FBI Raid 'Unprecedented Action,' Requires 'Unprecedented Justification'

Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home is an “unprecedented action that needs to be supported by unprecedented justification.”

MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick. He’s a former FBI agent and federal prosecutor and joins us from Philadelphia. Congressman, good morning to you. I wonder as a former agent, you’ve seen the warrant now, as we all have. What does it indicate to you about a potential crime that was committed?

FITZPATRICK: Yeah, thanks for having me. Well, I think it can be summed up in one line, Margaret, it was an unprecedented action that needs to be supported by unprecedented justification. Part A was an unprecedented action. Yes, we know that. This has never happened before in our country’s history. To the second question, was there unprecedented justification? That remains an open question, and we know exactly where to look. And that is the affidavit of probable cause, the one document that remains under seal. So because we don’t have that information, I’ve encouraged all my colleagues on the left and the right to reserve judgment and not get ahead of yourself because we don’t know what that document contains. It’s gonna to answer a lot of questions. When we had the press conference on Friday with my fellow intelligence committee members, I telegraphed to the press. Then I said, the documents that you’ll see unsealed today, which was the affi-, I’m sorry, the- the warrant, the writer to the warrant and the property receipt, are not going to shed a whole lot of light beyond the statutes that were being investigated.

BRENNAN: But you voted for a bill in 2018 that made it a felony to possess documents or materials containing classified information. President Trump signed that same bill into law. Did he break it?

FITZPATRICK: Well, that’s what we got to find out. I mean, nobody is claiming and nobody should be claiming.–

BRENNAN: –Well, the receipt says that he had classified and top secret and above information in boxes at Mar-a-Lago.

FITZPATRICK: – Right. Right, yeah, Nobody’s claiming that it’s okay to have a, certainly I’m not, that it’s okay to have classified information anywhere outside of a SCIF. I know that better than anybody given my former profession and my current committee assignment, but the problem is that the administration is disputing a lot of what’s being publicly reported. So the affidavit will answer that question. It will be able to tell us who is providing misinformation. Is it the- the admi- the prior administration or the current administration? And we need to we need to get that clarified.

BRENNAN: Well, as you know, news organizations are trying to get a hold of that affidavit. But those aren’t normally released during an active investigation. Is it appropriate to release it now in the midst of an investigation?

FITZPATRICK: Well, that’s- I would say this, Margaret, at the very least, if they don’t want to unseal it for public consumption, they can certainly bring it into the SCIF, to bring it to our House Intelligence Committee members. We, after all, do have oversight over the entire intelligence apparatus. So that’s what’s puzzling to us, Margaret, myself, Mike Turner, fabulous member of Congress from Ohio, who’s taking a very measured approach as well. We understand the dynamics of play here. We just want to get to the truth. Objective truth. We’re not taking any angle from any side here.

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