Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump aren’t getting along these days. The Florida governor is looking like the former president’s biggest competitor in the 2024 election. But he’s been one of many in the GOP to smear the FBI for searching Mar-a-Lago during an investigation that is sounding more and more legit. But an old clip from 2020 of him vigorously, angrily defending searches by the feds has resurfaced, and it sounds like he’d be all for what they’re doing to his state’s most famous resident.
“They did a search warrant .. What were they supposed to do, just ignore it? This search – they followed protocols, it was not a raid. They were serving valid process.”
– Ron Desantis, 2020, after search warrant executed on Rebekah Jones to recover emails.pic.twitter.com/XBQj978xGW
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) August 12, 2022
The clip is from a federal search in the home of Rebekah Jones, a geographer and data scientist who earned DeSantis’ scorn after she turned whistleblower. Jones had been mysteriously fired from her job in May of 2020 after creating software that helped track COVID-19 infections. She said she was let go after she refused to hide certain data that might show DeSantis’ policies weren’t keeping cases down. The FBI even searched her home, which created a firestorm. But at the time, DeSantis saw no problem with the feds looking into possible criminal activity.
During a press conference, a reporter made the mistake of calling the search a “raid,” which prompted DeSantis to angrily snap back. “It’s not a raid. With all due respect, what you just said is editorializing,” he railed. “I’m not going to let you get away with it. These people did their jobs. They’ve been smeared as the Gestapo for doing their jobs. They did a search warrant. Why did they do a search warrant on the house? Because her IP address was linked to the felony. What were they supposed to do? Just ignore it? Of course not.”
DeSantis added that the agents were “serving valid process in accordance with the laws and Constitution of the United States and the state of Florida.” He said calling it a “raid” was “disinformation.” He added that those reporting on the search “need to look at facts and stop trying to feed narrative.”
Obviously there are lots of differences between the Jones and Trump cases. But most of what he said could apply to the FBI searching Mar-a-Lago, which was done with a warrant and has since been incorrectly described by the right as a “raid.” Of course, there is one major difference: Those involved haven’t simply been called names. They’ve been hit with death threats. One Trump supporter and prolific Truth poster even tried to attack a branch of the FBI in Cincinnati.
The clip was widely shared on social media. One person even made an obviously fake video to make it look like DeSantis was schooling Sean Hannity, who’s tried to assure people that Trump can still campaign for president from the slammer.