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(Reuters) - The group sponsoring U.S. presidential debates will mute microphones to allow President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden to speak for two uninterrupted minutes per segment, according to a statement on Monday.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Ohio Republican Party Condemns FBIs Mar-a-Lago Search

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Paduchik this week condemned the search of former President Donald Trump’s residence at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, as executed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday. 

Many in the ex-president’s party have expressed outrage that Biden administration Attorney General Merrick Garland secured a warrant for federal agents to surprise Trump with a search of his home. No justice department has ever taken similar action to investigate a former commander in chief. 

“The Biden Administration’s unprecedented raid on President Trump’s residence is an extreme abuse of executive power and a naked attempt to punish a political opponent,” Paduchik said in a statement. “Democrats continue to abuse the security services of our nation for political purposes as they further undermine Americans’ trust in the rule of law.”

Sources with knowledge of the event have reportedly revealed that the FBI’s warrant related to classified documents that the president may have allegedly acquired before leaving Washington, D.C. at the end of his four-year term in office. Some legal experts, including former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy, have nonetheless posited that administration officials may be more interested in evidence pertaining to the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol Building perpetrated by Biden opponents who disputed the legitimacy of his election.

Ohio’s Republican congressional delegation has largely condemned the bureau’s move. In a statement, Representative Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-02) seconded a direct request by his District 10 colleague Mike Turner, the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, that federal officials give Congress a thorough explanation as to why they sought the warrant.

“The FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s personal home is completely without precedent in American history,” Wenstrup said. “We have seen the FBI and Department of Justice weaponized and politicized within the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] courts, their unending protection of [former Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton, their support of [former FBI Director] James Comey and with [the president’s son] Hunter Biden. I support Ranking Member Mike Turner’s demand that FBI Director Christopher Wray immediately brief members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on any national security threats that were used to justify his decision.”

Wenstrup’s reference to Clinton related to revelations in 2016 that the former New York senator and presidential candidate had possession of thousands of classified federal communications on her private server after serving at the helm of the State Department. Many Clinton critics have faulted Comey for deciding not to file charges pertaining to what they considered a major security breach. 

The congressman’s reference to the younger Biden concerned his business activities with Chinese and other foreign entities. A congressional investigation of Hunter Biden is ongoing.

– – –

Bradley Vasoli is managing editor of The Ohio Star. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Bob Paduchik” by Bob Paduchik. Background Photo “Mar-a-Lago” by Christine Davis. CC BY-SA 2.0.



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