'Defund the FBI': GOP Lashes Out at Law Enforcement After Trump Details Raid at Mar-a-Lago Home
04:13 GMT 09.08.2022 (Updated: 12:56 GMT 14.04.2023)
Earlier, the former president revealed in a release that a "large group" of FBI agents had stormed Mar-a-Lago, his famed Florida residence in the Palm Beach area. He called the incident a "political persecution" and said investigators "even broke into my safe."
After hearing about the raid at the Trump property in Florida on Monday, a number of Republicans took to social media to express their outrage, accusing the FBI of unfairly targeting the former president for political reasons.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pledged that if Republicans regain control of the House after the November midterm elections, they will launch an investigation into the Department of Justice.
“I’ve seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization,” he said
. “When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned.”
In the statement's conclusion, McCarthy asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to "preserve your documents and clear your calendar."
A search warrant has never previously been executed at a former president's residence, and it comes as the Justice Department continues to look into the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the steps Trump took to dispute the results of the 2020 presidential election.
'Imagine What They Can Do to You'
Many Republicans echoed the thesis about the inadmissibility of such actions against the former president. Thus, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee said that
if law enforcement can "do it to a former President, imagine what they can do to you."
Controversial Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia issued a short statement mimicking the left-wing Black Lives Matter slogan with calls to "defund the FBI."
Trump's former lawyer Rudy Giuliani also issued a statement criticizing not only the DOJ and the FBI for creating a "fascist police state" but also calling the Biden's a "crime family."
"The FBI and DOJ leadership has abused the awesome power of law enforcement as if the US has no constitution and is a fascist police state," he wrote on Twitter. "Even with documented evidence of crimes endangering our national security they continue to cover up for the Biden Crime Family."
Most of the conservatives and GOP members claimed in their statements that the federal investigators unfairly singled out the ex-president for political reasons. Many Republicans also mirrored Trump's remarks from Monday, specifically the part which compared the raid to the political processes seen in third world countries.
"In third world countries and banana republics they prosecute the former presidents/leaders and their staff,” wrote
Representative Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky). "Right now, we look beneath them. We are in a race to the bottom."
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is increasingly being considered as a potential Republican presidential challenger to Trump in 2024 should the ex-president decide to run again, also offered his take on the situation.
"The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves," he said.
"Now the Regime is getting another 87k IRS agents to wield against its adversaries? Banana Republic."
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, in turn, said
"using government power to persecute political opponents is something we have seen many times from 3rd world Marxist dictatorships."
In turn, the Democrats objected that no one is above the law in the United States and that in order to obtain a search warrant, law enforcement officers need to present a strong justification for a search to a judge.
"Dear @JudiciaryGOP: Elected officials like me are not above the law. Nor is Trump. Why would you exempt anyone from an authorized search warrant?" Democrat Representative Ted Lieu of California wrote in response to the statement from Republican members of the House judiciary committee.
According to CBS correspondent Robert Costa, Trump is taking stock of the situation after the uproar and is currently mulling a potential 2024 presidential race announcement.
Some connected President Joe Biden to the FBI raid; however, the White House reportedly "did not have notice of the reported action."
In addition, the National Archives is said to have requested an investigation from the Justice Department after finding boxes of files in Trump's Florida property that contained items he took from the White House that were deemed to be classified. These files, according to the New York Times, appeared to be
the focus of the FBI's investigation.