A year ago, Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas seemed pretty clear: An uptick in national crime rates was the Democrats’ fault.

“Socialist Democrats created this crisis,” he wrote in July 2021. “They defunded the police. They created the anti-police mobs. They turned their back on and, quite frankly, destroyed the integrity of the police.”

Last week, Marshall joined the anti-FBI mob when agents executed a search warrant at the home of former President Donald Trump.

“These raids and seizures are a fishing expedition,” he tweeted. In an interview, he said: “You know, friends texted me things like, is the FBI turned into the Gestapo?”

The casual hypocrisy of politicians like Roger Marshall is easy to see – and to mock. One minute they “back the blue.” The next minute, the FBI is the Nazi secret police. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia said it explicitly: “DEFUND THE FBI,” she tweeted, sounding like a founding member of the Students for a Democratic Society in the 1960s.

Other politicians and commentators have hinted, without evidence, that the FBI planted incriminating documents at the home. This rhetoric is out of control. At the same time, there is an important point buried in the garbage: All law enforcement agencies must be subject to public scrutiny and review, not just the officers or departments with which we disagree.


By all accounts, the FBI followed regular procedure when it executed its search of Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida residence. Searches take place dozens of times each day, in cities and rural areas across the nation. Sometimes authorities are looking for illegal drugs, or guns, or evidence of a crime. Sometimes people are arrested.

The Constitution prohibits “unreasonable” searches and seizures, and we must make sure that restriction is understood and followed by police agencies and the courts.

But it’s beyond absurd, and dangerous, to scrutinize some police actions but not others. It can’t be acceptable to endorse a raid in a poor neighborhood while opposing one at a Florida mansion. All searches must be conducted according to the law.

It can’t be right to “back the blue” when officers raid the apartment of Breonna Taylor and shoot her dead, yet yelp about law enforcement overreach when the FBI searches Donald Trump’s resort. This applies to the FBI and a host of other federal agencies – the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Citizenship and Immigration Services agency and similar groups.

Searches must be necessary, safe and legal.

It isn’t just the FBI, by the way. Some Republicans seem appalled at a decision to increase funding for the Internal Revenue Service. Americans should keep a close eye on the agency’s work, but dismantling the IRS – as some have suggested – would provoke lawlessness and chaos.

We have long supported strong oversight of local police agencies, including a robust civilian review process and greater transparency from local departments. We have not changed our view. We agree the FBI should meet the same standard, whether searching the home of a gun felon or a former president. But we have never called for dismantling the police department or the FBI. We back the blue and the people they serve, a position Roger Marshall and his anti-law enforcement buddies overlook far too often.

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