For much of 2021, there have been too many disturbing bullying campaigns, largely from the far right, targeting groups of Americans who didn’t deserve the mistreatment. As we have discussed, from election officials to public health officials, from school board members to flight attendants, it was a difficult time filled with threats, confrontations and fear.
This year, the bullying efforts seem to metastasize. The Washington Post, for example, reported this weekend on the “wave of threats” against the National Archives.
In the nearly three weeks since the FBI searched former President Donald Trump’s Florida home to recover classified documents, the National Archives and Records Administration has become the target of a wave of threats. and vitriol, according to people familiar with the situation. Officials tasked by law with preserving and securing U.S. government records have been rattled.
While the article doesn’t go into detail about the nature of the threats, the Post spoke to 14 current and former employees of the Archives and described the agency as being “besieged by a former president and his supporters.” .
The article added that Trump’s recent actions “provoked fervor among his supporters against the Archives.”
NARA has a lot of company. As Republicans launch a brazenly dishonest campaign against the IRS, the Washington Post reported last week that the tax agency is also responding to “right-wing threats.”
The Internal Revenue Service will launch a comprehensive security review of its facilities nationwide, Commissioner Charles Rettig announced Tuesday, as congressional Republicans and far-right extremists lash out at the agency and new funding it is expected to receive under a massive spending bill.
The report added that the IRS will conduct risk assessments at all of its facilities and “evaluate whether to increase security patrols along building exteriors, strengthen designations for restricted areas, review security around entrances and assess exterior lighting”.
It will be the first such security review since 1995 – following the domestic terror attack in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people.
Meanwhile, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security have sounded the alarm over an increase in threats against federal law enforcement officials, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart has faced a storm of death threats since the approval of the Mar-a-Lago search warrant.
The next time we hear Trump and his supporters applaud the principle of “law and order,” keep this pattern of threats in mind.