U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from Maine's 2nd District, speaks to the Rotary Club of Bangor at their weekly Tuesday meeting at the Richard Dyke Center for Family Business at Husson University, Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of Maine’s 2nd District said Tuesday that former President Donald Trump should not have had the classified documents the FBI found in the search of his home last week.

“Clearly, he’s not supposed to have those documents,” Golden said at a Bangor Rotary Club event at Husson University. “I’m not going to comment beyond that other than to wait like everyone else to see what the investigation puts out.”

Golden, a Democrat who has been among the most bipartisan members of the House and someone who has bucked his party leaders including President Joe Biden on key issues, continued to be more measured in his statements about the raid than many others in Congress.

“I think it’s really irresponsible of elected officials to be hyping up this issue one way or the other,” Golden said. “We should respect the process.”

When asked about comments from his Republican opponent, Bruce Poliquin, last week that he would “push for an investigation” into the raid on Trump’s residence if elected, Golden said politicizing an ongoing investigation put law enforcement at risk.

But he said many unknowns remain, such as if federal officials only wanted to get the documents back from Trump. He said while the threshold for searching Trump’s home must have been “pretty high,” the objective of the FBI’s actions remain unknown.

Poliquin’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The former congressman has not publicly commented on the raid since more information emerged on it last week, including a warrant showing that the search was part of an Espionage Act investigation and that agents found highly classified documents in Trump’s home.

Independent candidate Tiffany Bond said it was important to be mindful of the ongoing investigation, but that a wide amount of information was publicly available about the raid. She called Trump’s actions “deeply inappropriate,” and said acknowledging the facts of the investigation prevented conspiracy theories from festering.

“Serving in public office means pointing out unpleasant truths and not only when they are politically convenient,” Bond said. “It’s unsurprising that Golden found another fence to sit on.”  

Golden’s 2nd Congressional District voted for Trump over Democratic President Joe Biden by 7 percentage points in 2020, but Golden got slightly more votes than Trump in the same election over Republican Dale Crafts.

While Golden voted to impeach Trump on one of two impeachment counts in 2019 and on one count related to the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riots, but polls this year have shown significant support across the political spectrum Last month, he was one of a handful of Democrats to vote against a ban on semi-automatic weapons.

He has also voted for some significant parts of Biden’s agenda, including the Inflation Reduction Act. He had high praise for that bill and said it was a significant reduction over an earlier Build Back Better plan that he called “crazy” and was the only Democrat in the House to oppose.

Golden told the crowd at the Rotary Club that he looks at every policy issue regardless of partisan implications and tries to be as transparent as possible about his votes. He acknowledged that many of his voters also support Trump.

“Is it a challenge to win an election in the 2nd District? It is for me, it is for Bruce Poliquin and it would be for anyone else on the ballot,” Golden said. “A lot of split-ticket voting, and I love that. I hope it never changes.”