Rep. Gallagher: Congress Left to Learn About Trump Raid Through the Media
Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-W.I. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Sunday, 04 September 2022 03:27 PM EDT
There has not been enough transparency from the Department of Justice and the FBI concerning the Aug. 8 raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, and as a result, members of Congress have had to learn details through leaks that "presumably they're feeding to the liberal media," Rep. Mike Gallagher, a member of the House Intelligence and Armed Services committees, said Sunday.
"For something of this magnitude, something unprecedented, you would expect the FBI and the DOJ to go to great lengths to ensure they are conducting themselves with the highest level of professionalism, but they never notified our committee, which you would expect them to do if, indeed, there was a danger posed by the classified material that was the in Donald Trump's possession," the Wisconsin Republican said on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures."
Gallagher added that it's "unacceptable" that members of Congress are learning the news through the media, and such doings also further increase everyday Americans' skepticism.
The move also comes after the FBI relied on unverified opposition research, funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign, to spy on Trump's campaign in 2016, said Gallagher.
"No one has been held accountable for that massive abuse of power," he said. "I think that is the initial thing that caused a lot of people to lose faith in these institutions."
And then there is Attorney General Merrick Garland, who had been promoted in the media as a "safe, slam-dunk moderate pick" but who has turned out to weaponize the power of the DOJ, said Gallagher.
"Then, of course, you have all these agencies currently being controlled by President [Joe Biden] who just went on prime-time TV and labeled everyone in the Republican Party, effectively, a domestic extremist," said Gallagher.
And if the DOJ moves forward with an indictment against Trump, that would be a "dangerous road to go down," said Gallagher.
"The average American is going to see the way Hillary Clinton was treated and see the double standard," as former FBI Director James Comey "established a new standard there," he added.
Meanwhile, the recent resignation of 25-year veteran FBI agent Tim Thibault, who has been accused of stonewalling the Hunter Biden investigation, appears to be more of a cover-up move by the agency than cleaning house and taking corrective action, said Gallagher.
He stressed that he comes from an intelligence background and has "profound respect" for the rank-and-file members of the FBI, but he does believe their leadership is failing them and that those members are starting to lose faith in their own leadership because of a series of events that have happened.
"It's going to be up to a Republican majority to hold these agencies accountable because we need the American people to trust federal law enforcement," said Gallagher. "There are very important jobs that they do and is right now that trust is fraying. Accountability is very much on the ballot come November."
He also said he believes a GOP-led Congress will end up using a practice called "fencing, "where they draw limits on financing to compel the agencies like the FBI to provide information.
"It's a shame that you have to do that, but that is what's necessary," said Gallagher. "The other thing I think we have to use more effectively, Sean, is our subpoena power … it extends to various other executive branch agencies."