'Defund the FBI': Trump supporters calmly react to Mar-a-Lago search

Noted reasonable person Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted: 'This is the rogue behavior of communist countries, NOT the United States of America!!!'

Rex Huppke

As news that the FBI had executed a search warrant on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort home broke, supporters of the former president reacted in the kind of calm, measured tone we’ve come to expect from the MAGA movement.

Conservative radio host Wayne Root wrote on the Trump-owned social media site Truth Social: “This is now officially Nazi Germany Gestapo meets Soviet Union KGB.”

Indeed, the Nazis and the KGB were famous for following proper legal channels and showing probable cause to obtain search warrants before conducting orderly and sanctioned searches of other people’s property.

Secret Service agents stand at the gate of Mar-a-Lago after the FBI issued warrants Aug. 8.

The stuff of civil wars?

Noted reasonable person Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted: “This is the rogue behavior of communist countries, NOT the United States of America!!! These are the type of things that happen in countries during civil war.”

Blockbuster news:Why the FBI searching Trump's Mar-a-Lago home may be a sign of things to come

Precisely! Civil wars often involve a steady stream of peaceful searches supported by warrants signed off on by judges after investigators have provided detailed information showing a crime may have been committed. I believe it was none other than Abraham Lincoln who said, “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure all these freakin’ search warrants. C’mon, people, this is Nazi/KGB-level stuff!”

Supporters of former President Donald Trump drive past his Mar-a-Lago estate, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla. Trump said in a lengthy statement that the FBI was conducting a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate and asserted that agents had broken open a safe.

'Lock and load,' and other calm reactions

Monica Crowley, a Treasury Department spokesperson under Trump, responsibly tweeted: “This is it. This is the hill to die on.”

She didn’t mention who should be doing the dying, or where the hill is, but hardcore Trump supporters on the very-much-not-unhinged website patriots.win contributed to the productive post-search dialogue with comments like: “Lock and load”; “Let history show that Biden and his DOJ drew first blood woth  this raid on Mar-a-Lago”; “FBI is headed by Jews. I warned you about these demons”; “We’re at war”; and “It’s going to be wonderful to see FBI agents get killed in the future!”

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In this June 27, 2012, file photo, Donald Trump stands on the 14th fairway during a pro-am round of the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.

Also helping to maintain calm, the official Twitter account for Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee featured this post: “This is what happens in third world countries. Not the United States.” And that’s 100% true, if it’s Opposite Day and you are on the House Judiciary Committee by mistake because you have no earthly clue how the legal system works. Federal law enforcement officials in banana republics don’t tend to do a lot of “law following” while federal law enforcement officials in the United States do. 

Didn't these guys used to care about classified documents?

News reports indicate the search may have been related to an investigation into Trump removing classified documents from the White House after he left office. National security lawyer Bradley P. Moss told USA TODAY: “No one, not even Donald Trump, is above the law. Properly marked classified documents were taken to Mr. Trump’s personal residence after he left office and were stored in an unsecured manner for months. That is a clear violation of the law.”

Scene outside Mar-a-Lago after the FBI issued warrants at August 8, 2020 in Palm Beach, Fla. Mar-a-Lago is the winter home and club of former President Donald Trump.

The head of the FBI is Christopher Wray, a Trump appointee. Any warrant to search the residence of a former president would have required approval from the highest levels of the Justice Department, not to mention the signature of a judge who recognized the gravity of the decision but still saw significant evidence to proceed.

Or, as Sen. Marco Rubio suggested in what I’m sure was a carefully thought out tweet, the search followed a path similar to those used in “3rd world Marxist dictatorships.”

Potato, po-tah-toe.


Clearly, all this Nazi/Third-World/Space-Alien-Invasion/End-of-Times stuff is utterly unheard of, except for the time when the head of the FBI, James Comey, announced in the days leading up to the 2016 presidential election that a previously closed criminal investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails was being reopened.

After which all the people currently shouting the term “Banana Republic!” every 12 seconds delighted in chanting “LOCK HER UP!” at every public gathering.

Palm Beach Police officers speak to each other near Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, FL., on Monday, August 8, 2022.

And don’t even try to compare any Nazi-like criminal investigation into Donald Trump with the perfectly reasonable Republican calls to prosecute Hunter Biden for every crime imaginable, including, probably, hiding Clinton’s email server.

Targeting a Biden or a Clinton would involved the relentless pursuit of justice.

Investigating Trump is cause to, as Rep. Greene, an actual elected member of Congress, tweeted Monday night: “DEFUND THE FBI!”

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Follow USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke on Twitter @RexHuppke and Facebook: facebook.com/RexIsAJerk