Stefanik calls for transparency from FBI on Trump search, limo crash

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 5:50 PM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - Former President Donald Trump is calling on a federal judge to unseal the affidavit used to secure a search warrant for his Mar-a-Lago home. Several media outlets, including CBS News, are petitioning for it to be unsealed as well.

But the Department of Justice has filed a motion in court to keep the affidavit sealed, arguing that making it public could compromise investigations.

Rep. Elise Stefanik was in Plattsburgh on Tuesday, where she answered questions about the FBI’s actions.

She is also calling on the FBI to release the search warrant affidavit, calling for the agency to be fully transparent. She also wants FBI Director Chris Wray to answer questions on another investigation with direct ties to our region.

“They need to turn that information over so that congress can assess whether they overstepped their bounds,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-New York.

Last week, FBI agents pulled 11 sets of classified documents from former President Trump’s Palm Bay home.

“The majority of the American people no longer have trust in the FBI. These institutions need to work hard to maintain the trust and faith of the American people,” Stefanik said.

The congresswoman, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, is calling for the bureau to hand over the seized documents to the committee.

“When it comes to the information that was seized at Mar-a-Lago, it was unclassified material as well, including the president’s passports, including photo albums. That is a significant overreach and before we jump to conclusions, let’s see the information,” Stefanik said.

Stefanik is also calling out FBI Director Chris Wray to answer questions about the 2018 Schoharie County limo crash, now considered the deadliest vehicular crash in New York.

“The owner of the limo company was a longtime FBI informant. It took me asking Director Wray in an open hearing about that issue that forced them to open an investigation,” Stefanik said.

Twenty people died in the crash, including the four King sisters, originally from Chazy Lake in Clinton County.

Stefanik says the FBI has started an internal investigation.

“There is district ties to this, the FBI has refused to answer questions on their culpability in the deadliest vehicular crash in years. They deserve, my constituents that have lost loved ones deserve answers to that,” she said. “I will not hesitate to subpoena the documents, I have made that commitment publicly.”

She also wants to question Wray about his use of government aircraft to travel to Saranac Lake. Those expenses are required to be reimbursed.

“We need to make sure that is not an abuse of taxpayer dollars,” Stefanik said. “The FBI has said that it’s not but we need that documentation.”

Stefanik says the agency should be held to the same oversight as any other agency, saying transparency is a good thing.

“I’m asking for full information, full transparency, regardless of what your political affiliation is. Sunshine is a good thing and the FBI deserves specific oversight,” she said.

Stefanik was asked if she thinks the president had the right to keep the documents after he left the White House. She said, “Let’s see what the documents are before jumping to conclusions.”

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