One post called for the assassination of Attorney General Merrick Garland, another suggested to “kill all feds” while others encouraged users to post the address of the judge who signed off on the warrant, with one declaring: “I see a rope around his neck.”
As the violent rhetoric continued to swirl on Thursday, Washington was jolted by reports in the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek that the FBI’s search warrant may have been leaked by an informant inside Trump’s inner circle.
Earlier this year, the National Archives – which is responsible for the preservation of government and historical records – retrieved 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago. However, justice department officials weren’t convinced that there wasn’t more sensitive material at the property.
According to the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek reports, both based on unnamed sources, an informant told the FBI that Trump was lying about this, and knew exactly where the material could be found.
Garland is yet to comment on the matter, sparking concerns among some Democrats that the information vacuum will give rise to lies, conspiracy theories and even greater threats of violence.
Trump has framed the raid as an attempt by the “radical Left” to stop him from announcing another run for presidency in 2024, and has fuelled suggestions that the FBI could have “planted” material at Mar-a-Lago during the search.
In one of his latest Truth Social posts, he has also accused the FBI of ripping off the lock they had asked him to install in the room where boxes of documents were stored.
“In early June, the DOJ and FBI asked my legal representatives to put an extra lock on the door leading to the place where boxes were stored in Mar-a-Lago – We agreed,” Trump wrote, confirming earlier reports that officials had visited months before this week’s events.
“They were shown the secured area, and the boxes themselves. Then on Monday, without notification or warning, an army of agents broke into Mar-a-Lago, went to the same storage area, and ripped open the lock that they had asked to be installed. A surprise attack, POLITICS, and all the while our Country is going to HELL!”
Speaking on CNN, Trump’s former chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, acknowledged the former president could provide some clarity about what was taken by releasing the warrant publicly.
But Mulvaney added that the level of distrust towards the FBI and the justice department was so high among conservatives that the onus should be on them to provide an explanation for its actions.
“If it’s valid, and it’s real, and it’s tied to some criminal activity related to January 6, that’s fine,” he said. “But if it’s just about documents, that’s almost absurd, as that’s the same thing that the FBI was investigating Hillary Clinton for (with her regards to her emails) and I don’t remember them invading her home.”