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If you wondered how tightly top Iowa Republicans are still clinging to Donald Trump, you got your answer in the wake of the FBI’s search on his Mar-a-Lago resort. As tightly as ever. Their fealty knows no boundaries.
A Florida judge saw enough probable cause to accept the Department of Justice’s request for a search warrant to look for possible classified documents carted off by Trump when he left the White House. The FBI went in to look for them.
In sane times, Iowa Republicans might have expressed concern about Trump’s potential illegal conduct. They might have, at least, waited to see what was searched for and what was found before firing off knee-jerk reactions. Instead, they immediately jumped to defend Trump and point fingers at law enforcement.
U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson demanded “an immediate explanation” and then promised that a Republican House majority would “provide rigorous oversight of the Biden Administration.” This week Hinson called the search a “dangerous precedent.”
U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra called the search an “unprecedented escalation of the use of law enforcement against a former President.” The American people deserve answers,” he tweeted U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks tweeted that we should instead be focused on “crimes happening at our border.” Sen. Chuck Grassley expressed “serious concern,” and said in a statement “Attorney General Garland also owes the American people full transparency.”
“The Biden Administration is taking our nation down a dangerous path, unleashing the DOJ and FBI on parents, taxpayers, gun owners, and now on President Trump himself,” tweeted Gov. Kim Reynolds the day after the search. She repeated the debunked claim that Attorney General Merrick Garland’s understandable concerns about threats and violence targeting school board members was really an attempt to silence parents.
“It’s wrong and the American people deserve better!” Reynolds tweeted.
Yes they do. And so do Iowans.
Who could be against demanding answers and transparency? But why is it these folks never demand answers from a former president who lied about the election, incited a riot intended to stop that election from being certified, did nothing to stop the violent attack on the Capitol and may have illegally hoarded classified documents? Why are there no serious concerns about that? Where is the rigorous oversight? Isn’t this unprecedented attack on democracy a dangerous path?
When we found out the FBI uncovered 11 sets of classified documents in the search, including potential highly classified breaches of national security, our seriously concerned demanders haven’t had much to say.
There is a lot we still don’t know about these documents. Nobody can say, based on what we know, that this was unquestionably the right or wrong call by the DOJ. We’ll learn more in the coming days.
But that’s not really what most Republicans want. The strategy, by now, is clear. When new accusations or revelations emerge that make Trump look even worse, they rush to the ramparts to throw up a barrage of baseless defenses and attacks. They hope to muddy the waters enough to cloud reality.
In this case, they’ve made it clear that the nation’s Department of Justice and the FBI are the real enemy, not a lawless former president. The irresponsibility of such claims is easy to understand. We’ve already seen one planned attack on an FBI office. Social media is filled with calls for taking up arms against the tyranny of a properly obtained search warrant. Civil war!
But no matter how bad it gets, we know Iowa Republicans will stick by their leader. Iowa voters should not stick with them.
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