WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump is urging Republicans in Congress to “defund” federal law enforcement before the government funding deadline this fall.
“Republicans in Congress should defund the Department of Justice and the FBI until they come to their senses,” he posted on his social media platform, writing in all caps. “Democrats have fully weaponized law enforcement in our country and are brutally using this abuse of power to interfere with our already under siege elections!”
Trump’s comment came a day after arrested and found not guilty to criminal charges in New York related to falsifying business records in connection with the 2016 election. Hours after his arraignment, he gave a speech at his Florida residence. blasting the various legal investigations he faces, including from the federal government.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, also suggested that the Republican-led House of Representatives use its financial resources to limit the application of federal law.
“We control the power of the stock market. We will have to look at the appropriations process and limit the funds that go to some of these agencies, particularly the ones that are involved in the most egregious behavior,” Jordan said Sunday on Fox News.
When asked by host Maria Bartiromo if he meant the Department of Justice and the FBI, Jordan replied: “Yes.”
Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, a member of the party’s leadership in the Democratic-controlled Senate, said that won’t happen.
“There are no circumstances under which we will defund federal police. There will be enough bipartisan votes to ignore this lawsuit. It’s nonsense, it’s bad policy and it’s worse policy,” Schatz told NBC News.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the vice chair and top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, rejected Trump’s call.
“Reforms may be needed, but I am strongly opposed to defunding the FBI and Department of Justice,” Collins said in a statement provided by his office, in response to a query.
Jordan, for months, criticized the alleged “politicization” of the Justice Department and the FBI, accusing them of unfairly targeting conservatives. The two law enforcement entities are a main focus of the new House panel he heads, the committee on militarization of the federal government.
Congress faces a September 30 deadline to fund the government or force the closure of federal agencies. With the two parties widely separated in terms of priorities, it’s unclear what a deal would look like. It’s also unclear if there will be enough support in the narrow GOP majority in the House of Representatives to pass a bill that cuts funding for the Justice Department and the FBI. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has supported increased funding for federal and local police.
House Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., who is investigating Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, said he will call Jordan and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy by the end of this week to “find a way forward,” calling his inquiry into the Bragg investigation “very serious.”
“Alvin Bragg doesn’t even know where his funds come from. But he gets federal funding, and that’s where he falls under the jurisdiction of the House Oversight Committee,” Comer said Wednesday in an appearance on Fox News.
The tug of war presents a new twist in a longstanding political standoff between the parties. For years, Republicans have attacked Democrats as the anti-police party, seizing on the “defund the police” slogan created by left-wing activists during the 2020 protests against the murder of George Floyd.
But when the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence last August in connection with an investigation involving classified documents, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Trump ally, R-Ge. tweeted: “SHOCK THE FBI!”
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Tommy Garcia responded Wednesday: “Donald Trump joins MAGA House Republicans in attacking law enforcement and government agencies that keep us safe and secure. , which reminds us how dangerous the Republican Party is. They cannot be trusted with power or uphold the rule of law.”
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com