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FBI facing ‘flood’ of threats encouraged by Trump: US Senate

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Former US President Donald Trump, pictured at a rally in Pennsylvania on September 3, 2022, is accused of mishandling White House documents./AFP
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Sep 20, 2022 - 11:57 PM

WASHINGTON — US senators on Tuesday condemned threats of violence against the FBI, blaming former president Donald Trump for a barrage of abuse against federal agents in the month since a raid at his south Florida beach club.

The resolution came a month after agents found thousands of pages of documents, including dozens marked “secret” or “top secret,” at Mar a Lago, where Trump has lived since leaving office in 2020.

Trump, who has accused the FBI of bias against him since early in his presidency, has railed against the “illegal” raid, which was approved by a magistrate who agreed there was likely evidence of law-breaking at the resort involving mishandling of White House documents.

“I have repeatedly made clear that violence against law enforcement is never — never — acceptable, no matter what ideology motivates it,” said Dick Durbin, the Democratic chairman of the powerful judiciary committee.

“But here is the reality: in the past month, following the FBI’s execution of a search warrant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, the FBI has faced a flood of threats against its employees and its facilities — and these threats have been egged on by the former president and his allies.”

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security last month detailed an increase in threats and acts of violence against federal law enforcement officials following the August 8 search.

Durbin said he was unable to share specifics from a briefing the agencies gave senators behind closed doors last week but he told colleagues on the Senate floor the escalation was “shocking.”

The Senate passed a resolution condemning the threats and noting statements from Republican members of Congress to “defund” the FBI and likening the Florida raid to “the actions of the Nazi Gestapo.”

It also called out “repeated attacks from the former president, who has called FBI officials, among other insults, ‘vicious monsters.'”

The resolution described some of the intimidation attempts aimed at federal agents, which it said included a pledge to place a “dirty bomb” outside of FBI headquarters and calls for “civil war” and “armed rebellion.”

It recalled a widely-reported incident in which a man armed with an AR15 rifle and nail gun attempted to get into the FBI’s Cincinnati field office on August 11.

The resolution also noted that a man was indicted five days later for “threatening to murder everyone at the FBI, from the director, to agents, to the custodial staff” and that another man jumped a fence and threw rocks at the agency’s Chicago field office on August 25.

The resolution passed by unanimous consent, meaning no member on either side objected.

Trump’s office did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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