TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing criticism after he decried the FBI’s “raid” of former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach resort, calling it a “weaponization of federal agencies.”
On Monday, Trump said in a statement that Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach was “occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”
The raid was part of an FBI investigation into whether he took classified records from the White House to his Florida residence, the Associated Press reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
“These are dark times for our nation,” Trump said. “Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States before.”
DeSantis took to Twitter Monday evening to blast the raid, calling it something that happens in a “Banana Republic.”
“The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves,” DeSantis tweeted, referring to President Joe Biden’s son.
“Now the Regime is getting another 87k IRS agents to wield against its adversaries? Banana Republic,” he added, referring to Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which would increase IRS funding and allow it to hire up to 87,000 new employees.
A “Banana Republic” is a derogatory term used to describe politically unstable countries that often rely on a single export.
Sens Rick Scott and Marco Rubio echoed the same rhetoric.
“The @FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago is incredibly concerning, especially given the Biden admin’s history of going after parents & other political opponents,” Scott tweeted. “This is 3rd World country stuff. We need answers NOW. The FBI must explain what they were doing today & why.”
“Using government power to persecute political opponents is something we have seen many times from 3rd world Marxist dictatorships. But never before in America,” Rubio tweeted.
Former Democratic state representative Sean Shaw criticized the governor’s tweets and suggested he was being hypocritical after the governor used his power to suspend Hillsborough County state attorney Andrew Warren, accusing him of not enforcing laws he didn’t like.
“You just removed the State Attorney for Hillsborough County and you want to talk about weaponizing agencies against political opponents? Wow,” Shaw tweeted.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said she plans to hold a press conference in front of the governor’s mansion Tuesday to respond to DeSantis’ “tweet degrading a lawful search.”
Fried said she will call on the governor to “support the rule of law and allow the Justice Department to do its job.”