Sen. Roy Blunt said former President Donald Trump should have turned over the sensitive documents recovered in this month’s search of Mar-a-Lago, even as he continued to defend Trump on Sunday.
“He should have turned the documents over and apparently had turned a number of documents over. … What I wonder about is why this could go on for almost two years, and less than 100 days before the election, suddenly, we’re talking about this rather than the economy,” Blunt said to host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”
Blunt also questioned the handling of documents by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey.
“Everybody needs to be more careful,” Blunt said. Some Republicans have suggested that there has been a double standard as to the way Trump was treated relative to the way other leaders have been treated.
The Missouri Republican wasn’t the only member of his party to take a measured perspective Sunday on the FBI’s search of the former president’s Florida estate.
“We should absolutely be concerned,” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” about the possibility that Trump removed documents that he shouldn’t have.
But Sununu continued, “I don’t know what to be concerned about. No one seems to. What’s the subject matter? … Of course, you can’t just open the whole investigation up.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a consistent Trump critic and vocal supporter of the FBI, said he didn’t have enough information to determine whether the search was justified. He called for transparency, though he acknowledged the sensitivity of a federal investigation.
“On the one hand, it could be, as some Republicans think, just a political witch hunt. On the other hand, it could be really serious federal felonies,” Hogan said.
Hogan said he didn’t yet know which side he believed, but added that it would be “hard to believe” the Justice Department would take these actions “unless they had something pretty serious.”
A partially redacted affidavit unsealed Friday revealed that the FBI recovered highly classified and sensitive information from Mar-a-Lago, leading to a search warrant of the property. The agency searched Trump’s resort Aug. 8 as an attempt to recover classified documents that the former president had taken with him when he left the White House in January 2021.