FBI agents issue Trump-inspired calls for violence against law enforcement

An organization of FBI agents has released a forceful statement strongly criticizing threats and calls for violence against agents and other law enforcement officials following the seizure of documents from Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a- Lake Monday.

“Calls for violence against law enforcement are unacceptable and should be condemned by all leaders,” said the statement released Thursday by Brian O’Hare, president of the FBI Agents Association. The organization represents approximately 14,000 current and former special agents.

“This is not a partisan or political issue. This is a matter of public safety and basic decency,” the statement added.

“FBI Special Agents are dedicated members of the law enforcement community who put their lives on the line every day to protect the public from criminals and terrorists. Special Agents and their families should never be threatened with violence, including for doing their job,” the statement said. “Recent threats are helping to create an atmosphere in which some accept, or will accept, violence against law enforcement when appropriate. is not.”

Extremists erupted online, posting calls for a civil war and asking Americans to ‘lock and load’ after Trump and a number of Republican lawmakers used inflammatory language to attack the FBI and the Justice Department during of the search of Trump’s residence in Florida. The search warrant would have searched for classified documents, some of which may have been linked to nuclear weapons.

Trump called what appears to be a legal search a “raid”, “siege”, “lawless” and “corrupt”. He also made baseless claims that FBI agents had “planted” evidence in his home.

House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) insisted, without any evidence, on “Fox & Friends” Thursday that those who searched Trump’s home were “rogue” agents. In fact, Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement later that day that he “personally approved” of the FBI’s decision to seek a search warrant for Trump’s home, so officers were simply doing their thing. work.

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) tweeted Monday, “We must destroy the FBI.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) tweeted that the search of Trump’s home was the “rogue behavior of communist countriesand the kind of things that happen “during the civil war”.

Monica Crowley, a former Trump Treasury Department public affairs official, warned on Twitter: “This is it. This is the hill to die.

Joe Kent, a US House candidate from Washington state who was endorsed by Trump, said on former White House strategist Steve Bannon’s podcast on Tuesday: “We are at war.”

Some websites even discussed tactics to attack the Capitol and talked about building gallows and trapping lawmakers in tunnels under the building, The New York Times reported.

The inflammatory rhetoric has already apparently sparked serious violence.

Shooter Ricky Shiffer, armed with an AR-15 rifle and a nail gun, was killed Thursday in a shootout with police after shooting at an FBI office in Cincinnati, officials said. He had boasted of ties to the violent, right-wing Oath Keepers, Trump supporters who were among those who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, which also came in the wake of rhetoric violent.

“Republican politicians and media personalities are playing with fire,” Rachel Kleinfeld, political violence analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told Time magazine.

“The acceptance of violence for political purposes in America is approaching the levels seen in Northern Ireland at the height of their troubles. … Fanning the flames of violence with inflammatory language is the worst thing they can do” , she warned.

About Michael C. Lovelace

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