• The Justice Department said Trump took sensitive and classified documents to Mar-a-Lago.
  • The FBI conducted a raid to recover them after years of trying to get Trump to turn them in, an affidavit said.
  • GOP Sen. Roy Blunt said Sunday the former president should've handed them all over before the raid.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said Sunday that former President Donald Trump should have turned over all of the documents at Mar-a-Lago before the Justice Department turned to a search warrant and raid.

Blunt appeared on ABC's "This Week" and was asked by anchor George Stephanopoulos if it was right for Trump to take government documents with him to Mar-a-Lago, even though he was supposed to turn them over to the National Archives.

"You should be careful with classified documents," Blunt began, before asking if the same questions were raised about Hillary Clinton's and former FBI Director James Comey's handling of government records. 

Stephanopoulos noted that Clinton had turned over the documents and devices that were requested of her and pressed Blunt to answer if it was right for Trump not to turn over the documents.

Blunt pointed out Trump had given the Justice Department some materials prior to the raid and suggested the raid was timed to impact the midterm elections and distract from the economy and inflation. Stephanopoulos noted the timing had to do with Trump not turning over the documents sooner, at which point Blunt conceded.

"I understand he turned over a lot of documents. He should have turned over all of them. I imagine he knows that very well now as well," Blunt said.


The senator said he supports the appointment of a special master to review the documents and determine what should've been turned over to the Justice Department and those Trump "had every right to have."

The FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on August 8 as part of an investigation into potential violations of laws related to the handling of government documents.

The Justice Department said Trump took home sensitive and highly classified materials when he left office, but Trump has disputed that account with various explanations, including saying that he declassified all the documents and that he was cooperating with federal law enforcement.

All presidential records, classified or not, are required by law to be managed by the National Archives when a president leaves office, but the nature of the records said to be at Mar-a-Lago posed potential national security concerns, according to court documents. A redacted affidavit released Friday showed the National Archives had tried to retrieve the documents for more than a year before the court-approved search.

Blunt, who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, also said in the interview that if the documents posed a national security problem, it was concerning that the committee was not informed in advance of the search.

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