Political News

Trump investigation live updates: FBI collected top secret docs from Mar-a-Lago

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(WASHINGTON) -- Search documents were released by the court on Friday after the FBI executed an unprecedented raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Monday. The FBI was searching for evidence that sources told ABC News is tied to his alleged mishandling of classified documents.

It's believed to be the first search by the federal agency of the residence of a current or former U.S. president. Trump and other Republicans have sharply criticized the raid as a partisan attack and have demanded an explanation. Trump denies wrongdoing.

Here's how the news is developing. All times Eastern.

Aug 12, 4:18 PM EDT
Trump spokesman calls search 'outrageous'

In a statement, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich described the FBI operation at Mar-a-Lago as a "botched raid" and called the search "outrageous."

"The Biden administration is in obvious damage control after their botched raid where they seized the President’s picture books, a 'hand written note,' and declassified documents," Budowich said in a statement. "This raid of President Trump's home was not just unprecedented, but unnecessary -- and now they are leaking lies and innuendos to try to explain away the weaponization of government against their dominant political opponent."

Despite Budowich's statement, it has not been confirmed whether any of the seized documents were declassified.

Aug 12, 4:01 PM EDT
DOJ investigates potential violation of at least 3 separate criminal statutes

A judge has released redacted copies of the warrant and inventory from the search executed at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago property. The government requested the unsealing on Thursday.

The filing, which includes two attachments ("Attachment A" and "Attachment B"), indicates that the Justice Department, in its search of the Palm Beach, Florida, estate, is investigating potential violation of at least three separate criminal statutes including a statute under the Espionage Act.

Attachment B states that the property to be seized by agents includes "all physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime or other items illegally possessed" in violation of 18 USC 793, a statute under the Espionage Act involving the gathering, transmitting or loss of defense information; 18 USC 2071, which involves any federal government employee who willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies or destroys public records; and 18 USC 1519, obstruction of justice.

Under the receipt showing property that was seized from Trump's estate, agents note they recovered 11 sets of documents of various classifications ranging from confidential to top secret and sensitive compartmented information.

The receipt identifies one set referring to "various classified/TS/SCI documents," four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents and three sets of documents described as confidential. It appears that there were 21 boxes taken.

Other items included in the receipt include one labeled "Info re: President of France," an executive grant of clemency for Trump ally Roger Stone, binders of photos, a "potential presidential record" and a leather-bound box of documents.

Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said, "The Biden administration is in obvious damage control after their botched raid where they seized the President’s picture books, a 'hand written note,' and declassified documents. This raid of President Trump's home was not just unprecedented, but unnecessary -- and now they are leaking lies and innuendos to try to explain away the weaponization of government against their dominant political opponent."

--ABC News' John Santucci, Alex Mallin and Katherine Faulders

Aug 12, 12:43 PM EDT
House Republicans attack integrity of DOJ and FBI

Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee defended former President Donald Trump while attacking the integrity of the Department of Justice and the FBI during a press conference on Capitol Hill Friday.

"President Donald Trump is Joe Biden's most likeliest political opponent in 2024 and this is less than 100 days from critical midterm elections," Rep. Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 House Republican, said. "The FBI raid of President Trump is a complete abuse and overreach of its authority."

Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Michael Turner, R-Ohio, told reporters that Republicans on the committee are "glad" the Department of Justice has begun the process of releasing "some" of the information about the raid to the public, but called for more. Turner said committee Republicans want access to the affidavit outlining the "imminent security threat" justifying the raid.

"Our request remains that the director of the FBI and the attorney general disclose to this committee the imminent national security threat upon which they based their decision to order a raid on the president's home, again underscoring that there were many other options available to them," Turner claimed. "We believe after the release today that these questions will remain unanswered."

"The real story will be with the release of the affidavit itself," Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., added. "The bureau and the attorney general and the DOJ obviously made the decision that this extreme measure was necessary. We will await their rationale for why that extreme measure was justified and not some lesser intrusive means."

Turner did not call for the public disclosure of the underlying affidavit, which is expected to remain under seal, but did say that members of the intelligence committee and other committees of jurisdiction should have access. He called on committee Democrats to support a subpoena for this affidavit if there is non-compliance.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy dodged ABC News’ questions about whether he supports the release of the warrant authorizing the raid, instead saying he'd like to see the subpoena against Trump.

Trump received a subpoena in the spring for documents that he did not return to the National Archives, ABC News has reported. It's unclear to what extent, if at all, he complied. The Justice Department has not publicly confirmed the existence of a subpoena.

Stefanik promised a "fulsome investigation" if Republicans retake the gavel in November.

"House Republicans are committed to immediate oversight, accountability and a fulsome investigation to provide needed transparency and answers to the American people," Stefanik said.

The group also emphasized that they're in "full support" of those who serve in the FBI and law enforcement agencies and condemned any violence against agents, while also repeatedly calling into question the credibility of law enforcement.

Aug 12, 12:28 PM EDT
Pelosi slams GOP for rhetoric following raid

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is blasting Republicans for their rhetoric following the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago.

Asked by ABC News about concerns over possibly increasing levels of violence against law enforcement and public officials after recent rhetoric from the GOP, Pelosi said Friday that she knows "very well how vicious" some of those threats can be, and said they’ve been "exacerbated" by former President Donald Trump.

"You would think there would be an adult in the Republican room that would say, 'Just calm down. See what the facts are and let's go for that.' Instead of … instigating assaults on law enforcement," Pelosi said.

When asked if she wants Congress to open more investigations into the material that Trump allegedly took, Pelosi said she’s not currently making plans for that and is going to let the investigation unfold.

Pelosi said she was not briefed on any aspect of the FBI raid or what classified information was being held.

She said she only knows "what’s in the public domain," but she added, "if the nature of these documents is what appears to be, this is very serious."

Aug 12, 8:44 AM EDT
Washington Post: Nuclear documents sought at Mar-a-Lago

The Washington Post is reporting that classified documents related to nuclear weapons were among the items agents sought by federal agents at Mar-a-Lago.

