep. Cliff Bentz told Newsmax Saturday the Department of Justice and FBI's decision to execute a search warrant on former President Donald Trump's Florida home was like "throwing gasoline on a political fire."
"Why was this technique used, knowing, knowing, that if you're going to send the FBI after a former president, you're throwing gasoline on a political fire," Bentz said during "Saturday Agenda." "Why was the FBI used in this fashion? There's other, many other, ways they could have used. They could have taken a subpoena that was previously issued and could have asked a court to look into that. They could have done other things, and they did not. "
Bentz said it would be "unfortunate" if Congress and the public are not allowed to see the affidavit used to get the search warrant on Mar-a-Lago last week and see why Attorney General Merrick Garland approved such a drastic step as a raid on the Palm Beach resort and residence.
"I think it would be extraordinarily unfortunate if we don't get to see it soon. The affidavit, of course, would reflect the basis for the raid on Mar-a-Lago, and I must say, we're all anxious to see what was in it that caused our attorney general to decide to use, what I would suggest is dramatic overreach in accessing the records," he said. "We need to ask them why they used this technique to access records that had been technically available for a year and a half. I mean, there are many, many, steps that could have been taken that were not."
He said the FBI should welcome the congressional oversight to make sure the raid was not politically motivated, instead of having a solid legal basis.
"When it comes to using the FBI to access a former president's home, there had better be a justification," he said. "Not just in the affidavit, but also in the attorney general's decision – as he has prosecutorial discretion."
In his ruling Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said the government did not meet its burden of proof to keep the entire affidavit for the search warrant sealed but is allowing the government to review and suggest redactions for the document by next week.
Trump and his team have called for the entire unredacted affidavit to be released to the public.
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