The FBI search warrant executed on Monday at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida has triggered an explosion of fury among Republican voters and elected leaders. Several, like Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), have called to defund or abolish the FBI, and many Trump supporters have been openly discussing civil war on social media.
But according to POLITICO, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his allies have remained cautious, wanting to wait and see where the FBI investigation goes — and fearful of the consequences of radicalizing the Republican Party against federal law enforcement.
"The starkest silence came from the Senate minority leader," said the report. "McConnell — who's said he'd back Trump in 2024 should the former president win the GOP nomination, but has otherwise kept his distance — declined to take a question on the Mar-a-Lago search Tuesday during a visit to flood-damaged areas in his home state." He did later issue a carefully measured statement on the matter, saying, "The country deserves a thorough and immediate explanation of what led to the events of Monday."
Moreover, even some Republicans who are skeptical of the probe have qualified their criticisms. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said "the most important thing we can do is let it play out," and Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) suggested it was an "overreach" — unless "there is a true national security threat."
According to the report, some Republicans in Congress fear that the growing rage among Trump supporters over the investigation could lead to violence.
"Some GOP lawmakers said privately that they're hearing panicked constituents suggest taking up arms after the Mar-a-Lago search," said the report. "'This could get ugly,' said one senior House Republican, who addressed the voter blowback on condition of anonymity. This GOP lawmaker said he hasn't seen pro-Trump conservative voters this mad since Jan. 6, 2021, when backers of the former president devolved into a violent riot in a bid to stop Congress from certifying his loss to President Joe Biden."
The investigation relates to Trump's removal of classified information when he and his staff were exiting the White House. According to the Wall Street Journal, FBI agents removed 10 boxes of documents from the premises during their search.