Tim Scott Won’t Condemn Donald Trump FBI Claims

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), one of the candidates at the top of Donald Trump’s vice-presidential shortlist, refused to condemn the former president’s false allegations that the FBI was “locked & loaded ready” to take him out during the 2022 raid of his Mar-a-Lago property.

In a fundraising email sent last week, Trump claimed the FBI agents who searched his Florida home for classified documents he took with him upon leaving the White House were prepared to shoot him, in a move he alleged was orchestrated by President Joe Biden in order to intimidate him.

“It’s just been revealed that Biden’s DOJ was authorized to use DEADLY FORCE for their DESPICABLE raid in Mar-a-Lago,” the email reads. “You know they’re just itching to do the unthinkable… Joe Biden was locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.”

Trump appeared to be twisting the essence of standard language used in the search warrant that authorizes the use of deadly force only if necessary. Attorney General Merrick Garland said this “standard operations plan for searches” was even used when the FBI searched Biden’s home for documents, and called Trump’s claims “extremely dangerous.” (Biden was under investigation over his handling of classified documents but was ultimately not charged.)

In an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Scott took Trump’s side as he repeatedly deflected questions about the former president’s comments.

“I haven’t found myself agreeing with Attorney General Garland on any issue,” Scott said. “I will say I saw the video of the SWAT team from the FBI raiding Mar-a-Lago. I have not seen the same video of them raiding Joe Biden’s garage. So I’d love to have that comparison.”

The South Carolina Republican claimed that Trump’s treatment in this case indicates the existence of a “two tiered justice system,” even though the same policy was followed for the search of Biden’s home.

“It is very difficult to see this justice system currently playing out where it is fair to both Donald Trump and Republicans as we have seen the kid gloves and the insulation around Joe Biden and his family,” Scott said.

Following repeated questioning from CNN’s Dana Bash about whether Trump’s comments about the raid concern him, Scott switched to a different subject: student protests over the Gaza war.

“Well, the rhetoric that really concerns me is not coming out of [Trump’s] emails,” he said. “They’re coming on college campuses, when we’re seeing the actual physical violence against our Jewish students playing out.”

Scott, a former candidate for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, is reportedly among the top contenders to be Trump’s running mate in November’s presidential election.

Federal prosecutors on Friday asked the judge presiding over Trump’s classified documents case to impose a gag order on the former president, saying his words have “endangered law enforcement officers involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case and threatened the integrity of these proceedings.”

The trial in the case has been postponed indefinitely.

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