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Bolton on criticism of FBI after Mar-a-Lago search: ‘I think overwhelmingly they are professional’

Former national security adviser John Bolton on Thursday said the Department of Justice (DOJ) is “overwhelmingly” professional, pushing back against claims the agency conducted a politically motivated search of former President Trump’s Florida estate this week.

On CNN’s “New Day,” Bolton told hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar he’s had “long experience” with the DOJ and believes in the integrity of the department.

“Overwhelmingly, they are professional in carrying out of their duties,” he said. “I don’t recognize a lot of the criticisms that are being made of these institutions.”

Bolton, who was a target of an Iranian plot to assassinate him, according to charges unsealed by the DOJ this week, served in the Trump administration from 2018 to 2019.

The FBI’s Monday morning search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., ignited a firestorm of controversy from the right, with a number of GOP lawmakers and Trump allies accusing the Biden administration of going after the former president for political reasons ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has called to “defund the FBI,” while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pledged to implement “immediate oversight” of the DOJ if Republicans capture the House in the midterm elections.

While the DOJ has remained mum on the incident, FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday called threats circulating online against federal agents and the Justice Department “deplorable and dangerous.”

The DOJ earlier this year opened an investigation into the alleged seizure of classified documents Trump was supposed to turn over before leaving the White House, after the National Archives and Records Administration reported they reclaimed 15 boxes of documents from the former president.

Bolton on Thursday said that both the right and the left are demeaning the nation’s institutions, arguing that liberals have gone too far in their criticism of the Secret Service, which is now the center of a probe into the agency allegedly wiping text messages related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“You’ve got the left attacking the Secret Service, the right attacking the FBI,” Bolton said, adding he’s worked with both institutions and is an advocate of “law and order” above all else.

Tags FBI raid Florida John Berman John Bolton Kevin McCarthy Mar-a-Lago Marjorie Taylor Greene Palm Beach Trump
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