Two major incidents have taken place in the wake of the FBI raid on former President Trump’s personal home, Mar-a-Lago last Monday. Mid-week, an Ohio man walked into the visitor screening area of the FBI field office in Cincinnati, in possession of a nail gun and an “AR-15 style” rifle. When approached by agents, the man, later identified as Ricky Shiffer, ran and led law enforcement on a car chase. Shiffer was later killed during a gun battle with Ohio state troopers and FBI agents.
Early Sunday morning, a man drove his car into a barricade on Capitol Hill. Upon exiting the car, the man’s vehicle burst into flames (it is still uncertain whether the man set the car on fire himself or if the flames were a result of the crash). The man then shot a firearm into the air multiple times before he took his own life with the same gun.
On Monday, both the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI released warnings that they are seeing multiple threats of violence following the raid on Mar-a-Lago. This information was released via a bulletin sent to law enforcement agencies across the country.
The bulletin reports that both federal agencies have seen “an increase in violent threats” to be perpetuated on law enforcement as well as government personnel and members of the judiciary. One particular threat involved placing “a so-called Dirty Bomb in front of the FBI headquarters.”
The communique also mentioned that there has been an increase in “general calls for civil war and armed rebellion” across multiple social media platforms. Many threats mention the 2020 election, the idea that the election was stolen, and “perceived claims of government overreach.”
The bulletin went on to identify some specific threats on members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The federal agencies have identified several threats to harm the judge who signed the search warrant that led to the Mar-a-Lago raid. Some threats have been levied at individuals who are simply associated with the Palm Beach search at President Trump’s home.
The bulletin pointed to Shiffer’s attempt to enter the FBI field office in Cincinnati, and said that the majority of threats are online.
There are those Americans who believe that the raid, unprecedented in nature, was a political move. Critics are pointing to online comments such as those who refer to the FBI as the Nazi Gestapo, while others have called for a defunding of the Department of Justice and the FBI.
At the same time, many fair-minded individuals are calling for the Justice Department to make public the affidavit which was used to get the search warrant. This would provide transparency, and it could serve to calm many of the threats of violence.
There has been a bipartisan call for transparency in the investigation. Many legal scholars, including Jonathan Turley of George Mason University, have said that there are many questions that need answers and transparency is the best way to provide those answers.
At the same time, many Americans see the unprecedented raid as a dark day for the country, particularly in light of the fact that President Donald Trump had sent many requested records back to the NARA upon their request. Reports that the FBI investigators had met with Trump and his legal team in June, requested a padlock on the storage room where the remaining documents were held, and still the agency conducted a widespread search of the Trump estate is unnerving to Americans on both sides of the political coin.
The Anti-Defamation League said that “inflammatory rhetoric demonizing law enforcement” is a driving factor in the threats.
The political divide in America has never been further apart; one party refers to the other as filled with “extremists,” while the opposite party calls its political opponents “crooked” and “evil.” Americans of both parties must come together now for the good of the country.