Fox host Steve Doocy reminds GOP senator that DOJ is keeping evidence sealed in case Trump is innocent
Fox News host Steve Doocy (screen grab)

"Fox & Friends" host Steve Doocy gently corrected Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) on basic facts about criminal investigations during a segment on the FBI search of Donald Trump's home.

Investigators carried out a search warrant last week at Mar-A-Lago and seized 11 sets of top-secret documents the former president may have illegally taken from the White House, and the South Carolina Republican demanded the Department of Justice release the evidence justifying the search.

"Merrick Garland refuses to cooperate in releasing all the information necessary to understand what happened," Scott said.

Doocy, however, pushed back by reminding Scott that investigators hold back some of that evidence to protect the target of their investigation -- in this case, Trump.

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"The senator knows that in a criminal investigation like this they don't release it until they've figured out whether somebody's going to be charged or not," Doocy said, "and if they're not charged, they don't release it so they do not unfairly tarnish the reputation of an innocent person."

The warrant and related materials, unsealed by a Florida judge last week, showed FBI agents took away with them a significant amount of classified files after the raid, which ignited a political firestorm in an already bitterly divided country.

The extraordinary search was partly based on suspicions of violations of the US Espionage Act related to the illegal retention of sensitive defense documents, the warrant showed.

Some of the papers were marked "top secret" and were "meant to be only available in special government facilities," said the unsealed seven-page federal court filing.

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The filing contained a list of items removed from Mar-a-Lago, including information about the "President of France," and the warrant to search the palatial estate in Palm Beach.

The Washington Post on Thursday cited anonymous sources close to the investigation as saying classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the papers sought during the raid.

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With additional reporting by AFP