WASHINGTON — Republicans struggled to come back in combination on how to answer the F.B.I.’s seek of Mar-a-Lago because it emerged on Friday that federal legislation enforcement officials had recovered most sensible secret information from former President Donald J. Trump’s house.
They have been divided over whether or not to assault the country’s most sensible legislation enforcement businesses and the way competitive to be in the ones assaults.
Publicly, Mr. Trump’s allies persevered an competitive push to painting the previous president as a political goal whilst sending urgent-sounding fund-raising appeals to supporters. But privately, some advisers round Mr. Trump, not sure about what the F.B.I. would possibly have recovered, started quietly cautioning fellow Republicans to dial down their statements.
On Capitol Hill, a gaggle of conservative Republicans referred to as the House Freedom Caucus — a lot of whom dined with Mr. Trump at his Bedminster, N.J., membership on Tuesday and denounced the F.B.I. seek as an indication that the Biden management used to be turning the rustic right into a “banana republic” — canceled a information convention scheduled for Friday morning. They had deliberate to additional assault the Department of Justice.
That resolution, publicly attributed to a scheduling war, got here after a gunman’s assault on an F.B.I. place of business in Cincinnati on Thursday afternoon and as extra main points emerged about Mr. Trump’s ownership of categorised paperwork.
Instead, the Republican lawmakers addressing the media Friday have been participants of the House Intelligence Committee, who delivered a extra nuanced message, pronouncing they remained supportive of legislation enforcement, and underscored their want to care for the F.B.I.
Still, they mentioned that hard questions remained for Attorney General Merrick B. Garland about his resolution to take the daring step of ordering a seek of the previous president’s house, and so they promised to carry the Justice Department responsible.
Representative Mike Turner of Ohio, the rating Republican at the committee, denounced feedback from fellow Republicans, together with Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who’ve known as on Congress to “defund the F.B.I.” ahead of having a complete figuring out of what officials have been in search of. (Ms. Greene has begun dressed in a “Defund the F.B.I.” hat.)
Another House Republican, Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona, went up to now within the speedy aftermath of the quest as to jot down on Twitter, “We must destroy the F.B.I.” (Mr. Gosar have shyed away from the F.B.I. seek on Friday, devoting his Twitter account to different topics.)
By distinction, Mr. Turner mentioned pointedly on Friday: “We support our men and women in uniform. And we request that anybody who’s made outrageous statements like that, that you question them and not us.”
After a federal pass judgement on unsealed the warrant authorizing the quest of Mar-a-Lago and a listing of things got rid of from the valuables by way of federal brokers, Republicans adopted other methods in responding. The paperwork confirmed the F.B.I. had retrieved 11 units of categorised paperwork, together with 4 units of most sensible secret paperwork, as a part of an inquiry into doable violations of the Espionage Act and two different regulations.
While the Republicans mentioned all of them stood by way of Mr. Trump, some embraced a toned-down reaction.
“I’m not for anything that’s critical of law enforcement,” mentioned Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma. “On the other hand, this is a very unusual situation, and the D.O.J. and the F.B.I. ought to come up here and answer questions. It just seems to me this was excessive and over the top.”
Mr. Cole mentioned he used to be “willing to listen” to what the Justice Department needed to say.
Not so for Ms. Greene.
On the Capitol steps, Ms. Greene instructed a flock of newshounds she deliberate to march into the development to introduce articles of impeachment in opposition to Mr. Garland, whom she accused of “political persecution” of Mr. Trump.
“The whole purpose of this is to prevent President Trump from ever being able to hold office,” she mentioned.
Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio and a staunch best friend of Mr. Trump, in a similar way disregarded questions on Mr. Trump’s dealing with of most sensible secret paperwork, mentioning the previous president’s declare that he had declassified the paperwork retrieved by way of the F.B.I.
“Come on, he’s the ultimate classifier and decider,” Mr. Jordan mentioned. “Everyone knows this is ridiculous. Everyone knows it.”
Those feedback have been a a long way cry from Mr. Turner’s message hours previous, when he instructed newshounds: “The issue of the handling of classified information is an issue that, of course, our committee deals with and that we’re very concerned with.”
For their section, Democrats — whose intraparty tug of battle over whether or not and how one can reform police departments has been used in opposition to them by way of Republicans to painting the birthday celebration writ huge as short of to “defund the police” — gave the impression to welcome the chance to show the tables.
“While the other side wants to defund the F.B.I., we want to fund our kids’ future,” Representative Tim Ryan, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Ohio, mentioned at the House ground whilst debating a spending measure on Friday.