Multiple sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News that the Justice Department and the FBI believed Trump continued to keep sensitive classified documents that had national security implications and that in recent weeks additional information came in suggesting that Trump was not complying with requests to provide the information the Justice Department believed he had in his possession.

Aug 12, 8:00 AM EDT
DOJ believes Trump held onto sensitive classified documents and associates questioned, sources say

Multiple sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News that the Department of Justice and the FBI believed former President Donald Trump continued to keep sensitive classified documents that had national security implications, and that in recent weeks additional information came in suggesting Trump was not complying with requests to provide the information the Justice Department believed he had in his possession.

The information was sensitive enough that authorities wanted to take it back into possession immediately.

-ABC News' Pierre Thomas, Alexander Mallin, Luke Barr, Katherine Faulders, and John Santucci

Aug 12, 7:07 AM EDT
Trump calls for 'immediate release' of search warrant

Former President Donald Trump is calling for "the immediate release" of the warrant that allowed FBI agents to search his Mar-a-Lago estate on Monday.

"Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid and break-in of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago, I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents, even though they have been drawn up by radical left Democrats and possible future political opponents, who have a strong and powerful vested interest in attacking me much as they have done for the last 6 years," Trump said late Thursday in a post on his social media platform, Truth Social.

"This unprecedented political weaponization of law enforcement is inappropriate and highly unethical," he added. "The world is watching as our Country is being brought to a new low, not only on our border, crime, economy, energy, national security, and so much more, but also with respect to our sacred elections!"

-ABC News' Katherine Faulders

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Florida to ban gender-affirming care under Medicaid for transgender recipients

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(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- Florida will soon bar transgender residents from using Medicaid to pay for gender-affirming care, according to the state's Agency for Health Care Administration. The rule goes into effect Aug. 21.

Several accredited medical institutions, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, alongside the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services say gender-affirming care can improve the mental health and overall well-being of gender-diverse people.

These organizations recommend gender-affirming care for the treatment of "gender dysphoria" -- when a person experiences emotional distress because their assigned sex at birth and gender identity don't align.

"Because gender-affirming care encompasses many facets of healthcare needs and support, it has been shown to increase positive outcomes for transgender and nonbinary children and adolescents," reads guidance from HHS. "Gender-affirming care is patient-centered and treats individuals holistically, aligning their outward, physical traits with their gender identity," the guidance continues.

However, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration changed its rules Thursday. Medicaid can no longer be used to pay for medications and surgeries of those diagnosed with gender dysphoria in the state.

A 2019 study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that about 32,000 of the roughly 152,000 U.S. trans adults enrolled in Medicaid at the time lived in states that denied coverage for gender-affirming care.

AHCA proposed the change in a June memo, recommending limitations on puberty blockers, hormones, sex-reassignment surgeries and "any other procedures that alter primary or secondary sexual characteristics."

AHCA proposed the change in a June memo, recommending limitations on puberty blockers, hormones, sex-reassignment surgeries and "any other procedures that alter primary or secondary sexual characteristics."

Joseph Ladapo, Florida's surgeon general, also released a memo in June on gender-affirming care.

He claimed treatments like sex-reassignment surgery, and hormone and puberty blockers are not effective treatments for gender dysphoria based on three cited studies that dispute the general medical consensus on the condition.

He said federal medical guidelines are “about injecting political ideology into the health of our children. Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18,” he said in a statement.

Almost simultaneously, the Florida State Board of Medicine voted on Aug. 5 to begin formulating a rule that would deny gender-affirming care to people under the age of 18 and require adults to consult with their doctors before receiving such care.

In a recent press conference, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis railed against gender-affirming care.

"You don't disfigure 10, 12, 13-year-old kids based on gender dysphoria," DeSantis said in a recent press conference. "I think these doctors need to get sued for what's happening."

He also made claims that children with gender dysphoria often regret their gender-affirming care; however, a 2021 study from researchers across the country found that the total number of people who regret their care is almost non-existent.

Health care providers have told ABC News that gender-affirming surgeries are not used on minors.

These moves led to outrage from LGBTQ groups and health care providers across the country.

"Science, medicine, and evidence-based approaches have demonstrated time and time again that transition-related care is medically necessary and life-saving care, and if this proposal is adopted, it will go against the recommendation of every major medical association," said Sarah Warbelow, Human Rights Campaign Legal Director in a statement. "The truth matters and so does protecting Florida's youth and their families."

Under DeSantis' leadership, Florida has continuously battled against professional and activist-based recommendations for gender inclusivity. Recently, several of the state's agencies openly dismissed nondiscrimination recommendations from the federal level. In July, the Parental Rights in Education law, dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" law, went into effect.

Supporters of the law say that children should not be learning about gender identity and sexual orientation in grades K-3. Critics say it will silence and shame LGBTQ identities in the classroom.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

US is facing a poll worker shortage -- new campaign hopes to recruit veterans to fill the gap

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(WASHINGTON) -- More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic -- and with ongoing concerns about political violence -- America is facing a critical shortage of poll workers, experts say. A new national campaign hopes to see veterans and their families fill the gap.

Some 130,000 poll workers have stopped serving over the past three midterm elections, the group Vet the Vote says. And 20% more plan to leave before the 2024 elec­tion, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

Multiple states have reported shortages of poll workers, including California, New York and Texas.

Traditionally, the average age of poll workers is 61 or older, a demographic that is also more at risk from COVID and has, often, become warier of exposure, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Committee (EAC).

Vet the Vote hopes to sign up 100,000 veterans or their relatives to volunteer at the polls and fulfill the crucial but small-bore work that makes elections possible.

Ellen Gustafson, Vet the Vote's co-founder and co-executive director, is recruiting with 30 coalition partners. So far, the group's six-month campaign has attracted 1,000 veterans, but Gustafson said that the “big recruiting push is just starting” with upcoming promotions at NFL games.

“We saw a big connection between the military family community and the veterans’ community and the need to protect different facets of democracy,” said Gustafson, whose husband is in the Navy and whose grandfather was in the Coast Guard. “We volunteer at a higher rate -- we obviously know how to deal with complex situations and work together across many different boundaries to sort of accomplish amazing things.”

