Fri, 22 Sep 2023

FBI reveals post-Trump raid threats
16 Aug 2022, 06:13 GMT+10

?Claims of government overreach? are fueling domestic terror, the agency said

The FBI and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claim that they've received threats of bombings, violence, and "civil war," since federal agents raided the Florida home of Donald Trump. Supporters of the former president say the search was politically motivated.

The FBI and DHS "have identified multiple articulated threats and calls for the targeted killing of judicial, law enforcement, and government officials associated with the Palm Beach search," the agencies warned in a bulletin to federal and local law enforcement as reported by multiple US outlets on Sunday.

The bulletin stated that federal agents have "observed an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities," including "a threat to place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters and issuing general calls for 'civil war' and 'armed rebellion'."

"Many of these threats include references to the perception that the 2020 Presidential election was fraudulent and other claims of government overreach," the bulletin continued, adding that these claims "have mobilized [Domestic Violent Extremists] in the past."

According to the bulletin, federal judge Bruce Reinhart has also been the subject of violent threats. Reinhart, formerly a lawyer who represented employees of deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, approved a warrant for the FBI to search Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida last Monday.

It remains unclear what exactly the FBI was looking for at Mar-a-Lago. Initial accounts suggested that the raid was focused on finding documents that Trump brought to Florida instead of turning in to the National Archives, while a follow-up report by the Washington Post claimed that the documents in question concerned nuclear weapons.

This description is vague and could refer, for instance, to the former president's correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which would likely have mentioned these weapons. A collection of documents taken from Mar-a-Lago by the National Archives in January did contain these letters, the Post reported at the time.

Trump himself has described the raid as an "assault," and a "weaponization of the justice system," and has called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to release all documents authorizing the search. Garland personally approved the search warrant, which permitted agents to search for any and all "evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed" by the former president.

Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, have demanded that the affidavit used to obtain the warrant be unsealed, to "show that this was not just a fishing expedition."

In a statement condemning the raid, Trump said that "such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries," language echoed by conservative lawmakers, pundits and commentators. Many of these figures view the raid as an attempt by the Biden administration to charge Trump with a crime in order to prevent him from running for office in 2024.

FBI director Christopher Wray insisted that such "attacks on the integrity of the FBI erode respect for the rule of law." Wray added that violent threats against his agents "should be deeply concerning to all Americans."

In the days following the Mar-a-Lago raid, an armed man attempted to enter an FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was shot dead after an ensuing car chase and an exchange of gunfire with police officers. The man, a military veteran identified as Ricky Shiffer, was allegedly known to the FBI, and had been involved in the pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill in January 2021.


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