Virginia Politicians React to Mar-a-Lago Search

The entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is shown, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla. Trump said in a lengthy statement that the FBI was conducting a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate and asserted that agents had broken open a safe. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

By Meghin Moore

August 9, 2022

On Monday, the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach, Florida home of former President Donald Trump.

Former President Donald Trump released a statement on Monday night that FBI agents had been at Mar-a-Lago, in relation to an investigation into how presidential documents were handled. Some of these documents included classified documents that may have been taken from the White House to Mar-a-Lago. 

The search warrant had been approved by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was appointed to the position by Trump.

In order for a search warrant to be issued, investigators would have to demonstrate that there was probable cause that a crime had been committed, and that there was evidence of said crime at Mar-a-Lago.

A Justice Department investigation had already been underway, because there were 15 boxes of White House records and other items that were recovered from Mar-a-Lago by the National Archives and Records Administration.

After news broke about the investigation and search, many prominent politicians at the national, state, and local levels had varying reactions. Many right-wing Republicans, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Rep. Paul Gosar, and Rep. Lauren Boebert made calls to “defund the FBI,” “destroy the FBI,” and to “defund all forms of tyranny throughout Biden’s government,” creating a sharp pivot from the “back the blue” saying that they had strongly supported in the past. 

How did politicians react in Virginia? It depends on what side of the political spectrum they fall on. 

Reps. Ben Cline (VA-06), Bob Good (VA-05), and Morgan Griffith (VA-09) released statements on both their Congressional Twitter accounts, as well as their campaign accounts. All three of the representatives have also been linked to having some role in the violent Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection that took place at the Capitol.

Even though the search in Florida did not have anything to do with Virginia, Gov. Glenn Youngkin released a statement on his personal Twitter account, which might be an indication that he’s got national politics on his mind, as opposed to Virginia politics.

Rep. Rob Wittman (VA-01) was the lone Virginia Republican who has not released a statement yet about the search.

Not only did Rep. Elaine Luria (VA-02) appear on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show to talk about what was going on with the search Monday night, but as a member of the January 6th Committee, she said on Twitter that “There is no way to defend Trump, only to deflect.”

Jen Kiggans, Luria’s opponent for the November midterms, responded on Twitter to Luria’s claims, saying that she had “found a way to justify this blatant and flagrant abuse of power” over a “dangerous precedent.”

Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08) used harsh words against GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy “and his fellow bootlickers” for hiding “under a rock” than make a response to each time that Trump had wanted some sort of investigation into his political opponents.

Sen. Mark Warner reiterated the fact that “no one is above the law,” including former presidents.

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