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Trump supporters have gone to war with law enforcement — and ex-FBI analyst warns it's growing worse
After Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago golf club, where he lives, got a visit from the FBI this week looking for a set of classified documents that they thought the former president stole from the White House, his followers have waged war.
The day after the execution of a search warrant, Trump supporters were cataloged online, making threats against the judge who signed the search warrant. They revealed all of his personal information, called for information about his children, began attacking his place of worship and called for his death. That trend has continued as Trump supporters are now going after law enforcement.
Those who once chanted to "back the blue" are now demanding to defund federal law enforcement, doxing FBI agents, finding their children on social media sites. On Thursday, a Trump supporter who appeared at the Capitol on Jan. 6 went after the FBI headquarters in Cincinnati with an AR-15 and a nail gun which he thought would be able to shoot through bulletproof glass. Republican leaders have spent the past several days calling them "dangerous."
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) wrote on Twitter, “The FBI has proven time and again that it is corrupt to the core. At what point do we abolish the Bureau and start over?”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) tweeted “DEFUND THE FBI!” and is now selling t-shirts saying as much.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) agreed with the defunding language.
“The antidote has to be not one more damn penny for this administrative state that has been weaponized against our people in a very fascist way,” said Gaetz.
Friday the FBI and Department of Homeland Security released a bulletin that warned of Trump supporters seeking to bomb FBI headquarters around the country. They also explained that since the search warrant, there had been a dramatic increase in threats against the FBI.
“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 bulletin said.
NBC News reported that the bulletin also says that the threats are happening online and they sent the note out after an abundance of caution
"It calls on authorities to be vigilant and to be aware of issues surrounding domestic violent extremists, past and present incidents, and past behaviors," said the piece.
Speaking to CNN, former FBI senior counter-intelligence analyst Phil Mudd revealed that he hasn't worked for the bureau for over a decade, but even he is being sent threats.
"I think there's a couple of things you need to think about," said Mudd. "The first would be threats to American citizens who happen to be FBI employees. If you look at what happened in Cincinnati and you've seen reports today, of armed individuals outside the office in Phoenix, this is a numbers game, Jim. If politicians start to encourage people to commit acts of violence against the FBI, even if you say, defund the FBI, there is a violent fringe that will say, I want to take action. There might be 100th of 1 percent of the fringe who say, that means I should commit an act of violence."
He went on to explain that the FBI offices are largely open and that they work with the public.
"If 0.001 percent of the population says, 'I need to commit an act of violence the FBI employees are under threat," he said.
See the interview below:
Trump supporters have gone to war with law enforcement www.youtube.com
Pence Homeland Security official blasts 'insane' interview with House Intel Republican for 'fueling violence'
Speaking to CNN on Sunday, former Homeland Security adviser Olivia Troye said that she was "disgusted" with Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), who appeared earlier trying to make excuses for Donald Trump amid the scandal that he may have stolen classified documents upon leaving office.
Turner admitted he would never take home classified documents, but maintained that Trump would never take classified documents.
"I watched that interview earlier when it aired today and I have to tell you, I was disgusted with Congressman Turner especially given the fact he is the ranking Republican on the House Intel Committee and the fact that he would show just complete disregard for intelligence and national security documents," said Troye in an interview with Jim Acosta. "It doesn't matter what's in the documents, Jim. What matters is these documents don't belong down in Mar-a-Lago, where there's a bunch of foreigners going in and out of the place and putting potentially national security information at risk. And so that's neither here nor there."
She went on to say that it was "preposterous," Turner would dismiss the documents as unimportant even if they were classified because they were from two years ago.
"That says a lot about what his knowledge must be on the intelligence community because he should know better and understand in many situations, intelligence operations take a decade, if not more than a decade to kind of get into place and takes a long time to develop," Troye explained. "I found the entire interview insane. These are the type of people that are fueling this kind of dangerous sort of narratives, dangerous rhetoric, fueling violence, potentially, political violence across the country as we are seeing it directed at FBI offices today and we're seeing the protests outside of the FBI again."
See the video below:
Pence DHS official blasts 'insane' interview with House Intel Republican for 'fueling violence' youtu.be
In discussion with legal analyst Elie Honig, CNN's Jim Acosta couldn't help but quote late actor John Belushi as Joliet Jake Blues in "The Blues Brothers," when he begs Carrie Fisher not to kill him. Acosta noted it is remarkably similar to former President Donald Trump's comments over the past several days that keep evolving.
"Oh, please don't kill us! Please, please don't kill us. You know I love you, baby. I wouldn't leave you! It wasn't my fault! ... I ran out of gas! I got a flat tire! I didn’t have change for cab fare! I lost my tux at the cleaners! I locked my keys in the car! An old friend came in from out of town! Someone stole my car! There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!"
"We've heard multiple excuses," said Acosta. "First, it was the FBI planted evidence. Then Trump claimed it was all declassified. That they didn't need to seize anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted. I think today he is saying some of the stuff is privileged, attorney/client material."
So, Honig walked through some of the excuses and struck them down, one by one.
"The declassification argument: it is possible President Trump declassified some of the documents before he left the White House. You would expect there would be some record, some evidence, some paper trail or witness to support it. All we've seen is statements, yes, we declassified. It remains to be seen. Also, important to note, of the three laws that DOJ listed on their search warrant documents that justified the search, none have anything to do with whether these documents were adequately classified or declassified."
The next idea from Trump is that the FBI simply could have asked for the documents and that they didn't need a search warrant.
"They did ask. The National Archives asked and only got some of the documents. DOJ asked. They tried to subpoena. That's the easy way. They still didn't get all the documents. That defense holds no water," explained Honig.
Trump even alleged at one point that Mar-a-Lago was broken into and compared the search warrant to the DNC break-in at the Watergate.
"This was not a break-in. We've seen the paperwork," he continued. "DOJ did the same paperwork I've done many times and a judge signed off this is a lawfully authorized search warrant. It should not be called a break-in."
"I can't believe that he got that one wrong, Elie," Acosta cut in. "Can you break down the Espionage Act for us? What are we talking about here? Some people may not understand what the possibilities are with that."
"The Espionage Act sounds dramatic and there are portions that bring to mind cinematic cloak and dagger type of things," said the former prosecutor. "The limited subsection that's alleged in the papers relates to mishandling of defense information. It essentially makes it a crime to mishandle, to take, and to transmit national security information if you know or have a reason to know that dissemination of that information could be harmful to U.S. national security interests. It's not nearly James Bond stuff but it's still vital, how we store and protect our national secrets."
See the full conversation below: