The FBI arrested a Pennsylvania man on Friday for allegedly writing threatening messages against federal law enforcement in response to the Department of Justice investigation of former President Donald Trump.
Adam Bies of Mercer, Pennsylvania, posted the messages on the right-wing site Gab in response to the FBI’s search of Trump’s Florida home for documents he’d taken from the White House.
“Every single piece of shit who works for the FBI in any capacity, from the director down to the janitor who cleans their fucking toilets deserves to die,” Bies wrote, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit. “You’ve declared war on us and now it’s open season on YOU.”
The FBI has charged Bies, 46, with threatening law enforcement officers, according to court documents. He faces fines and prison time if convicted.
Trump condemned the raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence in a statement saying the Justice Department had been weaponized against him. Elected Republicans amplified the message, suggesting any investigation of the former president is improper and vowing to retaliate with investigations of their own. Some lawmakers even said the FBI should be defunded or destroyed.
In response, Trump supporters have been increasingly threatening federal law enforcement agents, according to an internal intelligence bulletin. Last week, a Trump supporter tried to breach an FBI office in Ohio and was later killed by police in a shootout. Trump backers have also threatened the federal judge who approved the Mar-a-Lago search warrant. Their threats forced his synagogue to cancel a Friday service.
“Unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI erode respect for the rule of law and are a grave disservice to the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect others,” FBI Director Christopher Wray, a Trump appointee, said in a statement last week. “Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be deeply concerning to all Americans.”
In the final days of Trump’s single term in office, he incited a mob of his supporters to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as part of a broader effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which he lost to Joe Biden by more than 7 million votes.
On Monday, Trump told Fox News that the search at Mar-a-Lago was a scam but suggested he would like to try to calm tensions that he himself has inflamed.
“If there is anything we can do to help, I, and my people, would certainly be willing to do that,” Trump said.
The National Archives said earlier this year that Trump had refused to hand over documents from the White House as required by law. FBI agents last week recovered more than 20 boxes of material from Mar-a-Lago, including top secret documents. The warrant indicates Trump is under investigation for several potential federal crimes, including obstruction of justice.
The FBI said it moved to arrest Bies because in addition to his threats, he wrote that he was prepared to die as long as he killed FBI agents in the process. The affidavit said “an individual that makes statements accepting the end of life is a danger to himself and society.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said Bies was arrested on Monday instead of Friday.