Pence pushes back against GOP calls to ‘defund the FBI’

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday pushed back against those in his party who called for “defunding the FBI” after the office raided former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence last week.

Pence, appearing at a Politics & Eggs breakfast in New Hampshire, said he was “deeply disturbed” that a search warrant had been issued and called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to release more information on its justification. The Justice Department filed a motion to unseal the search warrant, which was released last Friday.

But Pence said the attacks on the FBI were unwarranted.

“I also want to remind my fellow Republicans that we can hold the Attorney General accountable for the decision he made without attacking members of FBI law enforcement,” Pence said, arguing that “the Republican Party is the party of law and order”.

“These attacks on the FBI must stop,” Pence said to applause. “Calls to defund the FBI are just as misguided as calls to defund the police.”

Shortly after Pence’s remarks, Trump published an American Spectator article on Truth Social, his social media network, which was headlined “The Fascist Bureau of Investigation.” Jeffrey Lord’s article argued that “a once honorable organization” had been corrupted. “The FBI has become the Fascist Bureau of Investigation, a government agency armed against American citizens it dislikes,” Lord wrote.

The court-authorized search produced several classified documents Trump had taken from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida. Since the search, Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul A. Gosar (R-Arizona) conducted the call to “defund the FBI,” with Greene pushing T-shirts with the phrase.

Last Thursday, an armed man wearing a bulletproof vest tried to breach the FBI field office in Cincinnati, sparking an hours-long standoff that ended when he was shot and killed after shooting officers, authorities said.

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, who was nominated by Trump and confirmed by all Senate Republicans in 2017, said in a statement Friday that the attacks on the FBI “are a grave harm to the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect others.

“Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be of deep concern to all Americans,” he said.

FBI searched Trump’s home for nuclear documents and other items, sources say

During a question-and-answer session, Pence was asked if he would testify before the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it,” Pence said. “But you’ve heard me talk about the Constitution a few times this morning. Under the Constitution, we have three equal branches of government. Any invitation extended to me, I would have to reflect on the unique role I was fulfilling then as Vice President.

Pence said it would be “unprecedented in history for a vice president to be called to testify on Capitol Hill.”

“But I don’t want to prejudge,” he said. “So if there was ever a formal invitation for us, that would be given due consideration.”

In July, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said the wall street journal that the committee was considering asking Trump to testify and could request a written interview with Pence or issue a subpoena for him to testify.

The committee declined to comment on Wednesday.

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