Tuberville on Mar-a-Largo raid and Trump probe: ‘Kick this to the back burner’

Federal investigators “need to do their due diligence” in reviewing the classified documents seized during an FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate last month, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville said Wednesday.

But the senator, who was closely aligned to Trump during his 2020 run for the Senate in Alabama, said he believes the attention on the investigation over the documents seized during the search of Trump’s Mar-a-Largo estate “doesn’t need to affect our country moving forward.”

“They can do whatever they need to do, but I think right now the most important thing that we need to look at is the recession, the high prices and energy prices and talk about that more than we do about something that really, none of us other than our justice system, can control,” Tuberville said on Wednesday during a media call with Alabama reporters.

Tuberville said the national media attention on the investigation, along with the attention about it in Washington, D.C., “has been a little bit one-sided.”

“I hope we can kick this to the back burner where we can get COVID under control and get people’s lives back (for the) better,” Tuberville said. “This situation here does not need to affect our country moving forward.”

Tuberville’s urging for a focus on economic issues comes as polling suggests Republicans hold a polling advantage on the issue heading into the November midterm elections. Tuberville is not up for re-election this year.

The economic advantages are likely to continue to increase this week after the release of a consumer price index report showed prices increasing from July to August for items like food prices and medical care.

Tuberville said the attention on Trump’s legal matters should be moved aside to all the nation to “do the things we need to do get people’s lives better.”

The FBI raided Trump’s private home in search of classified materials he was alleged to have taken with him after leaving the White House in 2020.

A court recently ordered a “special master” to review the seized property for any privileged information. Trump’s legal team is arguing the former president could have deemed the records, with more than 100 marked as “classified,” as his own personal property. The Trump teams believes that former presidents have a right to access presidential records during their time in office, and there was no problem for them being kept at Mar-a-Lago.

Tuberville said the attention on the case is unshakable.

“It seems like you can’t pick up the newspaper, watch something on TV and read something on Twitter about President Trump,” he said.

Tuberville and Trump were closely aligned in 2020. The former president’s involvement in the GOP Senate primary helped the former college football coach upend Jeff Session, who served as U.S. Attorney General under Trump but who also had drawn the ex-president’s ire for recusing himself during the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Tuberville then went on to defeat Democratic Senator Doug Jones that November.

Tuberville was one of the senators Trump called on January 6, 2021, urging him to slow down the presidential certification process.

During the Capital riot, Trump accidentally called Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee thinking he was calling Tuberville. Lee then handed the phone over to the Alabama senator. Trump reportedly asked Tuberville to make additional objections to the certification process.