Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.
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'Tonight the FBI officially became the enemy of the people!!!' Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas tweeted.
House and Senate Republicans are irate over the raid by FBI agents on Monday at former President Donald Trump's Florida estate and have vowed to defund the agency and seek retribution against it should the GOP regain control of Congress in November.
The promise to take funding from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and launch probes into the agency's search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence came in a flood of tweets after Trump himself confirmed that federal law enforcement officers had carried out the raid. Media reports said the FBI was searching for possible boxes of classified materials that Trump might have improperly removed from the White House when he left office.
"The FBI raid on Trump's home tells us one thing," Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) tweeted in response to the news. "Failure is not an option. We must destroy the FBI. We must save America. I stand with Donald J. Trump."
Republican lawmakers accused the FBI of wrongdoing, providing no evidence.
"Tonight the FBI officially became the enemy of the people!!!" Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas tweeted.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas accused President Joe Biden of "using the FBI as his political enforcers"; meanwhile, Jonathan Martin of the New York Times tweeted, "Senior White House officials found out about the FBI's Mar a Lago raid on Twitter, had no notice, per source familiar."
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy promised an investigation of the Department of Justice: "I've seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization. When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned. Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar."
Experts noted, however, that the Justice Department would have had to clear a high legal bar in order to obtain a warrant to search Trump's residence.
"To obtain the warrant, DOJ had to present a detailed affidavit to a judge walking through the evidence they have that a crime was committed and providing some reason to believe evidence of that crime is at Mar-A-Lago right now," tweeted Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor. "It is reasonable to presume that top DOJ leadership, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, personally approved this warrant, which appears to be the first warrant executed at the home of a former President. That suggests to me that they think the case is going places."
Many of the GOP lawmakers vowing to take steps against the FBI cheered the agency's probe into a private email server used by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, continuing to demand years later, "#LockHerUp."
However, they've been silent about Trump possibly taking highly classified material out of the White House and refusing to turn over documents that he was legally required to leave with the National Archives.
"DEFUND THE FBI!" Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted after the raid. "I've talked a lot about the civil war in the GOP and I lean into it because America needs fearless & effective Republicans to finally put America First. Last night's tyrannical FBI raid at [Mar-a-Lago] is unifying us in ways I haven't seen," she tweeted on Tuesday morning. "In January, we take on the enemy within."
The FBI has not issued any comments about the raid.
Reprinted with permission from American Independent.
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America’s right-wing extremists have been hankering for a civil war for a long time now, and in particular have been eager to start using their guns in defense of Donald Trump ever since he came onto the political scene. They tried to start a civil war on Trump’s behalf after he lost on January 6, 2021.
So to no one’s great surprise, they’re currently flooding social media and right-wing media bandwidth with vows to begin a civil war on Trump’s behalf after the FBI executed a search warrant at the ex-president’s Florida waterfront estate, Mar-a-Lago, and seized evidence in a yet-unspecified investigation. The rhetoric is mostly a mixture of over-the-top hysteria and dark threats, and it’s being wielded by everyone from congressional Republicans to anonymous militiamen.
Back when Trump was facing his first impeachment, he tweeted out a hint that the proceedings might unleash a civil war—which did unleash a deluge of militiamen and Trump supporters vowing to do exactly that. The sentiments they voiced then were remarkably similar to the threats of violence directly preceding the January 6 insurrection.
Right after news of the Mar-a-Lago search broke, mentions of “civil war” on Twitter suddenly spiked, as Donie O’Sullivan reported.
The most prominent elected Republican to weigh in on the matter was Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose tweets became increasingly militant as the day progressed. They started out in typically unhinged fashion:
The FBI is raiding President Trump’s home in Maralago!
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.
The political persecution MUST STOP!!!
Later in the day, Greene’s tone became threatening: “What is happening will NOT be tolerated!!!” she wrote. “We are coming.”
A Florida Republican legislator running for Congress, Anthony Sabatini, wants the Florida state government to get involved and protect Trump from the evil federal government:
It’s time for us in the Florida Legislature to call an emergency legislative session & amend our laws regarding federal agencies
Sever all ties with DOJ immediately
Any FBI agent conducting law enforcement functions outside the purview of our State should be arrested upon sight.
Right-wing activist Laura Loomer, who is also running for Congress in Florida, was even more incendiary:
Time to take the gloves off. It’s been time. If you’re a freedom loving American, you must remove the words decorum and civility from your vocabulary. This is a WAR!
And it’s time to obliterate these communists. Tonight they attacked President Trump. If you sit on the sidelines and refuse to act, they will attack you and your family next.
What will you choose? Will you be a fighter? Or will you be a victim of the Deep State?
This is one of the darkest days in American history: the day our Government, originally created by the people, turned against us. This illegitimate, corrupt Regime hates America and has weaponized the entirety of the Federal Government to take down President Donald Trump.
Our Government is rotten to the core. These Tyrants will stop at nothing to silence the Patriots who are working hard to save America. This is an incredibly horrendous abuse of power. If we accept it, America is dead.
