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Pro-Trump Republicans play the victim with anti-cop rhetoric

As federal and congressional investigators probe Trump World, some of his allies are openly flaunting their disdain for law enforcement.


UPDATE (AUG. 9, 2022, 10:14 a.m. ET): This story has been updated with Republicans' responses to the FBI search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.

Former President Donald Trump and his congressional allies haven't hidden their disdain for law enforcement. Their defense of the pro-Trump rioters who assaulted police during the Jan. 6 attack show they care little for officers' safety.

You needn’t be a genius to get the underlying message: Conservatives — like Trump — don’t want true, equitable law enforcement. They want policies that will give them power and keep their so-called enemies (whether Democrats, antiracist protesters, or people seeking abortions) under their thumb. 

In that light, it’s no surprise why Trump-loving Republicans, members of the self-proclaimed "pro-police" party, have become quite critical of law enforcement in recent months. The reason is investigators and prosecutors at the state and federal level have begun circling Trump as they work to determine his exact role in the Jan. 6 violence. And Republicans are afraid. 

Federal investigators executing a search warrant Monday at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, allegedly related to his possession of classified documents, has only heightened his anti-law enforcement sentiment.

From the moment Trump became president, he tried to exploit law enforcement officials for personal gain. And, as usual, he's lashed out at them with hateful rhetoric when they've gone against his wishes. In January, Trump himself tried to stoke anger toward law enforcement when he claimed Black officials investigating him — including Georgia's Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis — are racist. 

His whining continued Friday, when he told rally attendees that law enforcement had been “weaponized” against him. It’s a rich claim from a man who openly demanded the Justice Department investigate his political opponents and instructed police officers to rough up suspects. 

But rest assured, Trump isn’t the only one who’s been pushing the GOP’s convenient anti-cop agenda. 

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., laid out an elaborate plan to defund law enforcement agencies during last week's Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas. (For context: Biggs has been subpoenaed by the House Jan. 6 committee, but he’s reportedly refusing to cooperate.) People online rightly clowned the proposal, noting the call to defund the federal police clearly contradicts GOP talking points aimed at progressives who used “defund the police” as a rallying cry to redirect police funding to social programs.

And no post about GOP delusion and false victimhood would be complete without mentioning Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. Greene on Monday called for the FBI to lose funding, apparently in response to the Mar-a-Lago search

Just last week, Greene targeted the Justice Department with claims it had slandered Ashli Babbitt, the Trump supporter fatally shot by police as she attempted to breach the Speaker's Lobby near the House chamber during the Jan. 6 attack.

"As members of the mob continued to strike the glass doors, Ms. Babbitt attempted to climb through one of the doors where glass was broken out," the Justice Department said in an April 2021 press release announcing the close of its investigation into Babbitt's death. "An officer inside the Speaker’s Lobby fired one round from his service pistol, striking Ms. Babbitt in the left shoulder, causing her to fall back from the doorway and onto the floor."

The officer, Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd, told NBC News last year that he repeatedly yelled at Babbitt and the other rioters to "get back" before he shot her.

But last week, Greene publicly pushed the baseless claim that Babbitt had been trying to stop rioters from going in.

Armed with Trump’s flimsy claims of anti-conservative bias, several Republicans are waging a public war on law enforcement who don’t obey their maniacal demands. It’s a reminder that conservatives’ reverence for law is a charade. They want servility instead.