WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said the civil war chatter on right-wing social media was a "desperate" attempt to bail out Donald Trump from accountability.
The Maryland Democrat said the FBI search of Mar-A-Lago gave him confidence that the Department of Justice would seriously pursue a criminal investigation into the former president, and he told The Raw Story that he's unconcerned about the violent rhetoric against law enforcement in response to the move.
"To tell you the truth, I heard all of the chatter about civil war and political violence over the course of this week and it sounded desperate ... to me," Raskin said. "It reminded me of Vladimir Putin. Every time he suffers a major political defeat or military setback, he starts talking about nuclear war, and that obviously rattles people, but to me it's ultimately a sign of desperation."
"The America people are not interested in civil war, the American people are not interested in political violence," Raskin said. "That's a losing formula, so they should come up with other talking points."
The FBI raid on Trump's palatial Mar-a-Lago residence has sparked a political firestorm in an already bitterly divided country and comes as he is weighing another White House run in 2024.
Trump has condemned Monday's raid as politically motivated and a "weaponization" of the Justice Department. "Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before," he said.
In a statement on his Truth Social platform on Thursday, Trump said his attorneys had been "cooperating fully" and "the government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it."
"And then, out of nowhere and with no warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided at 6:30 in the morning," he said, adding that agents even "went through the First Lady's closets and rummaged through her clothing and personal items."
Attorney General Merrick Garland criticized "unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors" following the raid.
"I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked," he said. "Men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated patriotic public servants."
Leading Republicans have rallied around the former president and harshly denounced the Justice Department and FBI.
With additional reporting by Matt Laslo and AFP