Republicans ‘mistrust, but verify’ DOJ view, says former Homeland Security chairman

McCaul said he had questions about the research, including why the Gang of Eight — congressional leaders privy to classified information — and other relevant members of Congress weren’t better informed about it.

But, he added, “As an alumnus of the DOJ, I hate to see people’s faith in our institutions being weakened.”

The Texas representative previously served as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and is the minority leader on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Asked about his thoughts on Trump taking classified documents to Mar-a-Lago in the first place, McCaul said he “personally wouldn’t do that,” having spent most of his career “in the classified world.”

“But I’m not the president of the United States,” McCaul said. “He has a different set of rules that apply to him. The president can declassify a document in the blink of an eye.

An unsealed court filing Friday revealed that federal agents who searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort found highly classified documents mixed in with items like books and clothing. There were also folders marked classified that were empty, with no indication as to where the documents might have gone.

Republicans have juggled the former president’s defenses since agents searched an estate in Florida early last month.

McCaul’s “trust, but verify” line was likely a reference to former President Ronald Reagan’s “trust, but verify” line when discussing nuclear arms reduction negotiations with the then Soviet leader , Mikhail Gorbachev, died last week at the age of 91. Trust, but verify” would be derived from an old Russian proverb.


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