Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Tuesday slammed the FBI’s raid on the home of former President Donald Trump, accusing the agency of acting politically. His remarks come the day after 30 agents seized boxes of documents from the former president’s home.
During an appearance on Fox News, the senator questioned the impetus behind the raid. “We’re 90 days before an election. The FBI sent agents to the home of a former president, the leading contender to be the nominee for 2024, and I want to know why,” he said. “I know doing this 90 days before an election reek of politics… Can you imagine if the roles were reversed here?”
New: Just now in SC, @LindseyGrahamSC said that Monday’s FBI search at Mar-a-Lago “reeks of politics.”
Graham also said he spoke with former President Trump today & riffed on 2024:
“One thing I can tell you: I believed he was going to run before. I’m stronger in my belief now.” pic.twitter.com/zgteCYPtTq
— Meg Kinnard (@MegKinnardAP) August 9, 2022
Graham is one of many Republicans who have criticized the Justice Department’s move against Trump, accusing it of being motivated by politics. On Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) issued a threat to Attorney General Merrick Garland, vowing to grill him before Congress when the GOP retakes the House.
“I’ve seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization,” the lawmaker said. “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,” McCarthy added.
Sen. Graham also said he had conversed with Trump on Tuesday and indicated he believes he will still run for president again in 2024.
“At the end of the day I know there’s a tremendous burden on the Department of Justice in my view to explain their actions and I hope they will,” he said. “I talked to the president [Trump] just about an hour ago with Henry. One thing I can tell you is that I believed he was gonna run before — I’m stronger in my belief now.”
The FBI has not yet commented publicly on the raid, and it is not likely they will do so anytime soon. But with the Bureau’s history of targeting Trump, it is difficult to believe that this operation was not specifically designed to prevent the former president from seeking office again. It seems they believe they will be able to successfully indict him or cause enough political damage to prevent him from running again. If this is the case, and the Justice Department did not find any evidence of an offense that rises beyond a simple failure to turn over documents, this ploy will almost certainly backfire and Democrats might feel the impact in the 2022 and 2024 elections.