WASHINGTON — As campaign rhetoric heats up after an FBI investigation into Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents has sparked a backlash from him and his supporters, national leaders are turning to political violence. I warn you of the possibility.
Senator Lindsay Graham, a South Carolina Republican and a staunch supporter of Trump, faced criticism this week after claiming that the Justice Department would indict Trump “and there would be riots in the streets.” . His comment was that Trump himself said, “We have to bring the temperature down in this country. If we don’t, terrible things will happen.”
With less than 10 weeks to go until the midterm elections, the political climate is becoming increasingly volatile, according to experts who study extremism. Federal agencies like the IRS, FBI, and the National Archives are stepping up security as they become targets of rights. Lawmakers have exposed threats and openly predicted violence. Some have even said that holding public events is too dangerous and they feel the need to protect their families from harm.
California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell, a vocal Trump critic and frequent GOP target, said on Tuesday a man called his office, repeated homophobic slurs and threatened to shoot the congressman. Stated.
Swalwell, who previously tweeted about threats to his office, said: I have written: “Bloodshed is coming.”
The new warning of violence comes as a rhetoric to federal law enforcement after Trump and his allies raided the former president’s Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, for classified documents stored there on Aug. 8. It was brought about when you strengthened your attack.
Republicans have criticized the Justice Department and the FBI, with some calling for the Department to be defunded. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Republican) called Attorney General Merrick Garland a “radical communist.”
“It’s justifying violence. Former Homeland Security analyst Darryl Johnson wrote a report in 2009 warning of a rise in right-wing extremism and said it would get worse after Jan. 6. “If the politicians themselves are doing this only for propaganda, they need to be stopped. After all, is life worth the sacrifice to win an election?”
He said Republicans’ recent rhetoric — unsubstantiated claims that the FBI is “retaliating against the former president,” warnings about militarization of the IRS, and claims that the 2020 election was stolen — fit the pattern. said to do. “This rhetoric is a form of radicalization,” he said.
Lawmakers are taking action. Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney and other members of the House Select Committee investigating her Jan. 6 attacks have security details for the violent threat. This month, the House Guard Chief began paying lawmakers home security equipment and installation costs up to $10,000.
Texas Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar told NBC News that she will never hold public events without the attendance of law enforcement and will no longer allow her family to walk out the door.
“They already have hatred in their hearts, they are already signaling to those on the brink of violence. They are absolutely petrol matched,” Escobar said in a telephone interview.
President Joe Biden and the Democrats have put Republican rhetoric at the center of their campaign message ahead of the fall elections, with Trump and his party extremists calling for democracy, freedom, and law. It claims to be a direct threat to control.
On Tuesday, Biden held the Republicans accountable for violent rhetoric, saying his “friends on other teams” were “talking about political violence and how it was necessary,” Jan. 6. defended those who attacked the Houses of Parliament in
“Political violence in America is never appropriate. Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never,” Biden told a crowd in Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania. No,’ he said. “No one should be encouraged to use political violence. Nothing.”
He appeared to attack former Senator Graham, whom he once considered a friend, before Graham allied himself with Trump.
“No one expects politics to be easy. Sometimes it’s very mean,” Biden said. There’s blood in the streets?’ The idea of seeing you say? Where the hell are we?”
On Thursday, Biden is scheduled to deliver a primetime speech in Philadelphia on how America is waging a “fight for the soul of the nation.” A supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 and President Trump’s negative reaction.
Trump, meanwhile, has called the FBI investigation a politically motivated witch hunt and unfoundedly accused agents of planting evidence. , QAnon shared a post promoting the conspiracy theory and reposted images of Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the phrase “Your enemies are not in Russia.” It is written with a black bar above the eye.
Johnson said Trump’s reposting of QAnon content “is pouring fuel into the burning fire and making it more destructive,” adding that multiple people have “been plotting things for QAnon’s beliefs.” and actually committed violent acts,” he said.
One Trump supporter, Ricky Schiffer, was killed by police earlier this month after he attacked the FBI field office in Cincinnati just days after raiding Trump’s home. Schiffer appears to have called for violence and posted on Truth Social that users should be prepared to kill FBI agents “if they see them.”
Since that fatal altercation, Mar-a-Lago’s investigation has only deepened. In Tuesday night’s filing, the Justice Department said it had evidence that classified documents on Trump’s estate were “likely concealed and deleted” before the FBI recovered them, and that a “government investigation It is likely that efforts were made to prevent the
Appearing on Fox News over the weekend, former Air Force JAG and former Judiciary Committee chairman Graham said there would be “riots in the streets” if the DOJ indicted Trump for mishandling classified information. The editorial board of the Washington Post called his comments “dangerous” and “reckless” because he did not condemn the possibility of violence.
In a later Fox interview, Graham said he rejected violence.
Escobar, a former district court judge, said he had personally seen how inflammatory rhetoric by Trump and his supporters led to violence. She has accused Trump of anti-immigrant rhetoric in the 2019 shooting that killed 23 of her people at a Walmart in her hometown of El Paso. selection.
“He knows exactly what he is doing. He is a dangerous man. And that means Lindsay Graham was included.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and other Republicans knocked out Biden for using inflammatory rhetoric while preaching unity. At a Democratic reception in Maryland, the president equated Trump and his supporters with “semi-fascists.”
The recent Congress has seen horrific violence. January 2011, then lawmaker. Arizona D – Gabby Giffords of Arizona was nearly assassinated by a gunman outside Safeway in Tucson. Eighteen of her other people were shot dead at her constituency meeting, six of them dead. In 2017, a gunman opened fire during a Republican congressional baseball practice in Virginia, nearly killing then-majority Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).
swolwell on twitter shared a note Sent by his aide — he has only been on the job for a month — detailing abusive death threats by a recent caller. — I want to beat him,'” the aide wrote. “Also made a statement that he would come to the office or hurt him wherever he went. ”
A spokesperson for the Capitol Police has not commented on Swalwell’s case.
But Capitol Police have confirmed a dramatic spike in cases over the past five years. In 2017, President Trump’s first year in office, police said they investigated 3,939 cases of him. This includes direct threats to lawmakers and “directed interest” characterized as relating to statements or actions. The number is increasing year by year, and in 2021 he will be 9,625.