Garland calls Trump’s false claim of Biden DOJ plan to potentially assassinate him during FBI’s Mar-a-Lago search ‘extremely dangerous’

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday criticized former President Donald Trump for suggesting that President Joe Biden authorized his potential assassination during an FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago resort in August 2022 for government documents classified, noting that a similar Justice Department memo regarding Deadly force was also used during the FBI’s search of Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, in January 2023.

Garland called Trump’s accusations, which came after the documents were revealed Tuesday by the special prosecutor investigating the ongoing federal investigation into the missing documents, “false and extremely dangerous.”

“The document referenced in the indictment is standard Department of Justice policy, which limits the use of force as recommended by the FBI under the standard operations plan for searches,” he said to journalists at an independent press conference. “In fact, it was even used during the consensual search of President Biden’s home. »
As part of the Aug. 8, 2022, operation at Mar-a-Lago, FBI agents received a uniform policy document limiting the use of deadly force, according to the unsealed memo.

The FBI echoed Garland’s comments in an updated statement Thursday, noting that his policy statement on the use of “deadly force” was included when agents searched Biden’s Delaware home a few months later for the same problem, “as is the case with all FBI operations orders.” . ” “. “.

“No one ordered additional measures and there was no departure from the norm in this case,” the agency said in a statement.

This is the FBI’s second response this week to Trump’s false claims, which he made in a Truth Social article and in a fundraising letter Tuesday.

Trump falsely claimed that Biden was “ready and willing to eliminate me” in the letter. In the Truth Social post, the former president claimed he was “shown reports” that the Biden Justice Department “authorized the FBI to use deadly force” to search the property at the time. search of classified documents.

The warrant was part of a “Law Enforcement Operations Order” drawn up by agents preparing to carry out the search at Mar-a-Lago, after a judge agreed the government had shown probable cause for which agents had found evidence of illegal detention by national defense. Information and obstruction of justice in the building.

Agents ultimately recovered about 100 secretly marked documents — months after the government subpoenaed Trump for everything that remained in his possession, and after the government said it had gathered evidence that Trump misled his lawyers in error by signing a false affidavit confirming that all these documents had been returned. . .

“The FBI followed standard protocol in this search, as we do with all search warrants, which includes a standard statement of policy limiting the use of deadly force,” the FBI said in a statement Tuesday. “No one has ordered additional measures and there have been no deviations from the norm in this matter.”

Several former FBI and Justice Department officials have also emphasized the normative nature of the deadly force policy’s inclusion.

“Every time the [FBI] takes aggressive action, like executing a search warrant, there is a policy of deadly force,” tweeted Sarah Isgur, a former Justice Department official and ABC News contributor. “If there is danger to you or the public and there is no alternative, you are authorized to use deadly force. That is standard policy.”

Trump and two other defendants have pleaded not guilty to all charges against them and denied any wrongdoing.

In their Tuesday filing, Trump’s lawyers did not make an accusation that the inclusion of the policy showed Biden was preparing to assassinate Trump, and it was not immediately clear whether they shared the information – part of a larger body of findings in his case – with Trump before. .. It is revealed.

While Trump said he first became aware of the filing after receiving “reports” on the subject after the end of legal proceedings in the criminal funds case he filed in the state of New York, Georgia Republican Party Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene later posted on the Site X which “Verified by Trump. He learned of the false claim that “Biden’s Justice Department and FBI were plotting to assassinate him.”

The operation order also stated that the agents were fully aware that Trump would not be present on the property during the search because it was conducted during the off season at Mar-a-Lago, when Trump typically resides at his property in Bedminster, New York. Jersey.

However, they included a contingency plan in case Trump showed up on the property in the middle of the search, at which time they said FBI personnel on site would be ready to “deal with him” and its secret service security services. The full context shows that there was no indication that the situation had escalated into violence, and that instead it was a matter of designating points of contact to speak with individuals from within Trump’s ranks.

The order also corroborates the testimony of former FBI Director in Washington, D.C., Steve D’Antuono, who previously testified before Congress that the agents who “insisted” on executing the arrest warrant “did not a demonstration of force.”

“It wasn’t just a show of force, right, because we all agreed,” D’Antuono said in an interview with Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. “No raid suits, no FBI on fire… We weren’t bringing in FBI type vehicles, all the reports about helicopters and a hundred people landing, like in ‘Die Hard,’ was Totally wrong, wasn’t it? It’s not “That’s not the way we play.”

The operation order shows that case officers at the scene were instructed to wear “casual” clothing with “unmarked polo shirts or collared shirts” and to conceal other law enforcement equipment. order.

Leave a Comment