The high-level FBI official tasked with executing the raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home last year said President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice breached protocol to justify the search proving that the FBI learned nothing from their attempts to undermine the Republican leader during the Russian collusion hoax.
Less than one day after Special Counsel Jack Smith charged Trump with 38 counts related to his retention of government documents, House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan unveiled the damning testimony of Steven D’Antuono, the former assistant director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO), who expressed uneasiness about the manner the Biden regime chose to search Trump’s home.
“The indictment creates, at the minimum, a serious appearance of a double standard and a miscarriage of justice — an impression that is only strengthened by allegations that a Biden Justice Department lawyer ‘inappropriately sought to pressure’ a Trump-affiliated lawyer with the prospect of a judgeship,” Jordan wrote in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday. “Additional information recently obtained by the Committee about the Department’s execution of a search warrant on President Trump’s residence only reinforces our grave concerns that your reported actions are nothing more than a politically motivated prosecution.”
D’Antuono, who has “over two decades of FBI experience,” told Jordan that he “disagreed with the Justice Department’s approach to the raid” because the DOJ and FBI went out of the way to break protocols designed to prevent the partisan targeting of Americans.
Because the raid was in Florida, D’Antuono said the Miami Field Office should have conducted the search. Instead, D’Antuono, who said he “absolutely no idea” why, was given orders to lead the operation.
D’Antuono said that the FBI knew better than to let its headquarters hijack a local raid, especially after its “seriously flawed” Crossfire Hurricane investigation. Yet, his concerns that the DOJ was overstepping its bounds were ignored.
Similarly, when the FBI veteran asked “a lot” of DOJ officials why a U.S. Attorney’s Office was left out of the investigation, he “never got a good answer.”
“According to Mr. D’Antuono, it was unusual to not have a U.S. Attorney assigned to an investigative matter, especially a matter of this magnitude,” the letter states.
Instead, D’Antuono was told that Jay Bratt, leader of the DOJ’s counterintelligence division, another headquarters man who was accused of inappropriately pressuring a Trump lawyer, would take the reins as “the lead prosecutor on the case.”
Perhaps the most stunning takeaway from D’Antuono’s testimony is the revelation that the DOJ, which “assertively pushed for the FBI to promptly execute the search warrant,” did not seek consent to search the premises. According to D’Antuono, doing so would have been “the best thing for all parties” involved including the FBI, Trump, and “the country.”
The FBI veteran wasn’t the only one who raised eyebrows at the DOJ’s targeting of Trump. D’Antuono said that even though he and several “line agents” in the WFO were opposed to obtaining a search warrant without first informing Trump, either Garland or FBI Director Christopher Wray personally sought one.
“Following that meeting, Mr. D’Antuono described how Justice Department counterintelligence official George Toscas — who also reportedly worked on the ‘Crossfire Hurricane and Clinton email investigations’ told him that FBI agents were ready to execute the warrant,” the letter states. “Mr. D’Antuono pushed back on the Department for trying to unilaterally allocate FBI resources.”
The last misstep in the raid, D’Antuono testified, was the FBI’s decision to “exclude President
Trump’s attorney from the search, a move with which Mr. D’Antuono disagreed.”
Once again, D’Antuono reiterated his belief that the FBI “should have worked with the attorney to get consent to search the residence prior to seeking a warrant for the search” because “there was a good likelihood that [they] could have gotten consent.”
Jordan concluded the letter by noting that the DOJ is stonewalling his requests for information about the FBI’s foray into Trump’s Florida home.
“In light of this testimony and the Department’s failure to respond to our previous oversight requests, we write to renew and supplement our request for documents necessary for our oversight,” Jordan wrote.
By June 16 at 5 p.m., the House Judiciary Committee wants all of the information, documents, and communications between the DOJ and FBI before the raid. Jordan specifically requested relevant documents from several members of the DOJ and FBI, including Paul Abbate, Matthew Olsen, Bratt, Toscas, and the interviewee.
To verify D’Antuono’s claims about consent, the committee asked that “all documents and communications between or among Washington Field Office agents and employees and the U.S. Secret Service about a potential search of President Trump’s residence” also be turned over.