Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said during an Aug. 21 television appearance that Republican criticisms of the FBI following its unprecedented raid of President Donald Trump’s home are “crazy,” and opined that most Republican voters don’t share this attitude.
The FBI’s Aug. 8 raid on Trump’s Florida Mar-a-Lago home set off warning bells among many Republican lawmakers, who have characterized the raid as politically motivated and lawless.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who has in the past had a sometimes adversarial attitude toward the former president, was emphatic in his denunciation of the raid.
“I’ve seen enough,” McCarthy wrote in a tweet the night of the raid. “The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization. When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned. Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar.”
Other Republicans, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), took it a step further.
Just days after the raid, Greene filed articles of impeachment against Attorney General Merrick Garland and has called for the FBI to be defunded.
Republicans across the ideological spectrum have demanded that the FBI and DOJ answer for the raid, but as of yet answers about the reasons for the search have been scant.
During an Aug. 22 appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Crenshaw lashed out against denunciations of the FBI, which he called “crazy.”
“Oh yes, it’s crazy,” Crenshaw said specifically when asked about the rhetoric on the FBI from within his party.
Some Republicans, including Crenshaw, have condemned Greene’s calls to defund the FBI as being equivalent to Democrats’ calls following the 2020 death of George Floyd to defund the police, a cry that has been kept alive among some more progressive Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
“It makes us seem like extremist Democrats, right?” Crenshaw said. “And so Marjorie and AOC can go join the defund the law enforcement club if they want. Ninety-nine percent of Republicans are not on that train.”
On the other hand, Crenshaw did call for more transparency from the DOJ and FBI on the reasons for the raid, which he said was “automatically political” since it involved a search of a former president’s home.
On Aug. 22, Bruce Reinhart ruled against the DOJ’s efforts to keep the entire search warrant affidavit private.
The 13-page ruling found that the DOJ had not successfully proven a compelling state interest in censoring the entire document from public view.
Prior to the Aug. 22 ruling, the federal judiciary signaled openness to releasing a redacted version of the document, but it has as yet not been made public, even following Reinhart’s Aug. 22 ruling. The DOJ, for its part, criticized any effort to release the affidavit over expressed concerns for witness safety.
“The criticisms that we’re leveling against the FBI and DOJ are fully warranted,” Crenshaw said of GOP calls for more transparency. “It is not those criticisms that lead to a crazy person attacking an FBI.”
‘Shameful’: Rep. Greene Hits Back
Following Crenshaw’s Aug. 21 appearance, Greene countered the Texas Republican in an Aug. 22 Twitter thread.
“‘Conservative’ Dan Crenshaw runs to CNN to beg Democrat activists like Jake Tapper to take him seriously,” Greene wrote. “Comparing our great men & women in local law enforcement who put their lives on the line to corrupt deep state FBI operatives like Peter Strozk & Lisa Page is shameful.”
Greene defended her calls to defund the FBI as substantively different from left-wing calls to defund the police.
“Defunding the FBI is defunding the corrupt deep state that is weaponizing our federal agencies against conservatives all across America,” Greene said.
The “Defund the police” movement, Greene said by contrast, “is defunding our community protectors and is creating lawlessness across America.”
Greene continued, “of course everyone is supposed to just trust intelligence operatives like Jim Comey, James Clapper, and Christopher Wray.
“Dan Crenshaw says they are just like the police AOC wants to defund.
“Dan doesn’t see a difference and says neither should you.
“He wants you to see no difference in the FBI & DOJ setting up the Russia collusion hoax wasting $30+ million taxpayer dollars on the Democrat’s communist style political witch hunt and local law enforcement just trying to get drug gangs off the streets and lock up murderers.
“Dan just wants more useless congressional hearings for members of congress to get their 5 minute CSPAN clips instead of actually doing the hard work of gutting our federal agencies of Marxists like Merrick Garland.
“Dan says shame on you for using your first amendment freedom of speech proclaiming your outrage over Merrick Garland sending the FBI to raid Maralago even though Pres Trump and his attorneys were nicely working with them and the FBI had already been there and inspected the very documents they raided for.
“Even [former New York Governor] Andrew Cuomo who killed elderly nursing home patients by locking them up with covid patients cried foul on the FBI violating Pres Trump and his family’s 4th amendment rights.
“But Dan says that’s extreme and anyone who wants to defund the corrupt FBI is just like AOC.
“Try telling that to your voters Dan.
“They might not have a degree from Harvard and hang out with [World Economic Forum Chairman] Klaus Schwab but they have the wisdom to see the very clear difference between the politically corrupt FBI and our good men and women guarding our communities each night.”
In an emailed statement to the Epoch Times, Greene’s office pointed to polling from Rasmussen that “contradicts Crenshaw’s claims about 99 percent.”
According to the results of that poll, only 30 percent of Republicans now view the FBI favorably, down from 38 percent in December;
Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 45 percent have a favorable impression of the FBI and 50 percent view the bureau unfavorably.