FBI Director Defends Mar-a-Lago Raid As GOP’s John Kennedy’s Rambles


The judicially backed search by federal authorities of Donald Trump’s Florida resort Mar-a-Lago amid an investigation into his handling of government documents is clearly still a point of contention for Republicans in the Senate.

During a recent hearing, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray about why the raid was sought instead of something less intrusive in the push to recover federal documents that Trump was harboring. Wray explained that the record of the case shows authorities did seek other options for recovering the documents but were met by what’s now been alleged in a criminal case to be obstruction of justice. Trump is also charged in that case for the allegedly accompanying offenses of having hung onto key documents at all.

“Obviously we are talking now about not just an ongoing investigation that’s not just an ongoing investigation that’s being led by a special counsel — but an ongoing investigation being led by a special counsel that’s in front of a court, with likely very strong views about what it is I can say publicly,” Wray observed, adding: “In that particular instance, if you look at the affidavit in support of the search warrant, and more importantly, the pleadings that were filed by the prosecutors in the case, they lay out in a very detailed way all the efforts that were made to ensure compliance short of proceeding to a search, as well as, as now has been charged, actual obstruction of justice.”

Wray also spoke to his more general experience in federal service indicating that a problem like potential obstruction of justice wasn’t about to simply shut down federal efforts to recover government material circulating without the normally accompanying protections. Kennedy had also asked who decided on raiding Mar-a-Lago, leading to what looked like surprise from the FBI director as he explained indications pointed instead to it being an investigative team decision.

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