GOP lawmakers conflate standard FBI policies with an assassination attempt on Trump

The online remarks from two Trump allies came after the former president posted about the FBI's search of his Mar-a-Lago resort in 2022.

Congressional allies of Donald Trump on Tuesday conflated standard FBI operating procedures with what they called an attempt by President Joe Biden’s administration to assassinate the former president during a 2022 search of his Mar-a-Lago property for classified documents, even though the FBI specifically planned the search during a time when they knew Trump was hundreds of miles away in New Jersey.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., wrote on X that the Justice Department and the FBI had plans to “assassinate” Trump “and gave the green light.”

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., posted on X that President Joe Biden “ordered the hit on Trump at Mar-a-Lago,” Trump’s residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

The posts came shortly after Trump, who was not at Mar-a-Lago on the day of the FBI search, wrote on Truth Social that he had been shown reports indicating “that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, in their Illegal and UnConstitutional Raid of Mar-a-Lago, AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE.”

Trump’s Florida classified documents trial indefinitely postponed

Trump, who has often accused Biden of weaponizing the justice system against him, appeared to be referring to newly unsealed court filings related to documents found at Mar-a-Lago after the FBI searched it in 2022.

In a rare statement Tuesday night, the FBI said that it had followed standard procedure during the search of Trump’s property and that no additional steps had been ordered.

“The FBI followed standard protocol in this search as we do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force. No one ordered additional steps to be taken and there was no departure from the norm in this matter,” the statement said.

According to Justice Department policy, law enforcement officers are allowed to use force only when no other safe alternatives appear to exist. The policy further says deadly force is permitted only “when necessary, that is, when the officer has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.”

Even right-wing former FBI agents who regularly criticize the bureau pushed back on the focus on the FBI protocols, calling the documents “boilerplate,” “nothing out of the ordinary,” and “a giant nothing” burger (using a hamburger emoji), in posts on X. “The hyperbole and emotion over this is ridiculous, especially considering legitimate reasons to question the MAL raid,” wrote Garret O’Boyle, who previously testified before a House subcommittee led by top Trump ally, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

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A Trump campaign spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night, and spokespeople for Greene and Gosar did not elaborate on their posts.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to charges that he willfully retained national defense information in connection with classified documents that were uncovered at his Florida estate after he left office and that he ordered a Mar-a-Lago staffer to delete security video at the property. The trial has been indefinitely postponed.

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