After the FBI executed a search warrant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, FBI agents, as well as FBI Director Christoper Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland, have experienced an increase in the number of death threats that they have received. Authorities responsible for monitoring social media reported the jump, according to Fox News.
Fox News: "FBI agents, as well as U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Chris Wray, are experiencing an uptick in death threats in the wake of the raid at former President Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, according to sources speaking with Fox News."
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 10, 2022
In addition, according to Vice News:
“Far-right extremists on pro-Donald Trump message boards and social networks are making violent, antisemitic threats against the judge who reportedly signed the warrant that allowed the FBI to search the former president’s Mar-a-Lago property in Florida.”
The threats came after the name and address of the Trump-appointed judge were posted to far-right online message boards. Vice News published some examples of the messages that were posted.
“’This is the piece of shit judge who approved FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago,’ a user wrote on the pro-Trump message board formerly known as TheDonald. ‘I see a rope around his neck,’” the online news outlet wrote.
“Let’s find out if he has children….where they go to school, where they live…EVERYTHING,” another post on TheDonald read.
The threats against the judge raised concerns about the safety of the man who approved the search warrant and his family.
“The threats against Judge Reinhart in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago raid are significant,” Daniel Jone, founder of Advance Democracy, told VICE News. “In addition to the antisemitic and violent slurs, we’re seeing his address and other personal information being shared online—with the implied or explicit purpose of ‘real-life’ action.”
As two of the top justice officials in the country, Attorney General Garland and the FBI director already travel with armed security – both are in discussions to potentially increase their protection.
As a Trump appointee, Wray has long been considered an ally of the former President, but his agency falls under the Department of Justice umbrella.
In a move over 18 months in the making, the Department of Justice stepped up its investigation into Trump’s handling of confidential documents when he left the White House in Jan. 2021 – two weeks after the Capitol attack.
Accused of failing to turn over required records to the National Archives, Trump originally returned 15 boxes to the archivists. But they correctly believed the former President and his aides were holding back – with another dozen boxes retrieved in Monday’s search.
An anonymous intelligence source cooperated with the FBI, telling them where to look when they searched the Palm Beach estate. According to an attorney present during the search, the federal agents were focused on just three rooms.
The increase in death threats is concerning for FBI Director Wray, who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that he has “deep concern” for the rising violence in the United States driven by domestic grievances, USA Today reported.
“I feel like every day I’m getting briefed on somebody throwing a Molotov cocktail at someone for some issue. It’s crazy.” Wray testified.
“It’s a dangerous world out there,” the FBI director told lawmakers.
Wray testified to an increase in law enforcement officers being targeted – with many being killed in ambush attacks.
“I don’t care what side of the issue you are on,” Wray said. “You don’t get to use violence or threats of violence” to address disputes, he reminded us.
The rise in political violence and domestic terrorism has been recorded by other government agencies like the CIA. Since Monday morning’s search, there have been calls for civil war from Trump supporters and allies on social media and encrypted chat channels. Members of far-right nationalist groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys have been bold in their rhetoric and actions.
As we find out more about domestic terrorist groups – and the weaponization and radicalization of seemingly ordinary citizens – we need to take these death threats very seriously, or else we may end up with political assassinations or even another insurrection dominating the next news cycle.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick