Republicans, once outraged by Mar-a-Lago search, calm as details emerge

From left: Eric Trump, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump Jr. and former President Donald Trump at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ, July 31, 2022. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

In the minutes and hours after the FBI searched former President Donald Trump’s Florida home this month, his supporters did not hesitate to denounce what they saw as a gross abuse of power and rampant politicization of the Justice Department.

But with the release of a redacted affidavit detailing the rationale for the investigation, the former president’s allies have been largely silent, a potentially telling reaction with implications for his political future.

“I would just caution people not to jump to too many conclusions,” Gov. Glenn Youngin of Virginia, a Republican, told Fox News. It was a starkly different admonition from his previous convictions for what he said were “politically motivated actions.”

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Some Republicans will no doubt rally around Trump and his claim that he is once again the target of a rogue FBI that is still trying to arrest him. Former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvey said on Twitter that “this raid was, really, just for documents,” which he called “simply outrageous.” Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. and staunch Trump ally, was on the right-wing Newsmax television network denouncing the FBI as politically biased, though he notably did not defend the former president’s possession of top-secret documents.

But by and large, even the most bombastic Republicans — Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Jim Jordan of Ohio — at least initially focused elsewhere. Green posted on Friday about the “intrusions” at the border. Bobert took to Twitter to mark the anniversary of the suicide bombing of US military personnel at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Jordan focused on an interview with Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. No one tweeted about the affidavit.

The accusations against Trump are getting more and more serious.

Classified documents dealing with matters such as Trump’s correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were stored in unsecured rooms at Mar-a-Lago, The New York Times reported this month. Unrelenting attacks on the FBI after the initial investigation led to threats against federal law enforcement, opening Republicans — long the self-proclaimed party of law and order — to accusations from Democrats that they were trying to “defection” the agency.

And voters are again being distracted by Trump in the political spotlight, even as Republicans try to turn their attention to the economy and rising inflation after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said efforts to control rising prices would cause pain to Americans.

All of this could mean that many Republican voters are tired of the division and drama surrounding Trump and are ready to move on.

So it’s no wonder that Karl Rove, an adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, took to Fox News on Friday afternoon to plead with Trump to stop commenting on the FBI investigation, for his own good and the good of his party. of. .

“Let the election debate go back to what it should be,” Rove said, “which is about inflation and the economy and the direction of the country and the public’s views on the ability of President Biden.”

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