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FBI, Homeland Security warn about threats to law enforcement after Trump search

A Federal Bureau of Investigation police officer walks with his working dog outside Federal Bureau of Investigation building headquarters in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.
Jose Luis Magana
/
AP
A Federal Bureau of Investigation police officer walks with his working dog outside Federal Bureau of Investigation building headquarters in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are warning of an increase in threats to federal law enforcement following the FBI's court-authorized search last week of former President Donald Trump's Florida home.

The agencies issued the joint intelligence bulletin on Friday, days after federal agents executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club and residence in Palm Beach, Fla., according to a person familiar with the document.

Trump, his political allies and conservative media have denounced the FBI and the search, even though it was approved by a federal judge. And they also have pushed Trump's claims that he's being targeted for political reasons.

Trump supporters, including many Republican lawmakers, have echoed those claims and lashed out at the FBI and Justice Department. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, for instance, accused the department of being politically weaponized.

Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray have both pushed back against the allegations.

In his only public remarks since the search, Garland called the attacks "unfounded" and said the people who work at the FBI and Justice Department are "dedicated, patriotic public servants."

Separately, Wray said the attacks on the FBI's integrity "erode respect for the rule of law and are a grave disservice to the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect others."

He also said that violence and threats against law enforcement "should be deeply concerning to all Americans."

The joint intelligence bulletin mentioned an incident last week in Cincinnati, Ohio, where an armed man tried to storm the FBI field office. He then fled and was later shot and killed by police.

Over the weekend, meanwhile, a small group of armed Trump supporters protested outside the FBI field office in Phoenix, Arizona. The demonstration was peaceful, and concluded without incident.

A federal judge in Florida on Friday unsealed the search warrant and property receipt from the Mar-a-Lago search. It showed the agents seized documents labeled secret, top secret as well as some classified at the higher level of TS/SCI.

The warrant indicated that investigators are probing possible violations of three laws, including one that falls under the Espionage Act.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ryan Lucas covers the Justice Department for NPR.