Updated Aug 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

FBI chief: Threats to law enforcement after Mar-a-Lago search "dangerous"

FBI director Christopher Wray. Photo: John McDonnell/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

FBI director Christopher Wray on Wednesday condemned threats to law enforcement made in the wake of the agency's search of former President Trump's Florida home, calling the rhetoric "deplorable and dangerous."

The big picture: Trump and his supporters characterized the FBI and Department of Justice's search as a symbol of government overreach and "political persecution."

  • The former president's supporters rallied outside Mar-a-Lago with Trump flags and Twisted Sister's hit "We're Not Gonna Take It" blaring.

Flashback: Two sources familiar with the matter told Axios' Jonathan Swan that the search was related to documents Trump took from the White House that may have been classified.

  • Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, argued that that wasn't a sufficient imperative for such an extraordinary search.

What they're saying: "I'm always concerned about threats to law enforcement," said Wray, a Trump appointee, on Wednesday.

  • "Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re upset with."

The president of the FBI Agents Association also condemned the threats and violence in a statement Thursday, noting that FBI special agents "put their lives on the line every day to protect the public."

  • "Special Agents and their families should never be threatened with violence, including for doing their jobs," Brian O'Hare said.
  • "The threats made recently contribute to an atmosphere where some have, or will, accept violence against law enforcement as appropriate. It is not."
  • "This is not a partisan or political issue," O'Hare added. "It is a matter of public safety and basic decency. Calls for violence against law enforcement are unacceptable, and should be condemned by all leaders."

Of note: Wray previously expressed concern, in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade, at growing violence in the U.S. related to politically divisive domestic issues.

  • "I feel like every day I'm getting briefed on somebody throwing a Molotov cocktail at someone for some issue," he said.
  • "I don't care what side of the issue you are on," Wray said. "You don't get to use violence or threats of violence."

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