WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — Congressional Republicans who are counting on Donald Trump to enthuse voters in year-end elections are not only protecting the former president from an FBI raid of the Mar-a-Lago mansion, but also taking advantage of are picking up. Politically accompanied by serious and potentially dangerous rhetoric against the American justice system.
The party that staunchly defended law enforcement backfired dramatically, intensifying opposition to the FBI and tapping into political complaints and far-right conspiracies that swept the U.S. on January 6, 2021. fueled the deadly attack on the Capitol.
This part of the Republican strategy in the election year is to capitalize on voter outrage over the unprecedented raid, which was quickly and clearly set in motion at a steak and oyster dinner Trump hosted for a dozen Republicans at Bedminster, his private club. was organized. FBI raid
Troy Nehls, a former police chief, a Republican at the table, said he told the former president “loud and clear” that it was time for him to defend himself politically by announcing the launch of his presidential campaign in 2024. Is.
President, I told him, the American people, their supporters, are concerned about this corrupt Justice Department and the FBI.
“If I were you, sir, I would announce that you are running for president,” Nehals recalled telling Trump. “Take away that doubt, take that worry out of the people who want you to be our 47th president.”
The growing rhetoric comes amid harsh warnings of violence against law enforcement, including the Thursday shooting by Ohio police of a gunman wearing a bulletproof vest who tried to break into an FBI office in Cincinnati and an hour-long confrontation with police. joined in. Officer. A day earlier, the director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, said the threats to agents and the Justice Department were “disappointing.”
The FBI has warned its elements to exercise caution, citing an increase in social media threats against FBI personnel and facilities. In some extreme cases, Republican lawmakers demand that the FBI be dismantled and disregarded.
Associated Press writers Alana Durkin Richer in Boston, Michelle Price and Nathan Elgren in New York contributed to this report.