Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, defended the FBI on Sunday as other members of his party have sharply criticized the federal police agency in the wake of Monday’s raid on former President Donald Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago residence.
The FBI, with the approval of Attorney General Merrick Garland, completed the raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort home, looking for ” inside info ” and sensitive compartmentalized information, along with other classified documents. Trump and his allies have condemned the raid, with the ex-president calling it section of a “hoax” and a continuing “witch hunt” targeting him.
In accordance with court papers released on Friday following a federal judge unsealed the warrant authorizing the search, federal agents seized classified documents at the house. The documents also showed the ex-president is under investigation for a possible violation of the Espionage Act.
Hutchinson’s defense of the FBI came during an interview on CNN‘s State of the Union. Before he addressed Republicans‘ attacks on the bureau, host Brianna Keilar played footage of other Republican officials criticizing the raid this week. These included comments from NY Representative Elise Stefanik and Florida Senator Rick Scott.
“The FBI raid of President Trump is really a complete abuse and overreach of its authority,” Stefanik said at a press conference on Friday.
“Just how our authorities went, it’s like what we considered the Gestapo, people like this, they just follow people,” Scott said on Fox Business on Tuesday.
After playing the footage, Keilar asked the governor: “Are Trump plus some Republicans putting the lives of the FBI’s women and men at an increased risk?”
“Well if the GOP will be the party of supporting police, police includes the FBI,” Hutchinson responded, and added that federal police “do extraordinarily heroic efforts to enforce our rule of law, that is fundamental to the Republican Party also to our democracy. The FBI is apart of this.”
The governor continued to state that the FBI “is merely undertaking their responsibilities beneath the law, a lawful search warrant a magistrate signed off on.”
“Plus they didn’t go within with FBI raid jackets, they tried to constrain their behavior undertaking that warrant. So let’s support police, let’s stand using them. Be it the DEA, the FBI or your neighborhood police. That’s critically important that people do this because they’re simply attempting to do their job also to keep anarchy from our country,” Hutchinson continued.
In statement on Monday, Trump called the raid “not essential or appropriate,” and said his home was “under siege, raided, and occupied.” He called regulations enforcement action a “weaponization of the Justice System,” and later said the FBI might have been planting evidence.
CNN also reported Friday that the FBI is investigating an “unprecedented” amount of threats against its staff following raid.
Newsweek has already reached out to Trump’s press office for comment.