Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal declined on Wednesday to comment on the disparate FBI treatment accorded former President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in similar cases involving official and classified records.
The FBI mounted an armed, daylong raid of Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday, reportedly in search of classified documents sought by the National Archives, material reportedly shipped from the White House with Trump amid his tumultuous departure from office in January 2020.
In contrast, during the 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for official business while serving as secretary of state, Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, “was allowed to keep a thumb drive of the archive of her inbox — complete with classified materials — inside his office,” Just the News Editor in Chief John Solomon reported Tuesday.
“The FBI even approved a special safe for Kendall to use to store the classified materials,” Solomon recounted.
The FBI broke into Trump’s safe, according to the former president, and reportedly even inspected former First Lady Melania Trump’s wardrobe.
“This is the same agency that protected Hillary Clinton, James Comey, and continues to lie to protect Hunter Biden,” said House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik. “This is the same agency that refuses to provide accountability and transparency into the deadly limo crash in Schoharie County in my district.”
Attorney Alan Dershowitz said the FBI should have subpoenaed documents rather than raid Trump’s home.
“There were no raids, for example, on the homes of Hillary Clinton or former Clinton administration National Security Advisor Sandy Berger for comparable allegations of mishandling official records in the recent past,” he said.
Berger pleaded guilty in 2005 to a charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material after he was caught removing classified documents from the National Archives and cutting them up with scissors.
Blumenthal was asked for his response to the raid of Mar-a-Lago.
“As a former prosecutor, I know that a search warrant has to be approved by a judge, has to be based on facts sworn under oath,” he said in an interview with Just the News. “It has to meet the threshold that’s necessary under the law for the FBI to go into somebody’s homes. And I presume they met all those standards.”
Blumenthal responded to political analysts who have said the optics of the FBI’s raid could unite the Republican Party and embolden the former president, who might run for president again in 2024.
“When there’s a criminal investigation, the politics need to be put aside,” he said. “The prosecutor has to follow the facts and the law. And I believe, and certainly I hope, that’s what the Department of Justice is doing.”
Blumenthal was asked for his response to comparisons between the treatment accorded Trump and Clinton, respectively, by federal law enforcement.
“I’m not going to comment on what Republicans are saying,” he said. “What I know is follow the facts and the law. Nobody’s above the law, not even a former president. And we’ll see what is found in those documents.”
Blumenthal, a former Connecticut attorney general, was first elected to the Senate in 2011. He is running for reelection against Trump-backed Leora Levy, a Republican Party fundraiser and former commodities trader who scored a major upset victory Tuesday night over anti-Trump Republican Themis Klarides, a former state House minority leader.
Levy has campaigned on ending “Blumenthal blight” in the state. Trump endorsed Levy in her primary campaign and held a tele-rally for her before Tuesday’s election.