Vote the Vet's partners include 15 veterans groups, four civic organizations and the NFL.

“Veterans are made of stern stuff, we have been to war and aren’t easily intimidated,” said Marine Corps veteran Joe Plenzler, an election judge responsible for administering voting procedures in Charles County, Maryland, and an avid recruiter for Vote the Vet. “I found that other volunteers in the polling site are more reassured working alongside veterans who have been to war.”

Andrew Turner, 10-year Navy veteran, said he felt inspired by his love of politics and commitment to serve and decided to work the primary election as a Vet the Vote volunteer.

“The biggest thing ... was the amount of times I heard people say ‘thank you,’ like they just were so grateful to have the access to voting,” Turner told ABC News.

June's primary saw a turnout of hundreds of voters in Bay City, Michigan.

Turner, who previously had cancer and is disabled in one of his hands, said he had his own mounting concerns about COVID but felt safer given the sanitary environment with oscillating fans, an abundance of hand sanitizers and masks.

“It's tough in a polling site to make it perfectly safe, but I think we did a pretty good job,” he said.

Kate Germano, a 20-year Marine Corps combat veteran, was an inspiration behind the campaign. She recently worked as an election judge in Maryland, calling her time “the most meaningfully patriotic thing I’ve done as an adult and a citizen.”

Without volunteers like Germano and Turner polling sites would be pinched, said Charles Stewart, a professor of political science at MIT and director of the M.I.T. Election Data and Science Lab.

Stewart said the lack of staffing would lead to longer lines, delayed wait times for results and the consolidation of polling locations, potentially creating more obstacles for voters. Still, he predicted that there would be less absentee voting in 2022 compared to previous years in the pandemic, which saw a record surge in the use of mail ballots.

Coupled with COVID, political violence and partisan extremism remain a looming concern for potential poll workers.

“Because that sort of venomous nature of American politics has amped up so much, people are just less and less willing to work the polls,” explained Joshua Dyck, a professor and the director of the Center for Public Opinion at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

The Brennan Center for Justice conducted around 600 interviews among local election officials and, according to a survey published in March, found that one in six local election officials personally experienced threats; more than half of those officials had been threatened in person.

Part of the polarization around voting was driven by GOP-fueled claims going back to 2020 that certain forms of voting are fraudulent.

Employment forces such as low pay for the role and an otherwise tight labor market are also exacerbating the shortage of poll workers, experts say.

“Violence is the extreme outcome, but the less extreme outcome is people just deciding, ‘I don't really want to work at the polls, this isn't really worth it.’ And then it becomes more difficult for the basic cogs of our democracy to turn,” said Dyck, the professor.

“Veterans and military members are one of the most trusted communities in America,” Vet the Vote's Gustafson told ABC News. “What we want to see is a new normal when people get out of the military or military spouses move to a new community [that] one of the ways that they engage is by being coworkers."

"We think that this is a great solution, not just for American elections to run smoothly but also for military families and veterans to remind America that serving is not a one-time thing," Gustafson said, "but service is something that lasts your whole life.”

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Man pleads guilty to cyberstalking, threatening Okla. Rep. Kevin Hern

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(WASHINGTON) -- An Oklahoma man admitted Wednesday to cyberstalking Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., and threatening Hern and his wife, federal prosecutors announced.

Keith Charles Eisenberger, 39, of Bartlesville, pleaded guilty to three federal charges, including cyberstalking; threatening to kidnap and assault a member of Congress; and threatening to kidnap and assault the spouse of a member of Congress, the Justice Department said in a statement.

He was first charged in May.

"The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will not tolerate online threats of violence meant to intimidate elected officials or members of our community. Keith Eisenberger now understands there are legal repercussions to committing these criminal acts," said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

According to the Justice Department, Eisenberger admitted to prosecutors that he threatened and harassed Hern online from Nov. 27, 2018, to May 11, 2022, and ultimately threatened to assault and kidnap Hern to interfere with his official duties. He later threatened to kidnap and assault Hern's wife.

Prosecutors said the concerning comments started in 2018 when Hern first assumed office and became increasingly violent as time went on. The threats were made during visits to Hern's office in Washington and over the phone and social media.

During one visit to Hern's office in 2019, Eisenberger told Capitol Police that he was angry because he thought Hern had been appointed to the seat without Eisenberger being considered for it, prosecutors said.

In a plea agreement, prosecutors and an attorney for Eisenberger agreed that sentencing guidelines call for 36 months in prison, the Justice Department said. He will then undergo 36 months of supervised release, according to the agreement.

Eisenberger's guilty plea comes at a time of what law enforcement has called heightened concern over political violence.

A Seattle man was recently charged with felony stalking after allegedly yelling racial epithets outside the home of Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.

Another man was arrested in June for allegedly threatening to kill Brett Kavanaugh while outside the Supreme Court justice's home.

And in Ohio on Thursday, a suspected "domestic violent extremist" was fatally shot after attempting to break into an FBI office there, leading to an hours-long standoff.

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Republicans stress this attack in Iowa: Democrats don't value your caucus enough

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(NEW YORK) -- Republicans are seeking to turn an Iowa issue -- Democrats' likely decision to scrap the state as first-in-the-nation on its presidential nominating calendar -- into a persuasive attack line ahead of the November midterm elections.

At the Republican Party of Iowa's annual fundraiser in Des Moines on Wednesday, known as the Lincoln Dinner, national and statewide figures lauded their party's decision to keep the Iowa GOP caucus at the start of the 2024 presidential nominating process, a decades-long tradition that holds pride of place for many Iowans -- but which many Democrats have sought to replace for a move diverse and competitive state.

"The Democrats are absolutely walking away from Iowa. They 100% are. They're moving it. They're moving their decision till after November, which means they're walking away from Iowa," said Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, the Lincoln Dinner's headliner.

Iowa is home to one of the country's most electorally vulnerable House Democrats, Rep. Cindy Axne, who is set to face state Sen. Zach Nunn in November. Axne is trying to hold onto her newly redrawn swing seat in a district that former President Donald Trump handily carried during both his 2016 and 2020 campaigns.

Given Democrats' fragile majority in Congress, Axne's fate could help determine the balance of power in the House.

