The Department of Justice (DOJ) has declined a request from House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to release information related to the FBI’s search and subsequent raid at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. The raid, which occurred last August, was part of an ongoing criminal investigation led by a Special Counsel, focusing on allegations of classified document mishandling.
In a letter to the DOJ, Jordan sought details about the classified materials discovered during the FBI’s search, as well as communication records between the FBI’s Washington office and the U.S. Secret Service. However, the DOJ rejected the request last Friday, citing the inability to disclose “non-public information about an ongoing criminal investigation and prosecution by a Special Counsel.”
Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte, in a written response to Jordan, emphasized the importance of protecting the confidentiality of non-public information in order to maintain public confidence in the impartial administration of justice and to prevent any perception of political influence or improper interference.
Previously, Jordan had requested Attorney General Merrick Garland to disclose information about personnel involved in the Trump case before Trump’s indictment on charges related to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into potential mishandling of classified documents.
The Judiciary Committee had previously sought information and documents related to the FBI’s raid and subsequent investigation at Trump’s residence, which were not provided. In light of the appointment of Jack Smith as Special Counsel, Jordan requested an unredacted copy of the memorandum outlining the scope of Smith’s investigations into President Trump, along with any supporting documentation regarding his appointment.
Uriarte’s letter also highlighted the recent indictment against Trump as a source of detailed information about the investigation and the charges brought against him. Trump has pleaded not guilty to numerous counts related to the classified documents case in a Miami federal courthouse.
The denial of Jordan’s information request comes after the release of a report by Special Counsel John Durham, who examined the FBI’s initiation of the probe into allegations of Trump’s collusion with the Russian government during the 2016 election. Durham criticized the FBI’s decision-making process and questioned the justification for starting the investigation.
Jordan has yet to issue a public comment in response to the DOJ’s decision. When asked about the possibility of issuing a subpoena to Garland, Jordan did not provide a definite answer. However, other members of the House Judiciary Committee have suggested that Jordan is likely to pursue a subpoena.
In related developments, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon issued an order mandating that all involved parties secure security clearances for their lawyers. This order underscores the sensitivity of the case, as it involves classified materials accessible to a president.