U.S. Sen. Rick Scott is demanding President Joe Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and FBI Director Chris Wray explain Monday night’s search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago compound, reportedly targeting the former President taking classified records from the White House to his Florida residence.
The Mar-a-Lago raid, Scott stressed, is one the Biden administration — and not the former President — must explain.
“Here’s what needs to happen today. Separately, Merrick Garland, Christopher Wray, and Joe Biden need to do a press conference, take all questions, explain why they’re doing what they’re doing. What each of them knew when,” Scott argued.
“This should scare every American until we get answers,” Scott continued. “You should have unbelievable concern.”
Scott made the comments during an appearance on the Fox Business Channel’s “Mornings with Maria.” This was his first interview since the Trump raid, first reported by Florida Politics publisher Peter Schorsch, became global news Monday night.
Trump and allies like Scott sought to cast the search as a weaponization of the criminal justice system and a Democrat-driven effort to keep him from winning another term in 2024 — even though the Biden White House said it had no prior knowledge of it, and the fact that Wray was appointed by Trump five years ago and served as a high-ranking official in a Republican-led Justice Department.
“These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Trump wrote in a statement shortly after news broke of the search. “Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.”
Florida’s junior U.S. Senator offered similar thoughts during his interview with Fox.
“I got more phone calls last night from people thinking, ‘What is this? Is this like Latin America, what they do with political opponents in Latin America?’” Scott said.
“This is unprecedented,” Scott fumed at another point in the interview. “A former President, a potential opponent to Biden in 2024, his house gets raided. We know the Biden administration targets their opponents. Merrick Garland targets Democrats’ opponents.”
Scott’s comments Tuesday amplify the concern from a tweet the night before, where he said he wanted answers but did not call for a press availability directly.
“The FBI’s raid of Mar-A-Lago is incredibly concerning, especially given the Biden admin’s history of going after parents and other political opponents. This is 3rd World country stuff. We need answers NOW. This FBI must explain what they were doing today & why,” Scott urged.
Scott has yet to talk to Trump since the raid, he said on Fox Business, but intends to reach out this week.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican considered a potential 2024 presidential candidate, said in a statement on Twitter the raid was “an escalation in the weaponization” of U.S. government agencies. Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, said in a tweet the Justice Department “has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization” and said that if Republicans win control of the U.S. House, they will investigate the department.
That Trump would become entangled in a probe into the handling of classified information is all the more striking given how he tried during the 2016 presidential election to exploit an FBI investigation into his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, over whether she mishandled classified information via a private email server she used as secretary of state. Then-FBI Director James Comey concluded Clinton had sent and received classified information, but the FBI did not recommend criminal charges because it determined Clinton had not intended to break the law.