Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly denounced the FBI’s raid of his Florida residence last month, frequently voicing his grievances in the form of posts to his social media platform Truth Social.
Most recently, he took on the Department of Justice head-on during a lengthy campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday.
Appearing in Wilkes-Barre to stump for Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz and gubernatorial hopeful Doug Mastriano, a large portion of Trump’s address dealt with his outrage over the search warrant executed by FBI agents at his Mar-A-Lago golf resort.
He began with a broad swipe at the Democratic Party, which he accused of “waging war on American democracy by censoring free speech” and “criminalizing dissent,” going on to address his personal experience in detail.
FBI directly spied on candidate and Pres Trump; lied repeatedly to get courts to approve FISA warrants targeting him; paid a foreign national to gin up smears on him. Comey, FBI's fired director, stole and leaked Trump's FBI files. So raid on Trump's home is par for the course.
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) August 28, 2022
“That’s what they’re doing,” Trump said. “Rigging elections, weaponizing the Justice Department and the FBI like never ever before, and raiding and breaking into the homes of their political opponents.”
The former president addressed President Joe Biden’s continuous characterization of pro-Trump Republicans as a threat to the nation’s democracy.
“Republicans in the MAGA movement are not the ones trying to undermine our democracy,” Trump said. “We are the ones trying to save our democracy, very simple.”
He once again cited his own predicament to make the larger point, suggesting that there is “no more vivid example of the very real threats from American freedom than just a few weeks ago, you saw, when we witnessed one of the most shocking abuses of power by any administration in American history.”
Describing the FBI search as a “shameful raid” and “a travesty of justice,” Trump added: “It made a mockery of America’s laws, traditions, and principles before the entire world. The entire world was watching, and they’re shocked.”
As for the Justice Department’s justification for the search, namely the allegation that Trump had mishandled classified information, he claimed that it was a “phony pretext” used to curtail his “rights and civil liberties” with a raid that took place when he was not at home.
“They go in and take documents, dump them on the floor, stage a photoshoot, and pretend that I had done it, like I had put them all over the floor,” he added.