Aug. 13—Some top Maine Republicans who vigorously criticized the FBI search of former President Donald Trump's Florida home this week declined to comment Friday after the unsealed federal search warrant revealed that Trump is under investigation for potentially violating the Espionage Act.
Campaign staff for gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage and U.S House candidate Bruce Poliquin said Friday that the men would not be issuing additional statements on the search at Mar-a-Lago on Monday, during which agents seized 11 sets of documents that were marked as top secret and meant to be viewed only in government facilities.
On Tuesday, in an interview with Bangor's WABI-TV, LePage had described the search as "not what the United States is about," and that it meant the nation was being "taken over by the oligarchs, the elitists."
Meanwhile, Poliquin, who is running for U.S. House, called the investigation "shocking."
"Joe Biden and his Justice team must answer questions. At a time when Democrats are making government bigger and more powerful, Americans are worried about their freedoms," Poliquin said on Tuesday.
Federal investigators had obtained a search warrant for Trump's property before the search, indicating a "very high standard of probable cause of crimes." On Friday afternoon, that warrant and property receipts unsealed by a federal judge showed Trump is under investigation for three different federal laws.
One of those laws governs the gathering, transmitting or loss of defense information under the Espionage Act. Investigators also are reviewing whether Trump violated laws addressing the concealment, mutilation or removal of records and the destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is not up for re-election this year, said in a statement Friday evening that Attorney General Merrick Garland's announcement about the unsealed search warrant "is a first step toward transparency to help the American people better understand the justification for the FBI's unprecedented action."
Collins, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she would like federal justice officials to release more information on the type of documents seized.
"The Senate Intelligence Committee, which has oversight responsibility for intelligence actions, should contact the attorney general to request full access to the documents," she said. "Such a request is now being discussed among members of the committee on which I serve."
The office of Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent who also serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Friday evening that King "has a heightened understanding of the national security significance of top secret, classified materials. He is monitoring this story closely and looking forward to hearing more details as they become known."