Referring to how Iowa was likely soon to lose its spot on the Democratic calendar, McDaniel said Wednesday, "I think Zach, you should be using this in your race against Cindy."

Democrats' new application process this year to choose which states secure early slots in the 2024 schedule effectively demotes Iowa because of the criteria: diversity, competitiveness and feasibility.

In a delay, however, the party won't finalize its next presidential nominating calendar until the midterm elections are complete.

Conversely, McDaniel said, Republicans have continued to "value" Iowa's caucus.

"Most of all, it comes down to the grassroots and the investment from you and the serious nature in which you put into selecting who Iowa will choose in your caucus, so I didn't want to change it," she said Wednesday.

Despite McDaniel's criticism, state Democrats had tried to preserve their prominence -- and had the support of state Republicans.

Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann, the chairman of the RNC's presidential nominating process committee, was a vocal advocate for Iowa Democrats in their likely unsuccessful fight.

"I stand beside my Democratic colleagues, my Iowa Democratic colleagues," Kaufmann said on a press call in April.

"I don't think that the national party wants to send the message that this would send," he said then.

"Republicans are going to go first. I want Iowa Democrats to go first," he said. "Look, even if there's a political advantage to me being able to say that they, you know, they tossed it overboard -- I don't want to be able to say that."

Iowa, which is majority white, has increasingly been dinged by some Democrats as unrepresentative of the party's larger electorate. Iowa Democrats chafe at that criticism, noting the state was early to back barrier-breakers like Barack Obama.

Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, told ABC News earlier this year that she believed Iowa and New Hampshire -- which always holds the country's first Democratic primary -- should not have "a disproportionate impact on the presidential nominating system."

"I think [Michigan] should have a chance, but I think every state in the country should have an opportunity to be in that rotation, to have presidential candidates know what your issues are," Dingell said then. "Every region should have their opportunity to get the kind of attention New Hampshire and Iowa do."

At a DNC meeting in June, Iowa Democrats made their pitch for the top early-state slot along with 16 other states and Puerto Rico.

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DOJ believes Trump held onto sensitive classified documents and associates questioned, sources say

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(WASHINGTON) -- Multiple sources familiar with the investigation say the Justice Department and the FBI believed former President Donald Trump continued to keep sensitive classified documents that had national security implications and that in recent weeks additional information came in suggesting that Trump was not complying with requests to provide the information the Justice Department believed he had in his possession.

The information was sensitive enough that authorities wanted to take it back into possession immediately.

Additional sources tell ABC News part of the information investigators were looking for included material labeled “special access” which is material accessible only by the highest level security clearances only available to a specific limited number of individuals.

Multiple sources tell ABC News federal investigators have questioned many individuals close to the former president about these materials including some members of his current staff in addition to some former White House officials.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Congressional Republicans call Garland's remarks on Mar-a-Lago search insufficient

ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — Congressional Republicans were quick to pan Merrick Garland's Thursday remarks on the FBI search of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago -- calling the attorney general's comments insufficient and insisting the Justice Department release more information behind the unprecedented raid even as Garland said he wants the search warrant unsealed.

But GOP lawmakers said the Justice Department's motion to unseal parts of the warrant would not cut it, demanding that more information behind the search's genesis was needed given the gravity of the operation at a former president's home.

Sources previously told ABC News it was in connection to documents that Trump took with him when he departed Washington, including some records the National Archives said were marked classified.

"The primary reason the Attorney General and FBI are being pushed to disclose why the search was necessary is because of the deep mistrust of the FBI and DOJ when it comes to all things Trump," tweeted South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally.

"What I am looking for is the predicate for the search. Was the information provided to the judge sufficient and necessary to authorize a raid on the former president’s home within ninety days of the midterm election?" Graham wrote. "I am urging, actually insisting, the DOJ and the FBI lay their cards on the table as to why this course of action was necessary. Until that is done the suspicion will continue to mount."

Other Republicans directly criticized Garland, who said at a brief press conference that he signed off on the search warrant for Trump's residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

"Merrick Garland personally approved a search warrant to take down Joe Biden’s top political opponent. This is a politically-motivated witch hunt," tweeted Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.

"The FBI and DOJ became politicized under Obama and this has continued under Biden. The FBI has become an attack dog to help the Democrats achieve their own political ambitions and silence dissenters," added Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene went even further.

"We must defund the FBI, dismantle the DOJ, and gut the agencies of political biases and persecutions," she tweeted.

Meanwhile Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, perhaps the most visible anti-Trump Republican, wrote on Twitter: "I have been ashamed to hear members of my party attacking the integrity of the FBI agents involved with the recent Mar-a-Lago search. These are sickening comments that put the lives of patriotic public servants at risk."

The reaction comes after days of GOP demands for Garland to release the warrant and explain the rationale behind the search.

Garland on Thursday said authorities acted by the book -- and he indicated that carrying out his duties required seeking the warrant.

"Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy. Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly without fear or favor," he said. "Under my watch, that is precisely what the Justice Department is doing."

“The search warrant was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause,” he said. A court filing from the Justice Department shows it was signed by a judge on Friday.

Included in the government's new motion to unseal parts of the warrant is a request to also unseal a redacted inventory of what was taken by agents at Mar-a-Lago.

Prosecutors wrote that Trump "should have an opportunity to respond to this Motion and lodge objections, including with regards to any 'legitimate privacy interests' or the potential for other 'injury' if these materials are made public."

The judge in the case later ordered the government to consult with Trump's attorneys and report back by Friday afternoon as to whether the former president would issue any objections.

People close to Trump have been discussing the possibility of challenging the motion to unseal the warrant, according to sources familiar with his thinking.

Lawyers who are said to be representing him in this matter are not responding to requests for comment.

Democrats, meanwhile, are pushing for the warrant's release, suggesting the Justice Department's motion shows there was no wrongdoing in the search.

"A reminder: Trump could have released this paper at any time. He refused," New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler tweeted. "And now DOJ wants you to see it. AG Garland seems to have nothing to hide."

ABC News' Katherine Faulders contributed to this report.

