Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Sunday denounced the FBI for its search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property during a rally in support of two Republican nominees in Arizona.
DeSantis spoke for roughly 45 minutes in support of Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters and GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, both of whom were endorsed by Trump before their primaries, during an event hosted by conservative group Turning Point Action.
“These agencies have now been weaponized to be used against people that the government doesn’t like,” DeSantis said, drawing a comparison to the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of State.
“And you look at the raid and Mar-a-Lago, and I’m trying to remember, maybe someone here can remind me about when they did a search warrant at Hillary’s house in Chappaqua when she had a rogue server and she was laundering classified information,” he continued.
The FBI searched the Mar-a-Lago estate last week in connection with its investigation into whether Trump violated the Espionage Act, unlawfully concealed or removed public records or obstructed an investigation.
The agency said it seized 11 sets of classified documents, although Trump has claimed he unclassified them using his presidential authority.
The FBI’s search has led to immense criticism from Trump and his allies, who argue the agency and the Department of Justice, under Attorney General Merrick Garland, are pursuing the investigation for political purposes.
DeSantis on Sunday in his criticism referenced investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, calling allegations of collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign an “abuse of power.”
“They’re enforcing the law based on who they like and who they don’t like,” DeSantis said. “That is not a republic, maybe it’s a banana republic when that happens.”
DeSantis also brought up recent threats against Supreme Court justices in the lead up to its overturning of Roe v. Wade. A man was charged with attempted murder after he showed up near Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house and admitted he wanted to kill him.
He also referenced recent vandalism and attacks at anti-abortion pregnancy centers in the wake of the court’s decision.
“What I hope we see if Republicans take majorities is use the power that you have under the Constitution to bring accountability to a bureaucracy that’s totally off the rails,” said DeSantis.