Trump’s party unleashed a wave of violence with its rhetorical attacks on this nation’s institutions — the FBI, the Justice Department, federal judges — in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago search. Let’s not forget that this search turned up 11 sets of classified documents, including some of the “departmental top secret/sensitive information,” the highest category of government secrets. Those Republican Party leaders who choose to remain silent — who do nothing in the face of this escalating threat — support and encourage this violence.
It’s hardly the first time that Trump and his GOP congressional echo chamber have refused to condemn the very violence their words ignited. When an angry mob stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, threatening the life of his own Vice President Trump watched cable TV. It took him hours to reply, and when he did, he hailed the rioters as “special people.”
The current threat situation was the subject of a Notice issued by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security on Friday and first reported by CBS News.
“The FBI and DHS have observed an increase in threats against federal law enforcement agencies and, to a lesser extent, other law enforcement agencies and government officials following the FBI’s recent execution of a search warrant in Palm Beach, Fla.,” the joint bulletin said. “These threats primarily appear online and across multiple platforms, including social media sites, web forums, video sharing platforms, and image boards.”
These have included threats to plant a dirty bomb (one containing radioactive nuclear material) in front of FBI headquarters, general calls for “civil war” and “armed rebellion”, specific threats against the Florida judge who issued the warrant, and against other “possible targets of violence” listed online by their residential addresses along with the names of family members, the bulletin said.
It also referred to Thursday’s attack on the FBI’s Cincinnati field office by a man armed with an AR-style rifle and a nail gun.
And it addressed the implacable truth that among the “drivers” that “could escalate the threat environment” are “statements by officials calling for violence.”
There have been far too many examples of this, starting with Trump himself berating the FBI and pointing out on his social media page that this is a “banana republic”. truthsocial. On Sunday evening he called the search an “abuse of law enforcement” and a “secret attack on democracy”.
But on Monday it continued Fox News He vowed “to do everything we can to help” and said “the temperature must be brought down”. And in the next breath, he called the previous FBI investigation into his Russian connections a “witch hunt,” adding that his supporters “will not stand for another scam.”
Before the unsealing of the list of confiscated documents last week, Senate Minority Leaders Kevin McCarthy Attorney General Merrick Garland threatened a congressional investigation.
“If the Republicans take back the House of Representatives, we will immediately oversee that department, follow the facts and leave no stone unturned,” McCarthy said. “Attorney General Garland, save your documents and clear your calendar.”
McCarthy has been silent ever since.
Rep. Paul Gosar said in a statement shortly after the raid, “We must destroy the FBI. We must save America. I stand by Donald J. Trump.”
Senator Marco Rubio, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, lamented in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray why he “first learned about this raid on President Trump’s residence through the media.”
And then there are a few more profiles in Mut.
Representative liz cheney, A member of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot took to Twitter to criticize her Republican counterparts, writing, “I have been embarrassed to hear members of my party attacking the integrity of FBI agents, those involved in the recent Mar-a-Lago search. These are disgusting comments that are putting the lives of patriotic officials at risk.”
Cheney, loud current polls, is expected to pay dearly in Tuesday’s Wyoming primary for choosing truth and the rule of law over loyalty to Donald Trump.
A few other adults like Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on Sunday came to defend the FBI, reminding their Republican counterparts that their party has long been proud to be a friend of law enforcement.
“There are threats everywhere, and losing confidence in our federal law enforcement officers in our justice system is a really serious issue for the country,” Hogan said on ABC’s This Week.
But in the halls of Congress, the silence is deafening — and silence in the face of ongoing threats and violence is just plain wrong. He watches a fire burn and never reaches for the fire hose. It’s not too late to save a party consumed by these flames, but it takes courage to say and do the right thing – before it’s too late.
Editorials represent the views of the Boston Globe Editorial Board. Follow us on Twitter at @GlobeOpinion.