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Watchdog felt it faced delays monitoring DHS, Secret Service texts -- but never sent notice to Congress

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(WASHINGTON) — Career staff at the government's watchdog for the Department of Homeland Security prepared a notice to Congress earlier this year about their difficulty obtaining Secret Service text messages connected to Jan. 6, but it was never included as part of the watchdog's regular reporting requirement to lawmakers.

New documents reviewed by ABC News, and first obtained by the independent accountability group Project on Government Oversight, show the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG)'s legal office went so far as approving a draft notice to Congress that was ultimately not included in the agency's semi-annual report in June.

It's unclear why the notice was not in the report. But the draft document details what the OIG said were "avoidable" roadblocks imposed on its work by DHS.

According to the notice, the DHS used a cumbersome approval process to release requested records to the OIG, which was "requiring [the office] to waste valuable time making inquiries." And after delays of more than a month in some cases, documents would arrive with unexplained redactions.

Amid those described delays, according to the notice, the OIG said it was on Feb. 23 when the Secret Service notified the watchdog's staff of the mobile phone data migration process in early 2021 "which wiped all data" -- including the Jan. 6-related texts.

This contradicts another timeline: The watchdog's office was aware as early as December that Secret Service texts from Jan. 6 had been erased, according to congressional committee members who received a Secret Service briefing on the subject last month.

It wasn't until more than six months after the OIG allegedly knew about the deletions that it formally notified lawmakers, on July 13, according to Congress.

As ABC News previously reported, Democrats in Congress released new evidence last week alleging that nearly a year before notifying Congress, Inspector General Joseph Cuffari had abandoned his efforts to recover the Secret Service's text messages from Jan. 6.

Democrats have called on Cuffari to step down, suggesting a cover-up related to the text message probe.

Sen. Gary Peters, Democratic chair of the Homeland Security Committee, on Wednesday requested a "full accounting" from Cuffari about the efforts to recover messages from the Secret Service and other DHS officials.

"These are serious allegations and diverge from the information that you previously provided me and my team," Peters wrote.

"Therefore, I am requesting that you provide me with a complete accounting of actions planned and taken by your office and clarify the inconsistencies in what has been reported to date," he wrote.

The DHS Office of Inspector General did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Regarding the government watchdog's Jan. 6 investigation more generally, their June report had noted "significant delays" with Secret Service records production.

"We continue to discuss this issue with Secret Service," the brief statement said then.

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AG Merrick Garland says he signed off on Trump search, denounces attacks on law enforcement

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(WASHINGTON) — Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement comes after FBI agents searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday.

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday afternoon spoke for the first time since FBI agents raided former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

Citing "the substantial public interest in this matter," Garland said the government had filed a motion to unseal the warrant authorizing Monday's search, which Trump has sharply criticized as a partisan attack.

It was not immediately clear how quickly the judge in the case may release the warrant and federal prosecutors noted in their request, filed Thursday, that it should be granted only "absent objection by former President Trump."

Garland said that Trump's attorney had been provided on Monday with a copy of both the warrant and a list of what was taken from Mar-a-Lago by the agents -- contradicting past statements by Trump's son Eric.

In his four-minute remarks, Garland did not discuss any specifics of law enforcement's work or the larger investigation related to Trump.

"Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy. Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly without fear or favor," he said. "Under my watch, that is precisely what the Justice Department is doing."

“The search warrant was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause,” he said.

Sources previously told ABC News that Monday's search was in connection to documents that Trump took with him when he departed Washington, including some records the National Archives said were marked classified.

Garland said Thursday he "personally approved" the unprecedented decision to seek a search warrant against a former president but stressed that "the department does not take such a decision lightly."

"Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken," he said.

ABC News reported earlier Thursday that, according to sources, Trump previously received a subpoena in the spring for documents related to what he is believed to have failed to turn over to the National Archives, which had recovered 15 boxes of material from Mar-a-Lago in January.

Garland acknowledged there was still much he could not say -- given longstanding department policy not to comment on ongoing investigations and unduly harm those caught in law enforcement's wake before charges, if ever, are brought.

The search of Trump's home marked a significant development in one of several legal issues that Trump faces. (He denies wrongdoing in each.)

"All Americans are rightly entitled to the even-handed application of the law, to due process of the law and to the presumption of innocence," Garland said. "Much of our work is by necessity conducted out of the public eye. We do that to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans and to protect the integrity of our investigations."

Finally, he said, he wanted to "address recent unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors."

The search of Mar-a-Lago drew a resounding chorus of criticism from Republicans and some others over what the detractors said was a lack of clarity about why such a move was necessary.

"The American people want transparency when you are raiding the home of a former president," Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Wednesday. "The FBI is raiding the home of a former president. The American people deserve to know why."

Speaking at a separate event Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said of the search, "I'm sure you can appreciate that's not something I can talk about.”

As Trump has many times before, he and his allies cast the federal investigation as a partisan sham. Trump said the search was "not necessary or appropriate"; he has not released any information about the court-authorized search warrant.

"These are dark times for our Nation. ... It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024," Trump said in a statement on Monday night, in the first public confirmation of a search that Garland said Thursday officials had worked to keep out of view.

He also pushed back on the denunciation of law enforcement.

"The men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated, patriotic public servants, every day," Garland said. He would "not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked."

"They protect the American people from violent crime, terrorism and other threats to their safety while safeguarding our civil rights," Garland said. "They do so at great personal sacrifice and risk to themselves. I am honored to work alongside them."

"This is all I can say right now," Garland concluded, rebuffing questions from journalists in the room. "More information will be made available in the appropriate way and at the appropriate time."

In its request to unseal the search warrant, filed Thursday in federal court in Florida, the Justice Department wrote that its decision was made in light of "the public’s clear and powerful interest in understanding what occurred under these circumstances."

The government's filing notes the warrant was signed on Friday and also requests the unsealing of a redacted inventory of what was taken by agents at Mar-a-Lago as well as two attachments -- A and B. Prosecutors did not seek to release any supporting affidavit for the warrant, in which law enforcement would have explained, in narrative style, why they sought to search Trump's home.

The warrant itself is a simple standard form that is likely to contain some basic information about the location of the search, a description of the property, the date and a signature line for the magistrate judge.

Attachment A is usually a more detailed description of the location or target of the warrant. Attachment B is usually a more detailed description of the property being seized and that relates to the violation of a specified statue -- which would help indicate what law or laws investigators believe may have been broken.

Prosecutors wrote that Trump "should have an opportunity to respond to this Motion and lodge objections, including with regards to any 'legitimate privacy interests' or the potential for other 'injury' if these materials are made public."

Court records show that responses will be due in the matter by Aug. 25.

About an hour after Garland spoke, the judge in the case ordered prosecutors to confer with Trump’s lawyers and report back at or before 3 p.m. ET Friday as to whether Trump opposes the motion to unseal the warrant.

People close to Trump have been discussing the possibility of challenging the motion to unseal the warrant, according to sources familiar with his thinking. Allies have also been contacting additional lawyers in hopes that someone can help them challenge it, the people briefed said.

Lawyers who are said to be representing Trump in the matter are not responding to requests for comment.

The head of the Department of Justice's Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, Jay Bratt, is one of two DOJ officials who signed off on the request to unseal -- along with U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Juan Gonzalez.

The head of DOJ's national security division, Matt Olsen, was also present in the room for Garland's remarks Thursday, a reflection of the NSD's prominent role in the investigation.

As was the case with Monday's search, the White House said they only learned about Garland's remarks from the media.

ABC News' Jack Date, Katherine Faulders, Isabella Murray, Molly Nagle and John Santucci contributed to this report.

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Beto O'Rourke snaps back during laughter after he references Uvalde school shooting

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(MINERAL WELLS, Texas) — On Wednesday, during a 49-day campaign tour of Texas, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke snapped at an event attendee who laughed as he was addressing the recent elementary school massacre in Uvalde.

During his stop at the Crazy Water Hotel in Mineral Wells, O’Rourke mentioned the shooting that killed 19 kids and two teachers in May -- when an apparent heckler who was holding a Gov. Greg Abbott campaign sign began to laugh before O’Rourke could finish his point criticizing the availability of assault-style weapons.

"You could buy two or more, if you want to, AR-15s [and] hundreds of rounds of ammunition and take that weapon that was originally designed for use on the battlefields in Vietnam to penetrate an enemy soldier's helmet at 500 feet and knock him down dead--" O'Rourke said as laughter was heard.

That led him to profanely snap back at the unidentified person.

“It may be funny to you, mother------,” he said, “but it’s not funny to me.”Video of the exchange, which quickly spread online, shows attendees began to cheer and clap for O’Rourke.

He later tweeted: “Nothing more serious to me than getting justice for the families in Uvalde and stopping this from ever happening again.”

O'Rourke, a former representative for El Paso, announced last fall that he was seeking to challenge Republican incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott. He previously ran to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz but lost in 2018; he then went on to unsuccessfully seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

Throughout those campaigns, O'Rourke has made gun control a signature issue.

He plans to continue to holding 70 public events in more than 65 counties in the lead up to November's election.

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Donald Trump received subpoena in spring for documents not turned over to investigators: Sources

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(NEW YORK) -- Former President Donald Trump received a subpoena in the spring for documents related to what he is believed to have failed to turn over to the National Archives, which had recovered 15 boxes of material from his Mar-a-Lago estate in January, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.

Authorities on Monday searched Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in what sources told ABC News was part of a probe into documents that Trump allegedly improperly took to Mar-a-Lago when he departed the White House, all of which were supposed to have been turned over to National Archives officials.

It is not immediately clear what specifically the spring subpoena was seeking, and whether Trump provided any documents in response to the subpoena, the sources said.

The subpoena played a role in a visit to Mar-a-Lago by federal investigators in June, the sources said.

The New York Times and CNN were first to report on the spring subpoena.

Neither the Justice Department nor the FBI would comment on the subpoena, nor have they commented on the record about the raid.

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In Iowa, GOP leaders decry Mar-a-Lago search and vow investigations if they retake Congress

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(NEW YORK) -- Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate was searched by agents on Monday in relation, sources told ABC News, to documents that he took with him when he departed Washington, including some records the National Archives said were marked classified. (Both the FBI and Department of Justice have declined to comment.)

The operation marked a notable development in one of several legal challenges facing Trump, who has denied all wrongdoing.

During the annual Lincoln Dinner on Wednesday celebrating Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucus status, Republican leaders repeatedly attacked the FBI -- echoing and building on widespread outcry from the GOP.

At the dinner, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said potential action against the FBI or the Department of Justice relied on Republicans taking back control of Congress in the November midterms.

"There's not much the committee can do. The best thing we can do is is win back the House and win back the Senate, and I do think the American people want transparency when you are raiding the home of a former president," she said. "The FBI is raiding the home of a former president. The American people deserve to know why."

McDaniel also argued that this week's actions were "creating distrust in our institutions."

"What piece of paper did he [Trump] take? I asked him the other day -- I'm like, 'Was it the Declaration of Independence or what did you take?' I think this is really deeply troubling," she said, suggesting the search was an overreach

Sources told ABC that the FBI had court authorization; Trump and his attorneys have not released any information about the search warrant, which they would have been provided.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said at Wednesday's dinner he "didn't know enough" about the FBI operation to "say what's legitimate to say or not" but compared it to the ongoing investigation of President Joe Biden's son Hunter's taxes and to a past probe of how Hillary Clinton also handled classified information. (Hunter has said he believes he will be cleared; Clinton was never charged with a crime.)

"When I had a conversation yesterday with the FBI director [Christopher Wray], I had a chance to discuss this with him, and I tried to point out: How come you did not negotiate something with the president, as you did with Hillary Clinton about her email?" Grassley said.

Grassley said he reached out Wray to ask for "some justification for what you're doing" but the department didn't respond, saying any comment would come from Attorney General Merrick Garland. At a separate event in Nebraska on Wednesday, Wray said only, "I'm sure you can appreciate that's not something I can talk about."

"We can't have a two-tiered system of justice in America," Grassley said at Wednesday's dinner.

"We're at a point where the culture and the credibility of the FBI is at stake," he added. "We're at a point where you ought to have upmost confidence in the No. 1 law enforcement agency in America. And I don't think most of you do."

In their own remarks, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Rep. Randy Feenstra used the search at Mar-a-Lago to try and galvanize people ahead of the midterm elections.

"This administration has unleashed the DOJ, the FBI, on parents, on taxpayers, on gun owners and a former president of United States of America. We are at an all-time low folks," Reynolds said. "Elections matter and we need to step up and we need to show up and we need to let them know that enough is enough and we are not going to take it any longer."

"That's why we're here, because we are passionate about making sure that we save our country -- save this greatest country that's in the world. But each one of us has to do our part, including myself," Feenstra said.

"So it's my job to make sure that we fire [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi ... because then we can investigate Hunter Biden and then we can have hearings on all these other things that are happening, especially what happened to Trump just a few days ago," Feenstra added.

Iowa Republicans started off the night with a prayer, saying "evil surrounds us" while attacking the DOJ and the "out of control" FBI.

"Lord, we know that we're a tipping point in our country. ... Lord, help us be vigilant in defending our religious and our personal freedoms," said Steve Scheffler, a state party leader.

Republicans spent most of Wednesday's Lincoln Dinner focusing their base on the midterm elections and also reaffirmed their commitment that Iowa will be the first state in the nation to choose a Republican presidential candidate during the 2024 cycle.

Their embrace of Iowa comes as Democrats are poised to remove the state from leading off their own nominating process.

"Most of all, it comes down to the grassroots and the investment from you and the serious nature in which you put in into selecting who Iowa will choose in your caucus, so I didn't want to change it," McDaniel said.

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Trump and allies raising funds off FBI's raid of Mar-a-Lago

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(NEW YORK) -- Former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies are fundraising off Monday's FBI raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, providing another platform for Trump to capitalize financially on government investigations related to him.

Trump's Save America PAC sent out a fundraising email Tuesday morning in which Trump urged supporters to "rush in a donation IMMEDIATELY to publicly stand with me against this NEVERENDING WITCH HUNT."

Trump, in the email, cast the lawful search of his estate as an attack on all his supporters, saying the FBI raid "violated" not only his home but the "home of every patriotic American who I have been fighting for since that iconic moment I came down the Golden Escalators in 2015."

"I need every single red-blooded American Patriot to step up during this time," the email read.

Justice Department and FBI officials declined to comment on the raid, saying that they don't discuss ongoing investigations.

Trump's latest fundraising push comes amid what appears to be a gradual slowing down of his massive fundraising prowess, as Trump's fundraising committees have been bringing in relatively smaller hauls over the past few months.

Last month, Trump's Save America Joint Fundraising Committee reported raising just $17 million during the entire three-month period from April through June, including a little under $6 million for the Save America PAC itself. The amount represents a big drop from the hundreds of millions of dollars Trump's team and the Republican Party raised together in the months following the 2020 election.

The Republican National Committee, which has continued to raise money in Trump's name even though it no longer fundraises in conjunction with Trump's PAC, also sought to raise funds off the FBI raid. It sent out an email with the subject line "BREAKING NEWS" to supporters late Monday night, just as the news about the raid was unfolding, saying that "This is UNPRECEDENTED."

"We need YOU ... to step up RIGHT NOW to stand with the GOP & STOP JOE BIDEN," the email read.

Early Tuesday morning, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel continued the fundraising appeal during an appearance on Fox News, where she urged supporters to donate to Trump-endorsed 2022 Senate candidates including Herschel Walker in Georgia, J.D. Vance in Ohio, Adam Laxalt in Nevada, and Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's campaign, meanwhile, was selling hats and T-shirts that say "Defund the FBI."

"The FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago provides not just Trump, but the whole Republican base that affiliates with Trump, a significant but temporary boost in fundraising as well as an opportunity to propagandize for the upcoming election," Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at the Washington-based progressive watchdog group Public Citizen, told ABC News.

Holman said he expects the appeals to be "highly successful at first, but probably short-lived," depending on what the FBI uncovered at Trump's estate.

"At this point, the FBI is not saying anything, which allows Trump and his affiliates to scream the most extreme conspiracy messages for fundraising," Holman said. "But once the FBI starts unveiling what it found hidden away in Mar-a-Lago -- assuming that the FBI did in fact find incriminating records -- the appeals will lose their legs."

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who is leading the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, said he doesn't know the details of the FBI raid but that it must have been based on a warrant approved by a judge.

"In any investigation, you follow the facts," Thompson said. "I'm not certain as to the specifics of why the FBI did the raid on Mar-a-Lago, but as you know, a judge had to approve the affidavit for the warrant."

Trump himself said Monday's raid was just the latest "political targeting" against him and his supporters.

"The political persecution of President Donald J. Trump has been going on for years," he said in a statement Monday night. "It just never ends."

In the meantime, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who ran against Trump for the presidency in 2016, also appeared to be capitalizing on news of the raid. On Monday she tweeted out a donation link for her political organization, and promoted existing campaign merchandise like hats and T-shirts that read "But her emails."

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New bill introduced after nursing mom’s airport experience went viral

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(WASHINGTON) — A new bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives three months after a nursing mom had ice packs intended to keep breast milk cold nearly confiscated by airport security.

The proposed legislation would amend the Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening Enhancement (BABES) Act to protect parents and caregivers by requiring the Transportation Security Administration to "clarify and regularly update guidance on handling breast milk, baby formula, and other related nutrition products" and the federal agency would have to develop and update the guidelines with direction from maternal health groups, according to a press release from California Rep. Katie Porter, who is sponsoring the bill.

The BABES Act was first signed into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 16, 2016, and required TSA to notify airlines and security staff of the agency's directives on traveling with baby formula, breast milk and juice on planes.

"TSA screening checkpoints should not pose a risk to Americans who just want to keep their babies healthy and fed," Porter said in a statement. "I'm proud to introduce this bipartisan bill that will make it easier for parents with young kids to travel safely."

