Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, slammed fellow GOP lawmakers on Sunday who have called to “defund” the FBI in the wake of the Monday raid on former President Donald Trump‘s Florida residence.
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican and staunch Trump loyalist, this past week called for defunding the federal law enforcement agency, and even began selling shirts and hats with the words “Defund the FBI” printed on them. Representative Jeff Duncan, a South Carolina Republican, also floated the idea of abolishing the FBI in a Monday Twitter post. Meanwhile, a number of other GOP lawmakers have attacked the FBI, accusing the agency of corruption and political bias.
“First we had the left talking about defunding the police and attacking police officers and now we have these federal law enforcement officers,” Hogan said during an interview with ABC News’ This Week. “And it’s absurd.”
The Republican governor said that such calls are “dangerous,” and added that “there are threats all over the place,” warning that “losing faith in our federal law enforcement officers and our justice system…is a really serious problem.”
Many leftist activists, who backed the Black Lives Matter and Antifa movements, called for defunding or abolishing the police during the massive nationwide protests in the aftermath of George Floyd‘s murder at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer in May 2020. Some progressive Democratic lawmakers have voiced support for those calls, but party leaders rejected the slogans while centrist Democrats have pushed for increasing funding to the police.
Newsweek reached out to press representatives for Greene and Duncan for comment.
The FBI, with the approval of Attorney General Merrick Garland, carried out the raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort home, searching for top secret and sensitive compartmentalized information, as well as other classified documents. Trump and his allies have condemned the raid, with the ex-president calling it part of a “hoax” and an ongoing “witch hunt” targeting him.
“The FBI has proven time and again that it is corrupt to the core. At what point do we abolish the Bureau and start over?” Duncan wrote in a Monday tweet.
“We must defund the FBI, dismantle the DOJ, and gut the agencies of political biases and persecutions,” Greene wrote in a Thursday Twitter post. “I believe in the people.”
Notably, the congresswoman’s post retweeted sentiments expressed by leftist podcaster Briahna Joy Gray, who previously worked as the press secretary for progressive Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders‘ 2020 Democratic presidential campaign.
“Marjorie Taylor Greene is right about the FBI, bad faith or not,” Gray wrote. She added that “the left should take advantage of the right’s new acknowledgment of systemic bias and push to abolish the FBI—an institution that has always protected elite power, not the people.”
While many Republicans allege the FBI acted in a politically biased manner, the federal agency is currently led by a Trump appointee. FBI director Christopher Wray, a Republican, was selected by the former president in 2017 after he fired former director James Comey.
News first broke in early February that the former president had improperly taken classified documents to his Florida home, with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) confirming that it had been searching for 15 boxes of records. The ex-president did not deny the story at the time, saying that it was a mix-up as his staff hastily moved him out of the White House.
After the boxes were returned to the NARA, the collection led to additional concern that the former president still had additional classified materials. Federal investigators began interviewing Trump staffers to determine what had been taken from the White House. The interviews, and a broader investigation overseen by a U.S. attorney, resulted in a grand jury subpoena served against Trump in late May to produce specific documents.
When the documents were not turned over, the FBI and the Justice Department chose to take the unprecedented step of carrying out a search warrant against a former president. A federal judge, as is required due process, approved the warrant—believing that the FBI had demonstrated probable cause. The warrant, which was unsealed on Friday, aimed to recover top secret and other classified documents.
Trump has described the FBI raid as part of a “scam” and a “witch hunt” targeting him.
“Like all of the other Hoaxes and Scams that they’ve used to try and silence the voice of a vast majority of the American People, I have TRUTH on my side, and when you have TRUTH, you will ultimately be victorious!” he wrote Saturday on Truth Social.