Six years ago, the National Republican Congressional Committee that exists to try to secure victory for GOP candidates for the U.S. House, blasted a Maine Democrat for sticking by presidential contender Hillary Clinton despite a judge finding “enough probable cause of a crime” to grant the FBI a search warrant to obtain a cache of old emails from her time as secretary of state.

In 2016, the NRCC said it was time for Emily Cain, a contender for Maine’s 2nd District seat, “to answer for Hillary Clinton’s FBI investigation.”

Cain, who continued to back Clinton, lost her race a few days later against incumbent Republican Bruce Poliquin.

Now, with Poliquin seeking to regain the House seat he lost in 2018, Republicans have a different take on a search warrant issued recently that allowed the FBI to seize documents that former President Donald Trump had allegedly stashed away at his Florida golf club.

Poliquin issued a statement Wednesday that offered more questions than comments but called for an investigation into the FBI’s decision to search Mar-a-Lago.

So far, neither the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice nor the White House has said anything of substance about the FBI move. What agents were looking for remains a mystery.


Tiffany Bond, left, Jared Golden and Bruce Poliquin Submitted photos

Trump, who has a copy of the search warrant approved by a Trump-appointed federal magistrate in Florida, has remained silent about its details as well.

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a two-term Lewiston Democrat, said in a prepared statement that “politicians in both parties need to take a step back, maintain trust in the decisions of law enforcement and allow for any ongoing investigations to be completed before reaching any conclusions or making politicized assertions.”

“These are unprecedented and trying times for our country, and we must remain committed to the rule of law and the legal processes that protect our individual rights,” Golden said.

Independent Tiffany Bond, a lawyer who is running against Golden and Poliquin in the Nov. 8 election, said that it “sounds like” the FBI director and the attorney general “are following normal and appropriate procedures for investigation.”

“No one is above the law,” Bond said. “It should not surprise anyone that a man who spent decades profiting by refusing to pay small businesses doing work for him, and who was fast and loose with disclosures to lenders and the American people, may have engaged in activity that is actionable by law enforcement.”

“I trust these professionals to do their duty and hold accountable any public official who thumbs their nose at the rules we all live by,” Bond said.


But Republicans don’t share that trust.

“If this raid is part of a political witch hunt or to retrieve some documents for the National Archives, it’s entirely and grossly inappropriate,” said the chair of the Maine Republican Party, Demi Kouzounas.

Kouzounas said in a prepared statement that “a politically motivated raid on a former president’s home without incredibly high justification is a path that this country should never take. “

“We are calling on the DOJ to issue an immediate and full explanation of what happened — the integrity of our nation is at stake,” she said.

Poliquin asked, “Federal law enforcement raiding the house of a former president, the political rival of the current president? Officers who report to Joe Biden’s Justice Department conducting the raid? And, Biden refusing to personally answer questions?”

Poliquin pointed out that FBI Director Christopher Wray, a Trump appointee, “has said nothing” and neither has the attorney general.


“This is shocking,” Poliquin said. “Americans are concerned, many are outraged.”

“If the voters of Maine send me back to Congress, I will push for an investigation into what is really happening here,” Poliquin said.

Poliquin has said nothing about Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified material, which the National Archives has said was improperly taken out of the White House along with other presidential documents that belong to the American public, not Trump.

There is wide speculation that the FBI search this week at Mar-a-Largo is related to retrieving classified documents that Trump had failed to return.

Back in 2016, Poliquin expressed concern that the FBI did not think Clinton should be prosecuted for handling classified material carelessly.

“The American people deserve to have leaders that are held accountable for their actions,” Poliquin said then. “It is as simple as that.”

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