House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday that former President Donald Trump and Republicans are fueling violence against law enforcement and public officials with their overheated rhetoric about the FBI’s search of Trump’s Florida house ― and it needs to stop.
Asked if she’s concerned about an uptick in violence from Trump’s extremist base of supporters, Pelosi said it’s already happening.
“It’s certainly enhanced, if that’s the word,” she told Capitol Hill reporters. “Exacerbated by the statements of this [former] president.”
“You would think there would be an adult in the Republican room that would say, ‘Just calm down, see what the facts are, and let’s go for that,’ instead of, again, instigating assaults on law enforcement,” the House speaker said.
Pelosi’s comments came after the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday, with a search warrant approved by a federal judge, in search of classified documents that may have been illegally in his possession. The FBI was reportedly looking for documents related to nuclear weapons.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday that he personally approved the FBI’s decision to seek a search warrant.
Trump’s response has been to repeatedly accuse the Justice Department and FBI of targeting him for political reasons, and top Republicans have parroted his baseless claims. As a result, the FBI has faced increased threats over the past few days.
On Thursday, a man in body armor attempted to enter an FBI building in Cincinnati, firing a nail gun and armed with an AR-15. Police exchanged gunfire with the man and he was later killed. In a social media post in May, the man claimed he was at the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack and blamed the attempted coup on outside forces.
Pelosi said House Democrats participated in a virtual caucus meeting on Tuesday that included a presentation on enhanced security for them, their staff and their families.
“In an unemotional, serious way, [it was] recognizing this inflaming of situations that have no basis in truth even and disregard the responsibilities of law enforcement,” she said.
Right before Pelosi’s remarks, several House Republicans, including House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), held a press conference of their own and continued making false, inflammatory statements about the FBI investigating Trump to hurt him politically.
“The FBI raid of President Trump is a complete abuse and overreach of its authority,” declared Stefanik. “The American people deserve answers. A House Republican majority will leave no stone unturned when it comes to transparency and accountability into the brazen politicization of Joe Biden’s DOJ and FBI targeting their political opponents.”
Stefanik did not mention that DOJ and the FBI have explicit policies that prevent them from speaking publicly about ongoing investigations. She did not express any concern about Trump potentially having classified documents about nuclear weapons at his Florida house. She did not mention that FBI director Christopher Wray is a Republican, that Trump appointed him and that he was unanimously confirmed by Senate Republicans.
“Elise Stefanik is going to get cops killed,” tweeted Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
The Washington Post reported in May that “Stefanik echoed the racist theory espoused by the Buffalo mass shooter. Now she’s making the same baseless attacks against the FBI as the Cincinnati shooter,” said Swalwell. “She has priors & knows what she’s doing.”