The immediate political impact in the GOP was a rally to Trump’s defense. “Trump is winning the FBI-raid caucus going away,” Rich Lowry tweeted, “we’ll learn more, but this is his best day in pursuit of the 2024 nomination in a long time.” CBS’ Robert Costa reported, “Some allies are urging him to speed up his decision on 2024 in the wake of this, that no one in [the] GOP will challenge him now … others are telling him to stay cool, wait.” On Fox News, ERIC TRUMP, who said he informed his father of the search, said publicly for the first time that he now wanted his father to run for president again.
House members, senators, 2022 nominees and potential 2024 GOP presidential candidates flooded social media with condemnation of President JOE BIDEN, A.G. MERRICK GARLAND and the FBI and in solidarity with Trump.
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair RICK SCOTT (R-Fla.) tweeted, “The @FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago is incredibly concerning, especially given the Biden admin’s history of going after parents & other political opponents. This is 3rd World country stuff. We need answers NOW. The FBI must explain what they were doing today & why.”
Many other GOP senators echoed Scott, including Kentucky’s RAND PAUL (“outrageous and unjust”), Tennessee’s MARSHA BLACKBURN (“I stand with President Trump”), Florida’s MARCO RUBIO (like “3rd world Marxist dictatorships”), South Carolina’s LINDSEY GRAHAM (“launching such an investigation of a former President this close to an election is beyond problematic”) and Kansas’ ROGER MARSHALL (“no one is safe from political persecution”)
I’ve seen enough,” House Minority Leader KEVIN MCCARTHYtweeted. “The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization. When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned. Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar.”
Minority Whip STEVE SCALISE (R-La.) called the search “a brazen weaponization of the FBI by Biden’s DOJ against his political opponent.”
Republican Conference Chair ELISE STEFANIK (R-N.Y.) said, “The FBI’s raid on President Trump’s Florida home is a dark day in American history. The political weaponization of the FBI and Department of Justice is an actual threat to democracy.” The FBI, she said, is a “corrupt agency.”
Rep. JIM BANKS (R-Ind.), the Republican Study Committee chair who wants to be majority whip if the GOP takes the House, spoke for many of his colleagues by dragging the president’s son into the drama: “HUNTER BIDEN skates free while DOJ executes a political plot to destroy lives of political opponents.”
Rep. ANDY BIGGS (R-Ariz.) compared Biden to MUAMMAR GADDAFI. Rep. GREG STEUBE (R-Fla.) said America “has become a totalitarian state.”Rep. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-Ga.) tweeted, “DEFUND THE FBI.”Rep. PAUL GOSAR (R-Ariz.) tweeted, “We must destroy the FBI.”
The gathering of the GOP in response to the raid on Mara Lago comes as word of additional ”private pardons” may be included in the documentation being investigated.
The 1/6 Committee members seem to be looking into how far down the road Trump got with his plan. They want to find out if there were private pardon papers drawn up and if so, who was going to get pardoned. The existence of any pardon papers could be viewed as a roadmap of criminality. If Trump had pardon papers ready for himself, his lawyers, and some members of Congress, those documents would point to who was involved in the illegal conspiracy to keep Trump in power. Private pardons are a loose end of the 1/6 investigation that hasn’t gotten much attention, even though there has been some testimony about pardons being requested. If private pardon papers exist, they would be critical evidence that Trump intended to overthrow democracy and then, after he was kept in power, pardon everyone who helped him.PoliticsUSA