Florida Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, a co-sponsor of the bill, added in another statement, "It should not be difficult for traveling mothers to breastfeed or carry breast milk through TSA checkpoints. We can -- and should -- make motherhood easier through sensible measures like the BABES Enhancement Act."

The pending expansion of the BABES Act was spurred by an incident involving Emily Calandrelli, the host of Netflix's "Emily's Wonder Lab" and a mom of two, who shared the challenges she experienced while flying for work in a now-viral Twitter thread from May. She had been trying to go through airport security when she said male TSA agents told her she couldn't travel with ice packs that she had intended to use to preserve breast milk despite guidance listed on the TSA website.

Calandrelli told "Good Morning America" shortly after the incident that she had found the entire ordeal "embarrassing" and felt the agents had treated her like a "petulant child.”

Calandrelli's story drew social media outrage and news coverage, prompting the TSA to release a statement on May 13 saying, in part, that the agency was "committed to ensuring that every traveler is treated respectfully and courteously at the checkpoint" and that it would "continue to engage with advocacy and community-based organizations to enhance our screening protocols" and "re-double our training to ensure our screening procedures are being consistently applied."

After introducing the proposed bill amendment, Porter re-shared Calandrelli's tweets and added in her own message, "Earlier this summer, my constituent Emily called out @TSA for failing parents traveling with breast milk. We worked together to draft bipartisan, bicameral legislation to better protect parents like her who just want to keep their babies fed. I proudly introduced our bill today."

Calandrelli told "GMA" in a new statement that the proposed legislation she helped co-write felt like a "full circle moment."

"I had a unique perspective because I had thousands of moms and parents reach out to me to detail their own issues they experienced with TSA while traveling with young kids and/or breastmilk and formula," Calandrelli wrote in an emailed statement. "From those comments I was able to do a short analysis of what the most common issues were so that we could figure out what problems actually need to be addressed."

"I'm excited that this bill will be helping all of those parents and families who reached out to me," she continued. "Because of Representative Porter (and all of the other representatives who are supporting this bill), families will be able to travel [through] security a bit faster and with fewer issues -- and I think we can all get excited about that!"

A similar version of the proposed House bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate as well, with Sens. Tammy Duckworth, of Illinois; Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii; and Steve Daines, of Montana, sponsoring it.

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Rep. Judy Chu weighs in on Women's Health Protection Act

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(WASHINGTON) — California Congresswoman Judy Chu is the lead sponsor of the Women's Health Protection Act. Along with the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act, these two pieces of legislation aim to cement protections to reproductive rights by ensuring a federal right to abortion and ability to travel across state lines to get an abortion although neither are expected to pass the Senate.

Chu spoke with "GMA3" about these bills, what needs to be done to protect women's reproductive rights and the healthcare provisions in the newly passed Inflation Reduction Act.

GMA3: California Congresswoman Judy Chu, welcome back to the program. We hear they are not expected [to pass]. Your Women's Health Protection Act has passed the House for a second time, did it in July. Realistically, it is not going anywhere in the Senate. So I guess what do you do with it now? What is the next step?

CHU: Well, it actually had a very close vote in the Senate, 49 to 51. But the Senate has that 60 vote filibuster requirement. And so what we need are two votes in the Senate. We need two votes that will eliminate the filibuster and also vote for the Women's Health Protection Act.

There are two candidates that have said that they would do that, John Fetterman, who is a senatorial candidate in Pennsylvania, and Mandela Barnes, who actually won his primary last night in Wisconsin. It's just two more votes that we need. And then we can make Roe versus Wade the law of the land, as it has been for 50 years.

GMA3: Congresswoman Chu, in a recent op-ed you wrote, "We are living in a post-Roe reality and every opportunity must be explored. We cannot leave one stone unturned." Obviously, you just talked about the need you believe to abolish the filibuster. What else realistically can be done?

CHU: There is so much that we need to do. There are states that are putting ballot initiatives on this November ballot. And in fact, our state of California is making abortion a constitutional right on the ballot. But we also need to protect women's rights to cross state lines and also ensure that women in emergency rooms can get the abortion care that they need regardless of what state they're in, because that is a federal law.

We need to make sure that there is access to contraception and there is a program called Title Ten, actually, that has guaranteed that right and has fully funded it. We actually need to make sure that it is funded even further because we know that women will need to depend on contraception in order to ensure that they are healthy and that they can have the freedom to face their futures.

So there is much to be done, as well as helping women who may not be able to afford an abortion in their own state. There need to be ways to ensure that they have that ability in other states, and so funds are needed to ensure that they can cross the state lines and can have the hotel and travel expenses covered.

GMA3: Congresswoman, the vote in Kansas, overwhelmingly, voters there wanted to uphold abortion rights. What's the significance, in your opinion, of what we saw in Kansas, beyond Kansas?

CHU: I was so encouraged by the vote in Kansas. The vote was overwhelming. It was an 18 point margin and this was in a state that is Republican and voted for [Former President Donald]Trump. But what the voters saw was that there was a need to ensure that we do not go backwards in this country, that young women have less rights than their grandmothers. Instead, they upheld the right to an abortion. They upheld Roe versus Wade. And in fact, actually, 70% of Americans believe that Roe versus Wade should be upheld. So I believe that they reflect the sentiment in this country.

GMA3: Congresswoman Chu, the Inflation Reduction Act, as you know, passed the Senate. It awaits a vote in the House. And among the things it purports to do, it will lower healthcare costs for families. It tackles climate change. But a lot of opponents say it really isn't going to do anything when it comes to the inflation. We've just got the new numbers actually out, 8.5% for July. Will the Inflation Reduction Act actually reduce inflation?

CHU: I believe it will, in fact, immediately. It will lower costs for Americans. For one thing, there will be rebates and grants for Americans to be able to afford energy efficient appliances and solar panels, and therefore, they will be able to lower their utility costs. And immediately, there will be a $2,000 cap for seniors who are on Medicare for their prescription drugs so that they do not have to pay more out-of-pocket every year. And of course, there will be a limit on the amount that insulin will cost for those on Medicare, a limit of $35 a month. It is things like that that will enable Americans to afford to pay their own expenses. And because of that, it will lower inflation for sure.

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