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Defund… the F.B.I.?

Christopher Wray
F.B.I. director Christopher Wray. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP
Julia Ioffe
August 9, 2022

It’s amazing that we didn’t find out about the daylong F.B.I. raid on Mar-a-Lago until after it ended, and even more amazing that news of it didn’t leak until Donald Trump himself unofficially announced it in a deeply whiny press release. (“They even broke into my safe!”) The news blew up the news cycle in a way that only Trump news can, a throwback to the bad old days of the man’s presidency. In many ways, it brought some extremely expected reactions from different corners of the political spectrum: liberals gloated and right-wingers cried foul. Democrats held up the raid as justice delayed but delivered; Republicans pointed to it as still more evidence of a tyrannical “Regime” bent on destroying them and any dissenters. 

But it did produce one deeply unexpected wrinkle in the political universe. Two years after Republicans made quick work of tying even the most moderate Democrats to their more progressive colleagues who called to “defund the police,” attempting to sink them in the 2020 elections, Republicans took to social media last night to loudly call for defunding, well, federal law enforcement.