18 House Republicans have issued preservation notices to Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain for a full investigation of the Department of Justice’s decision to undertake an FBI raid on President Biden’s political opponent ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
The three letters to Garland, Wray, and Klain use broadly the same language to warn them about the destruction of documents or other evidence that pertain to an upcoming House investigation and potential impeachment proceedings, should the GOP retake control of the Congress.
“The FBI’s unprecedented raid of President Trump’s residence is a shocking escalation of the Biden Administration’s weaponization of law-enforcement resources against its political opponents. The American people deserve transparency and accountability from our most senior law-enforcement officials in the executive branch,” the letters state. “We will settle for nothing but your complete cooperation with our inquiry.”
“Under your tenure, the Justice Department continues to shatter public confidence in the equal application of justice,” the notices continue. “The Department has filed politically motivated lawsuits against Republican-led states on policies disfavored by the Biden Administration, artificially inflated domestic violent extremism statistics to advance the Biden Administration’s political narrative, used counterterrorism resources to target parents at school board meetings opposed to policies supported by the Biden Administration, and selectively prosecuted and investigated political opponents of the Biden Administration. These actions not only undermine the stated mission of the Department, they violate the most fundamental tenets of our country.”
“The American people deserve answers for the Biden Administration’s continued misuse of law-enforcement resources against its political opponents. Accordingly, please produce the following material:
1. All documents and communications referring or relating to the execution of a search
warrant on President Trump’s residence;
2. All documents and communications referring or relating to the decision to seek a
search warrant for President Trump’s residence;
3. All documents and communications referring or relating to the use of confidential
human source(s) in connection with the search of President Trump’s residence;
4. All documents and communications between or among the Department of Justice,
Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the Executive Office of the President about a
search of President Trump’s residence;
5. All documents and communications between or among the Department of Justice,
Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the United States Secret Service about a search of
President Trump’s residence; and
6. All documents and communications between or among the Department of Justice, the
Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the National Archives and Records
Administration about a potential search of President Trump’s residence.
“Please provide this material as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 p.m. on August 29, 2022,” the letter adds. “In addition, please preserve all responsive documents in your possession, custody, or control. You should construe this communication as an instruction to preserve all documents, communications, and other information, including electronic information and metadata, that are or may be potentially responsive to this inquiry. This instruction includes all electronic messages sent using official and personal accounts or devices, including records created using text messages, phone-based message applications, or encryption software. For purposes of this request, ‘preserve’ includes taking reasonable steps to prevent the partial or full destruction, alteration, testing, deletion, shredding, incineration, wiping, relocation, migration, theft,
mutation, or negligent or reckless handling that could render the information incomplete or inaccessible.
“These steps include preserving all compilations of documents that have already been gathered in response to other government or litigation requests, even if copies of individual documents or materials may still exist elsewhere in the organization,” the letter concludes. “The Committee on the Judiciary has jurisdiction to oversee the activities of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant to Rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives.”
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