FBI Director Chris Wray decries the threats following the search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago as 'deplorable and dangerous'
- FBI Director Chris Wray denounced violent rhetoric following the agency's search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago.
- Wray called the recent threats against the agency "deplorable and dangerous."
FBI Director Chris Wray condemned the violent rhetoric made against law enforcement on Wednesday after his agency's search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.
"I'm always concerned about threats to law enforcement," Wray said following a news conference at the FBI field office in Omaha, Nebraska. "Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you're upset with."
Wray said in the last few years, "we've had an alarming rise in violence against law enforcement." He called the threats against the FBI "deplorable and dangerous."
Wray, who Trump appointed to become the agency director in 2017, declined to provide more details about the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago. He is the first Justice Department official to publicly decline to comment on the FBI search. Attorney General Merrick Garland has remained silent since the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago.
The Justice Department and FBI did not respond at this time to Insider's request to comment on the matter. It is standard practice for the Justice Department to not speak publicly on an active investigation or release documents that are not public records.
The FBI search was reportedly part of the agency's investigation into Trump's handling of classified and presidential documents.
Wrays comments come hours before the FBI wrote on Twitter Thursday that an armed individual tried to breach the agency's building in Cincinnati, Ohio before fleeing the scene.
"At approximately 9 AM this morning an armed subject attempted to breach the Visitor Screening Facility at #FBI Cincinnati," said in the tweet from FBI Cincinnati. "After an alarm and a response by FBI special agents, the subject fled north onto Interstate 71."
NBC News reported that the person was able to get inside the building and "fired a nail gun toward personnel" before fleeing in a vehicle.
Wray's remarks on the threats that law enforcement faces highlight the gravity of the situation, said David Weinstein, a Miami criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor.
"His concern is that you have to have respect for the law. We're not a country of anarchists," he said.
Last year, Wray also raised concerns about threats made against law enforcement after its agency found that there was an uptick in the number of law enforcement officers killed by violence while on duty in 2021 compared to 2020. From January 1, 2021, to September 30, 2021, 59 police officers were killed, compared to 39 individuals killed during the same time period in 2020, according to FBI data.
The FBI's search of Trump's home has renewed calls among conservative groups and his supporters for there to be a civil war. Political scientists have sounded the alarm for months about the possibility of another civil war following the January 6 insurrection. Now, some are warning that the FBI's latest action could prompt more extremist groups to mobilize and act.
"This simply serves as more evidence that a crisis is brewing and that they need to take action, no matter what that action is going to be," Barbara Walter, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego, told Insider in an interview.
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