Desperate to vary the topic to something else ― the rest ― after the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s home in Florida on Monday, Republicans are pushing an especially weird and false talking point: Tens of hundreds of tax collectors are coming for you.
“The FBI raiding Donald Trump is unprecedented,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted late Monday. “The Biden Admin has fully weaponized DOJ & FBI to focus on their political enemies. And with 87K latest IRS agents, they’re coming for YOU too.”
“Yet another example of our two-tiered system of justice,” tweeted Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). “Who do you think that they’ll weaponize the 87,000 IRS agents against? The reply is clear. Their political enemies.”
What on earth are they talking about?
It’s an incredibly disjointed effort, but Republicans are attempting to gloss over the actual news ― that the FBI just spent a full day searching Trump’s Mar-A-Lago property for classified documents that he allegedly took from the White House as a substitute of giving them to the National Archives, which is required by law ― and by some means make this about Senate Democrats passing a sweeping climate and health care package last week.
The Democratic bill, which is on target for Friday passage within the House, is a significant legislative victory for President Joe Biden. Amongst other things, it reduces the nation’s output of greenhouse gasses and makes health care more cost-effective. Senate Republicans all voted against it, and plenty of were really hoping to spend the approaching weeks and even months publicly attacking its scope and price tag as their reelection campaigns gain steam.
Alas, the FBI needed to go and spoil it for them.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on the FBI raiding former President Donald Trump’s house in Florida: Hey, look over here at this totally unrelated thing!
Drew Angerer via Getty Images
Republicans have had their messaging all able to go on the bill, including their claim that it can result in 87,000 Internal Revenue Service agents coming for Republican taxpayers. It’s not clear where that number got here from. The bill beefs up IRS enforcement by about $80 billion over the subsequent 10 years, but that cash is specifically to assist the agency go after egregious tax-dodging by the ultra-rich, not average taxpayers, and it is predicted to generate greater than $120 billion.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, made that time clear to reporters on Saturday evening, chiding Republicans for fearmongering with their claims that the brand new IRS resources would go toward auditing plain vanilla taxpayers.
“The very fact is, that’s not going to occur,” Wyden said just before the bill passed within the Senate. “It’s completely different than the rich tax cheats.”
Nonetheless, Republicans like their IRS talking points and really don’t wish to get on Trump’s bad side ahead of the midterm elections in November. So that they’ve settled on talking about Democrats’ domestic policy laws in the identical breath because the FBI raiding a former U.S. president’s house as in the event that they’re connected, which they aren’t in any respect.
“Senate Democrats just passed their insane tax-and-spend package, which incorporates funding for greater than 87,000 latest IRS agents — greater than State, DoD, and CBP combined,” Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) tweeted Tuesday. “This nonsense + wild weaponization of the FBI + Democrats’ inflation, crime, border crises = @HouseGOP landslide.”
“If the FBI can raid the house of a former US President, imagine what 87,000 more IRS agents will do to you,” tweeted Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.).
“The identical Democrats cheering on the FBI raiding President Trump’s house are attempting to offer the IRS 87,000 latest agents and an extra $80 billion,” tweeted Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.). “And we’re presupposed to consider they won’t also weaponize the IRS?”
Along with spreading misinformation, GOP lawmakers are glossing over a significant detail as they accuse FBI Director Christopher Wray of going after Trump for political reasons.
Senate Republicans unanimously confirmed Wray in 2017. Wray himself is a Republican, and he was Trump’s appointee to the highest FBI post.
“The @FBI raid on President Trump was approved by Director Wray, who also claimed that the illegal FISA warrants used to spy on Trump were constitutional,” fumed Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who voted to verify Wray. “Today’s raid is outrageous and unjust, but predictable.”
“Using government power to persecute political opponents is something now we have seen repeatedly from third world Marxist dictatorships. But never before in America,” tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who not only voted to verify Wray but additionally previously praised the FBI for looking into then-presidential candidate Hillary’s Clinton’s mishandling of emails in 2016.
“The FBI’s decision regarding Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails once more proves that she is DQ’d from being Commander in Chief,” Rubio said in July 2016. Oops.
The FBI’s decision regarding Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails once more proves that she is DQ’d from being Commander in Chief.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 5, 2016
House Republicans wanting to paint the FBI as a partisan arm for Democrats, meanwhile, could use a history lesson.
“The inconsistent and partisan application of the law by the FBI has gone too far,” charged Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-Tenn.). “The Democrats, for too long, have used our government agencies from the FBI to the IRS to focus on their political opponents.”
Except there has never been a Democratic director of the FBI.
Jonathan Nicholson contributed reporting.