Former Vice President Mike Pence has criticized the FBI and Justice Department after agents raided Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
“I share the deep concern of millions of Americans over the unprecedented search of President Trump’s personal residence. “No former president of the United States has ever had his personal residence raided in American history,” Pence said. tweeted on Tuesday.
“After years in which FBI agents were found to be acting politically motivated during our administration, the appearance of continued bias by the Justice Department must be addressed,” he added. “Yesterday’s action undermines public confidence in our justice system, and Attorney General Garland must provide the American people with a full explanation of why this action was taken, and he must do so immediately.”
Pence’s statement came hours after Trump announced the search at his residence Monday night, saying: “Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida is currently under siege, attacked and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”
“Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States before,” he added.
The federal action is believed to be related to a National Archives investigation into 15 boxes of documents he brought with him from the White House. They must have contained some classified information.
Mr Trump was not present at the residence at the time of the raid, instead issuing a fuming statement from Trump Tower in New York City. Much information about the raid remains unconfirmed, including whether Trump was told in advance. In his statement, he called the action “unannounced”.
“There is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the justice system, and an attack by radical left-wing Democrats who desperately do not want me to run for president in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who likewise will do anything to stop the Republicans and the conservatives in the upcoming midterm elections,” Trump claimed.
National security journalist Marcy Wheeler referenced the mob of Trump supporters, some of whom chanted “hang Mike Pence,” during the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, when she black to the former vice president: “No president has ever tried to have an armed mob assassinate his vice president either.”
Virginia US House Representative Don Beyer tweeted in response to Mr Pence: “You don’t know what the FBI warrant said or what evidence was presented to the judge who approved it. Your suggestion that Trump should be beyond accountability to the law, like your silence when Trump called for the jailing of his opponents as president, harms our country.”
MSNBC producer Steve Benen wrote: “The ‘one-of-a-kind’ talking point remains fascinating. Of course, the Mar-a-Lago search, among other investigations, was historically unusual: We’ve never had a former president accused of so many criminal wrongdoings. If Pence thinks this is helping his former boss, he’s wrong.”
“No other president has ever orchestrated a violent coup to overthrow our government and stay in power,” Denver, Colorado, U.S. Rep. Dianna DeGette said on Twitter.