Days after Trump’s home was searched on Aug. 8, a man who regularly posted to his social media site, armed with an AR-15-style rifle and a nail gun, attempted to break into the FBI’s field office in Cincinnati, Ohio. He fled the scene before being killed in a standoff. The episode was referenced in the bulletin.
Pro-Trump Internet Forums have erupted with violent threats in the days following the FBI search. Meanwhile, conservative media released the names of the two agents who signed the paperwork authorizing a search warrant of Trump’s estate. And the biographical information of the federal magistrate who signed the search warrant had to be erased from a Florida court’s website because of threats.
Some Republican Party members expressed concern about the incendiary rhetoric of others in the GOP and its potential to lead to violence. Representatives Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) were among those who spoke of destroying or reprimanding the FBI.
“It’s outrageous rhetoric,” Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
“It’s absurd and dangerous. Threats are everywhere and the loss of trust in our federal law enforcement and our justice system is a serious problem for the country,” said Hogan, whose father was an FBI agent, along with other members of his family.
Hogan’s comments were echoed by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican.
“The GOP is going to be the party that supports law enforcement — law enforcement includes the FBI,” Hutchinson told CNN. “We need to back down from judging them.”
Other Republicans elected on Sunday placed the responsibility on Attorney General Merrick Garland to justify the need to search Trump’s residence last week.
“He has a lot of questions to answer,” Representative Mike Turner (R-Ohio), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The Attorney General has been intensively investigated after he “personally approveduse of a search warrant for government documents located on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. The former president claims he released all documents before stepping down.
Many Republican leaders immediately attacked Monday’s search, but some have since softened their criticism, especially those like Turner, who have expressed concerns about the possible presence of classified documents.
The first bipartisan request for information about the FBI search came Sunday from the Senate Intelligence Committee, whose leaders, Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Ranking Member Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), sent a private letter. to Garland and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines. Warner and Rubio have asked the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to give the commission access to classified documents seized during the Mar-a-Lago search, a spokesman said. The committee also asked for “an assessment of potential risks to national security from their mishandling,” the spokesperson added.
GOP moderates, meanwhile, have criticized their fellow Republicans for harsh rhetoric against the FBI and other law enforcement officers.
“I’m not one of those individuals who say, you know, ‘attack the FBI or the Justice Department immediately,'” Senator Mike Rounds (RS.D.) told “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “I think it’s very important that you give them the opportunity to explain their case. But I think in the long run it’s really important for the Justice Department – now that they’ve done this – that they show that this wasn’t just another fishing expedition.”
For his part, Trump claimed on Sunday morning on Truth Social that some of the information seized by the authorities contained documents that fall under attorney-client privilege and executive privilege.
“By a copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be returned immediately to the location from which they came,” he wrote.
Some Congressional Republicans quickly closed ranks around Trump — who has been raising money for the developments — in the days after the search went public, with some alleging that Garland and the Biden administration were trying to harm a political rival.
“No one is above the law. Donald Trump is not above the law and Attorney General Garland is not above the law,” Turner said.
The White House and senior officials of the Biden administration have adamantly said that Garland and the Justice Department acted independently in their decision to investigate Trump’s property.
“We learned this the same way the American people have learned this,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. She added that President Joe Biden had not been briefed on the FBI’s investigation.
the Ministry of Justice released parts of the materials related to the search in the days after the warrant was issued, showing that investigators are investigating whether the former president violated espionage law or may have obstructed justice in his handling of sensitive documents — including those marked with the highest level of government classification .
However, a growing chorus of Republicans has called on the Justice Department to release more information, most notably the affidavit filed in support of the search warrant approved by a federal magistrate.
“It was an unprecedented move that must be backed up by an unprecedented justification,” Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “That’s an open question, and we know where to look: the affidavit of probable cause.”
Top House Democrats have requested a review whether the storage of that data outside the auspices of the government jeopardized national security. Turner and other Republicans have demanded that they be given more information about the documents to assess whether the search itself was justified.
“These are materials that are two years old,” Turner said. ‘We don’t know what they are. We do not know if they will reach the level of a threat to national security.”
Andrew Desiderio contributed to this report.