As MAGA thugs are wont to do, their reaction to the lawful search at former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, which we now know might have been related to nuclear secrets (which Trump has denied), amounted to an stream of insults and threats designed to whip up unhinged, violent characters.
While the exact motives of the person who attacked FBI offices in Cincinnati on Thursday remain unknown, reports indicate he was in D.C. in the days leading up the Jan. 6 insurrection and might have been at the U.S. Capitol that day. The GOP’s cycle of incitement and violence continues.
FBI Director Christopher A. Wray was properly outraged. “Unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI erode respect for the rule of law and are a grave disservice to the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect others,” he said in a written statement on Thursday. “Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be deeply concerning to all Americans. Every day I see the men and women of the FBI doing their jobs professionally and with rigor, objectivity, and a fierce commitment to our mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution. I am proud to serve alongside them.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland, in an earlier appearance announcing that the Justice Department would seek to unseal the search warrant for Trump’s home, sounded a similar note: “Let me address recent unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors,” he said. “I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked.”
Garland continued, “The men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated, patriotic public servants. Every day, they protect the American people from violent crime, terrorism, and other threats to their safety, while safeguarding our civil rights. They do so at great personal sacrifice and risk to themselves.”
It is worth remembering that the warrant came about because the FBI reportedly had reason to believe that Trump had not returned all classified materials that he removed from the White House upon leaving office after the documents were subpoenaed. The agents apparently did everything they could to avoid calling attention to themselves at Mar-a-Lago or disturbing those present, dressing in plainclothes to let them blend in. Garland in his remarks explained that “the warrant and the FBI property receipt were provided on the day of the search to the former president’s counsel, who was on-site during the search.”
This was no “raid,” let alone an action that should in any sane universe ever be compared to Nazis. Trump and his cohorts bear moral responsibility for those who absorb their reckless rhetoric and consider them marching orders, as is the case with their “big lie” of a stolen election and the ensuing violence on Jan. 6, 2021.
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), a former Navy officer, put out an appropriately indignant tweet on Thursday: “Any attack on law enforcement is unacceptable, and recent attacks on the men and women serving in federal law enforcement are despicable. I strongly condemn the attempted breach of the FBI’s office in Cincinnati, and I am praying for the safety of our officers and agents.”
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the lonely voice of reason amid an ocean of insanity in her party, similarly tweeted, “I have been ashamed to hear members of my party attacking the integrity of the FBI agents involved with the recent Mar-a-Lago search. These are sickening comments that put the lives of patriotic public servants at risk.”
Other Republican lawmakers have either been silent or joined in the reprehensible conspiracy theory-mongering. Some of them even want to defund the FBI.
For protecting our national security and for carrying out their duties honorably, lawfully and without fanfare, we can say to the men and women of the FBI, well done.