The pressure on the DOJ continues to mount and they may be buckling under it. Federal authorities said they would return former President Donald Trump’s passports as more and more people are calling for answers in this unprecedented search of Trump’s residence in Florida.
Trump’s lawyers received an email from Jay Bratt, a top official in the Justice Department’s National Security Division. It said that agents determined the travel documents were unrelated to the August 8th search for classified documents.
“We are returning them, and they will be ready for pickup at (the Washington Field Office) at 2 pm today,” Bratt wrote.
The FBI said in a statement that in executing search warrants, the agency “follows search and seizure procedures ordered by courts, then returns items that do not need to be retained for law enforcement purposes.”
Trump maintained that the passports were stolen. “This is an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our Country,” he said in a post on Truth Social.
One of Trump’s lawyers, Christina Bobb, said that taking the passports was an overreach.
“There’s no room for error. So I don’t give them a pass as this was a simple mistake,” she said.
Congressional committees have now asked for briefings on potential national security risks from Trump keeping “secret” and “top secret” records. And GOP leaders in the House told the Justice Department to preserve all their documents from the search. This certainly looks like investigations will follow.
Here are some bullet points from Rick Rouan regarding what we know about the DOJ and their search at this point:
- Trump took documents to his Mar-a-Lago estate when he left office in 2021.
- The FBI seized 11 sets of classified documents in its search last week.
- The investigation centers on possible violations of the Espionage Act of 1917 and obstruction.
- Trump was holding documents in a storage facility at Mar-a-Lago
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., a former FBI agent and federal prosecutor, said the unprecedented search needed unprecedented justification.