Florida's Ron DeSantis lashed out at the federal government for raiding the former president's residence
The administration of US President Joe Biden is "weaponizing" federal agencies against his political opponents and turning the country into a "banana republic," Governor Ron DeSantis said on Tuesday, responding to the FBI raid on Donald Trump's Florida residence.
Federal agents entered Mar-a-Lago on Monday night as part of an investigation into Trump's failure to return classified documents after leaving the Oval Office, according to media reports.
The night raid was "another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime's political opponents," DeSantis tweeted, contrasting the treatment to that of Hunter Biden, the son of the president, who is under investigation for alleged financial crimes.
The governor claimed that the planned hiring of tens of thousands of additional agents by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) fit the pattern as well, blasting the US as a "banana republic."
The term is usually applied to a nation ruled by business elites and corrupt politicians, who rob the working class of their wealth and have total disregard for the country's laws.
Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy called out US Attorney General Merrick Garland on Twitter, accusing his department of reaching "an intolerable state of weaponized politicization." He pledged to "leave no stone unturned" in investigating the situation once the party has the majority in the lower chamber of the US Congress.
Trump himself said his Florida estate was put "under siege, raided, and occupied" by the FBI. He accused the Biden administration of using federal law enforcement to undermine his chances in the 2024 presidential election.
He also suggested that the raid was similar to the secret wiretapping of the Democratic National Committee headquarters, which ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.
Trump is expected to run for a second term in 2024 and DeSantis is also widely considered to be another top candidate for the Republican nomination. He could potentially run against Trump in the primary.