Overview:

After former President Trump's Florida residence was raided by the FBI, Republicans have called to 'defund the FBI.'

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Republicans have long criticized liberal calls to “defund the police.” Turns out they just needed a different kind of victim to capture their enthusiasm.

On Monday, former President Trump’s Florida residence was raided by the FBI, reportedly searching for classified documents that Trump is alleged to have taken from the White House after the end of his term.

Trump immediately called the FBI’s actions politically motivated. “My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” said Trump in a prepared statement. 

Top Republicans responded with anger, including a tweet from Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene to “defund the FBI”:

California Representative and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called the actions politicized. “I’ve seen enough,” McCarthy said. “The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization.”

McCarthy went on to say that a future Republican majority in the House would seek to investigate Attorney General Merrick Garland. Republicans have increasingly called for investigations into federal agencies and key department heads, who they claim are biased. A report on Trump’s 2024 plans claimed that if again elected President, Trump plans to purge the government of “non-loyal” civil servants. Other Republican candidates for 2024 have signed on to the idea, which could make a potential civil servant political purge a serious issue in the upcoming Presidential election. 

There is no guarantee that the search warrant executed at Trump’s property will ultimately lead to charges against the former President. There is simply too little that is understood about the raid to come to an assessment. It isn’t even clear how the raid ties into any potential investigations into Trump’s activities. But it is an extraordinary step by a Department of Justice that has gone out of its way to maintain the perception of political neutrality and legal fairness. And the raid is likely to be a key talking point for Republicans for the foreseeable future.

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Marcus Johnson

Marcus Johnson is a political commentator and a political science Ph.D. candidate at American University. His primary research focus is the impact of political institutions on the racial wealth gap.