We will not accept it. The 10th Amendment can and will save our Republic and the road to stripping the Feds of power travels right through Arizona.
We must fire the Federal Government. As Governor, I will fight these Tyrants with every fiber of my being. America—dark days lie ahead for us. May God protect us and save our Country.
Trump-loving right-wing pundits were similarly running around with their hair on fire, urging their audiences to prepare for war—and not just the metaphorical kind.
Jesse Kelly—the right-wing radio talk-show host who believes fascism is an inevitability for the American right, and is good with that—gave a shout-out to the so-called “constitutional sheriffs” who have threatened to get involved in the nation’s election apparatus in defense of Trump. “Do you have a county sheriff who will stand between you and a federal agent trying to violate your rights? If you don’t, you better get one. Or better yet, BECOME one,” Kelly tweeted.
He later tweeted out a quote with threatening implications: “Do not quote laws to men with swords.’ -Pompey Magnus,” Kelly tweeted.
Far-right pundit Candace Owens had a regular meltdown on Twitter:
The FBI must be legally and formally dissolved.
What happened to President Trump is positively stunning and a mark of unchecked government power.
I no longer recognize the country I live in. Left or right, we must all come together to fight this evil.
Meanwhile, longtime Fox News host Monica Crowley decided it was time to throw down the gauntlet: “This is it,” she tweeted. “This is the hill to die on.”
White nationalist pundit Jack Posobiec, who now hosts a daily show for the right-wing campus organization Turning Point USA, posted a series of tweets that essentially urged his audience to gird their loins for a real shooting war:
Are you ready.
The federal security state has declared war on Donald J Trump and his supporters.
The country you grew up in no longer exists.
We are living through the times our forefathers warned of.
Welcome to the end game.
Longtime conspiracy theorist Steven Crowder’s unhinged tweet was shorter and more succinct: “Tomorrow is war,” he wrote. “Sleep well.”
The ominous suggestions that the base become engaged in violence could be heard on Fox News as well thanks to host Jesse Waters, who told his guest, Dan Bongino:
I think there is going to be some more action you are going to see out on the streets from the base after they see this break tonight... They've had it with what this corrupt government and what the FBI has done.
Another Fox News host, Mark Levin, claimed that investigating Trump was an attack on the nation itself:
This is the worst attack on this republic in modern history. Period. And it’s not just an attack on Donald Trump. It’s an attack on everybody who supports him. It’s an attack on anybody who dares to raise serious questions about Washington, D.C., and the establishment in both parties. I haven’t heard a damn thing from the Republican leadership in the Senate! Have you? Not one of those guys has put out a statement. Because they’re weak. That’s why.
Onetime Trump aide Sebastian Gorka tweeted: “This is the real insurrection.”
On Trump’s social media site Truth Social, radio host Wayne Root, Trump’s longtime fan and supporter, wrote: “This is now officially Nazi Germany Gestapo meets Soviet Union KGB.”
Trumpist pundit Carmine Sabia also penned a series of increasingly unhinged tweets to his 80,000-plus followers:
It is time for a #NationalDivorce before there is a Civil War. We cannot be a part of the same nation anymore.
And if I haven’t been direct enough let me say it again. If you are not for Donald Trump you are my enemy. I did not believe that four hours ago. But I believe it now. This was a gigantic fucking mistake Democrats.
This is war. Pick a side. There is no gray area.
The America that you knew and loved as a kid is gone. It’s gone and it’s never coming back.
These same sentiments could be found throughout right-wing social media, being voiced by ordinary randos and trolls at large and often at high volume.
- “The Dems are starting a civil war.”
- “Is this the first shot of a civil war? Is this the tyranny mentioned in the 2nd Amendment? The Founding Fathers would have started shooting a long time ago!”
- “It’s time for a civil war. The deep state has proven they are real, they are corrupt, they are dictators.”
- “Civil war! Pick up arms people!”
- “The fbi just declared war on the republic. Treat them accordingly.”
- “A civil war is coming after what the DOJ did today.”
- “August 8, 2022 will be remembered forever. The start of Civil War II.”
- “Our government is pushing for a civil war. Americans are only going to take so much.”
- “I already bought my ammo”
- “Civil War 2.0 just kicked off.”
- “Let’s do the war.”
- “One step closer to a kinetic civil war.”
- “Lock and load”
- “Let history show that Biden and his DOJ drew first blood with this raid on Mar-a-Lago.”
- “FBI is headed by Jews. I warned you about these demons.”
- “We’re at war.”
- “It’s going to be wonderful to see FBI agents get killed in the future!”
“Prior to the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, we saw unprecedented plans online to conduct real-world violence,” observed Advance Democracy president Daniel J. Jones, a former Senate Intelligence Committee staff member, in a statement to NBC News. "The online outrage was based on false allegations of voter fraud and bizarre theories of coordinated government corruption. The raid by the FBI has provoked similar violent rhetoric online—including from at least one individual charged in relation to the insurrection on January 6th.”
Jones added: “The promotion of broad government conspiracy theories by political leaders, elected officials, and political entertainers continues to undermine our democracy—and will likely lead to additional political violence.”
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.
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