Donald Trump continues to attack the FBI even after reports of increased threats to the agency and its officials – fallout from the federally executed search warrant on the ex-President’s Palm Beach home last Monday.
Trump went off the rails over the weekend, whipping his base into a frenzy, referring to the legal FBI search as “a sneak attack on democracy,” and adding fuel to the fire of incendiary rhetoric spreading among his supporters.
Users of Trump’s social media platform, Truth Social, were subjected to a barrage of ranting from the disgraced former president as he attacked those who are finally trying to hold him accountable for his actions.
“America has never suffered this kind of ABUSE in Law Enforcement! For the FBI to RAID the home of the 45 President of the United States or any President for that matter, is totally unheard of and unthinkable,” Trump wrote in a late-night post on Sunday, adding “this Break In was a sneak attack on democracy (our Republic!)….It was for political, not legal reasons, and our entire Country is angry, hurt, and greatly embarrassed by it. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump wrote.
Despite the fact that Trump was able to watch the FBI agents on security cameras as they searched his property for illegally retained classified documents, the mendacious ex-president continued to accuse the FBI of planting phony evidence without any evidence of his own.
Trump on Truth Social suggests without evidence that nuclear materials were planted by the FBI during the Mar-a-Lago search pic.twitter.com/EBaY37JZ5O
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 12, 2022
Trump somehow seems to even believe that his social media demands are official legal requests as he insisted that the Justice Department return “his” documents.
DOJ often seized material that turns out to be privileged, and they typically deploy “filter teams” to weed out anything that is privileged. It’s an imperfect process but “give it all back” is not how it works.
Not to mention, executive privilege almost certainly not in play. pic.twitter.com/U4TWWAjuFs
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) August 14, 2022
Almost immediately after Trump announced publicly that Mar-a-Lago was being searched, MAGA supporters jumped to their wanna-be dictator’s defense, denouncing the FBI and Department of Justice and calling for “civil war.”
Complete with flags, hats, shirts, banners, and trucks, Trump supporters converged on the gates of Mar-a-Lago to show their fealty to the hopefully soon-to-be-indicted ex-President. And last Thursday, retired Navy veteran Ricky Shiffer — dressed in body armor and armed with a nail gun and AR-15 style rifle – attempted to breach the FBI field office in Cincinnati, Ohio before leading police on a chase that ended with the attempted domestic terrorist being killed in a shootout.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart – who signed the search warrant – all received an uptick in death threats. And everyone from Republican congresspersons to GOP Senators to Trump allies began calling to “Defund the FBI,” despite their attacks on progressives who have sent a similar message about dysfunctional local police departments.
The uproar compelled the usually reserved attorney general to address the public in a press briefing the following Thursday.
Despite the threats to the lives of law enforcement officers, Trump shared an unredacted copy of the search warrant revealing the names of federal agents involved in the search of his property and personal information that could put them and their families in harm’s way. These private details are still being shared among right-wing groups online.
A joint bulletin issued by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned of the rise in threats against federal agents:
“The FBI and DHS have observed an increase in threats to federal law enforcement and, to a lesser extent, other law enforcement and government officials following the FBI’s recent execution of a search warrant in Palm Beach, Florida,” the memo said. “These threats are occurring primarily online and across multiple platforms, including social media sites, web forums, video sharing platforms, and image boards.”
After Trump’s speech at the Ellipse on January 6th, he knows what his words are capable of inciting. From televised House Select Committee testimony, we also know he doesn’t care. It’s time to cut the head off the snake (figuratively speaking). Until the ex-President is held to account for his past and present crimes, neither the country, its democracy nor its people will be safe.
Original reporting by David Gilbert at VICE News.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick