Mike Franken, the Democrat running against Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, says the top secret documents that wound up at former President Trump’s Florida residence shouldn’t have left the White House.
“It’s an oddity beyond oddities,” Franken said. “And who’s not surprised?”
Franken is a retired Navy admiral who still has a security clearance due to recent work for a defense contractor. Franken says at one point in his military career he conducted national security briefings for the U.S. Defense Secretary where classified and top secret documents were reviewed.
“These are highly protected. They’re carried around by a court custodian,” Franken says. “You put down, you sign, you read, it’s packaged up, it’s handed back and it’s locked in.”
An affidavit released Friday indicates Trump took information about U.S. spies and other top secret documents with him when he left the White House in early 2021. Franken says human intelligence is vital to national security and the sloppy handling of the material is troubling.\”My principle issue is how did it every not get turned back in? That’s internal to the machinations of the White House,” Franken says. “And secondly, how did it ever get out of the White House proper?”
A voter asked Franken about this month’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort during a “coffee with the candidate” forum in Nevada this weekend. The affidavit used to get court permission for the search indicates Trump gave the National Archives 184 documents marked as classified, secret or top secret in January of this year, but witnesses say Trump was keeping other highly-sensitive records in Florida.
During a speech last night at a fundraiser for GOP Congresswoman Ashley Hinson, Senator Grassley said FBI agents have shown political bias.
“You look at their social media, you know they’re extreme Democrats,” Grassley said, “and they were in a position to make a choice of where we’re going to start an investigation of Trump based on fuzzy newspaper stories and they stopped an investigation of Hunter Biden.”
Grassley said the search of Trump’s residence erodes confidence in the FBI.