Pence condemns attacks on FBI after Mar-a-Lago search
Former Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday criticized the members of his own party who have attacked the FBI in recent days over the search of former President Trump’s estate in Florida.
“I also want to remind my fellow Republicans we can hold the attorney general accountable for the decision that he made without attacking the rank-and-file law enforcement personnel at the FBI,” Pence said to applause at an event at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.
“The Republican Party is the party of law and order. Our party stands with the men and women who serve on the thin blue line at the federal, state and local level. And these attacks on the FBI must stop,” Pence continued.
“Calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police. And the truth of the matter is, we need to get to the bottom of what happened. We need to let the facts play out,” Pence added. “But more than anything else, the American people need to be reassured in the integrity of our justice system, and the very appearance of a recurrence of politics playing a role in decisions at the Justice Department demand transparency as never before.”
Pence said he would call on Attorney General Merrick Garland to release a full accounting of the reasons behind the FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property last week, during which federal agents recovered several boxes of classified and top secret materials the former president had taken from the White House.
“This unprecedented action does demand unprecedented transparency,” Pence said.
Trump himself has repeatedly attacked the FBI in the week since the search, accusing the agents without proof of planting evidence. Some Republicans, such as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.), have called to defund or dismantle the FBI entirely.
Other Republicans have directed their fury at Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray, with some lawmakers pledging an investigation or to impeach the officials if Republicans gain power after the midterms.
An armed man attempted to breach an FBI building in Cincinnati on Thursday. Republicans condemned the attack and threats against law enforcement officers.
Pence, who is widely seen as laying the groundwork for a 2024 presidential bid, has been willing to call out members of his own party on certain issues in the past. He previously chided Republicans who praised Russian President Vladimir Putin in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.