HELENA — Montana’s congressional delegation has provided their initial reactions to the news of the FBI searching and seizing documents from the home of former President Donald Trump.
On Monday, the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's Florida home at Mar-a-Lago. The search warrant has been sealed and it is unclear at this time what the subject of the FBI’s investigation is.
On Tuesday, Montana’s Republican Senator Steve Daines called for more transparency regarding the situation.
“This is an unprecedented action which gives every appearance that the Biden administration is weaponizing the DOJ and FBI for blatant political gain against President Trump,” Daines said in a statement. “We need answers, we need transparency and we need accountability from Biden’s administration about this unprecedented action.”
A spokesperson for Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., told MTN the senator believes in transparency and accountability in government and noted that the search was approved by both a federal judge and Trump-appointed FBI Director Christopher A. Wray.
“Senator Tester is an outspoken advocate for transparency and accountability in government, and a strong supporter of law enforcement. This search was approved by a federal judge and the Trump-appointed FBI Director, as part of an ongoing investigation into the potential mishandling of classified records. As with all ongoing investigations and allegations, Senator Tester trusts our legal system, which upholds that the accused is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law," wrote Tester's spokesperson in a statement.
The FBI raid was confirmed by Trump on Monday in a press release. "Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States before," he said. A lawyer for Trump has indicated the FBI took documents during the search and the former president said agents opened and searched a safe.
Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., called the FBI’s efforts “horrifying” and believes the raid was politically motivated.
“Last night’s FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago is horrifying. It is also disturbing to learn that the Florida judge who signed off on this warrant also had ties to Jeffrey Epstein. Under what probable cause was the warrant granted? In January 2022, former President Trump turned over 15 boxes of records the National Archives had requested to be returned, so what was the FBI searching for?
“The Department of Justice has been weaponized to go after the Left’s political opponents, and these types of actions are eroding the American people’s trust in our institutions. If this can happen to the former President of the United States, it can happen to you. The unprecedented raid, however, will only strengthen the Republican base, and it will bring a larger red wave in November.”
The warrant for the FBI to search Mar-a-Lago was signed by Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart. He had previously been a prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida before leaving the position in 2008 to represent individuals that had worked for Jeffrey Epstein, according to reporting from the Miami Herald. Reinhart was sworn in as a magistrate judge for the Southern District of Florida in 2018. Federal magistrate judges are appointed by a majority vote of the active district judges of the court.