(CNN) — Top Republicans in Congress were quick to come to the defense of former President Donald Trump after the FBI executed a search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida as part of an investigation into his handling of potentially classified material.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Attorney General Merrick Garland to “preserve your documents and clear your schedule,” warning of an oversight investigation “when” Republicans take back the chamber in the midterm elections.

“The Justice Department has reached an intolerable state of armed politicization,” McCarthy said.

House Republicans briefly discussed the FBI search during a conference call Tuesday, multiple sources tell CNN. Top Republicans have made it clear they want answers and full accountability from the Justice Department.

The call had previously been scheduled to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act that will go to the full House on Friday.

But early in the call, McCarthy kicked off the call, then turned the floor over to Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Mike Turner, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.

They repeated their demands for accountability, but did not say what their specific oversight plans will be if they win the majority.

Trump will also meet Tuesday with about a dozen members of the House Republican Study Committee, led by Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, at his residence in Bedminster, New Jersey, according to a person familiar with his plans. providing a timely opportunity for the former president to gather allies following the FBI investigation.

A CNN poll in July found that most Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters do not want Trump to be their party’s nominee in the 2024 presidential election.

But the former president remains powerful within the party; Republican candidates across the country have sought his support in their 2022 primaries, and on Saturday, Trump overwhelmingly won an unofficial poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas.

Joining Trump, many Republicans, including Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, instead attacked Democrats following the news of the FBI raid, with some saying Biden should be investigated.

“There must be an immediate investigation and accountability into Joe Biden and the use of this department as a weapon against his political opponents, the likely Republican candidate for President of the United States in 2024,” said New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, member of the leadership of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives.

Turner, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, requested an “immediate briefing” to FBI Director Christopher Wray, saying the agency’s action was “unprecedented” and that he was “not aware of any actual or perceived threat to national security” posed by the materials in Trump’s possession.

Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley, a potential 2024 challenger, criticized Biden, saying he “has led our republic into dangerous waters” and called for Garland to resign or be impeached.

“At a minimum, Garland must resign or be impeached. The search warrant must be published. Christoper Wray must be removed. And the FBI reformed from top to bottom,” Hawley tweeted.

Former Vice President Mike Pence called on Garland to render “full accounts” on the FBI search.

“I share the deep concern of millions of Americans over the unprecedented search of President Trump’s personal residence,” Pence tweeted.

“Yesterday’s action undermines public confidence in our justice system and Attorney General Garland must give a full account to the American people for why this action was taken, and he must do so immediately,” he said.

Democrats countered that no one is above the law.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on NBC’s “Today” show that she first learned about the FBI record when it “showed up” on her phone, repeatedly saying that she only knows what is public.

“We believe in the rule of law,” Pelosi added.

And Rep. Carolyn Maloney, chair of the House Oversight Committee investigating Trump’s handling of documents, called on the Justice Department to “thoroughly investigate” the former president’s handling of information.

“Presidents have a solemn duty to protect the national security of the United States, and allegations that former President Trump put our security at risk by mishandling classified information warrant the utmost scrutiny,” the New York Democrat said. “While the details of today’s actions at Mar-a-Lago are still emerging, it is clear that the Justice Department must fully investigate President Trump’s potentially serious mishandling of classified information.”

Some top Republicans did not attack the Justice Department immediately after the filing. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office declined to comment.

But many others were up in arms as they watched the Justice Department take action against Trump, a former and suspected future rival of President Joe Biden.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said “President Trump is likely to run again in 2024” and noted that the midterm elections are less than 100 days away. “Launching such an investigation into a former president so close to an election is beyond problematic.”

The FBI search also quickly became a talking point in the Florida gubernatorial race. Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump’s potential Republican rival in 2024, tweeted: “The MAL (Mar-a-Lago) Raid is another escalation in the arming of Federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents,” referring to the Biden administration. .

Florida Rep. Charlie Crist, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, replied, “Governor DeSantis’s visceral partisan response to this law enforcement action demonstrates once again that he is more interested in playing politics than seeking justice or The rule of law”.

— Kaitlan Collins, Rebekah Metzler, Zachary Cohen and Kate Sullivan contributed reporting.





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