Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida ripped previous Republican presidents Friday, saying they accepted a “canard” that the Justice Department and FBI are “independent.”
The FBI has faced accusations that the agency has become politicized in cases involving pro-life advocates and parents protesting at school board meetings and was involved in censorship following reports based on documents released to journalist Matt Taibbi by Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter. FBI Director Christopher Wray also clashed with Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Republican Rep. James Comer of Kentucky over the release of a FD-1023 form containing allegations that the Bidens received millions of dollars in bribes obtained from a whistleblower. (RELATED: ‘Like Banana Republic Land’: Alan Dershowitz Says Biden ‘Urged’ Merrick Garland To ‘Indict’ Trump)
“The Founders would have predicted that this would happen. When you have power accumulate and it’s not being held constitutionally accountable, human nature being what it is, they are going to abuse their power. This is not something that they would have thought was unforeseen, and so you got to go in on those agencies,” DeSantis said during a Friday interview with talk show host Erick Erickson. “Republican and Democrat — now, the Democrat presidents can accept it because they’re going to do their bidding, but all Republican presidents in our recent lifetime have accepted the canard that the DOJ and FBI are ‘independent,’ and independent means they’re not accountable to anybody.”
“These are the people that have guns, they can put you in jail. Those are not the people that you want to not have accountability,” DeSantis said. “They are not independent agencies, they are executive Branch agencies that report to the elected president of the United States, and the president has got to hold those agencies accountable for their conduct and hold them accountable for abusing their power.”
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who served in the George W. Bush administration, disputed claims that the Justice Department was biased against Republicans in an Aug. 8 Washington Post op-ed. Former Attorney General William Barr and former Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey have also claimed that the Justice Department has not been weaponized.
DeSantis also singled out Dr. Anthony Fauci, who retired as chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden in December.
“You have some of these health bureaucracies that were run amok during COVID, CDC, FDA, NIH — all of those need to be brought to heel. But you, as the elected president, need to be willing to wield your article to power to the fullest extent to bring this bureaucracy in line with the constitutional design,” DeSantis said.
“So, if you have somebody who’s exercising power that was — that’s not accountable, like a Dr. Fauci, the way you deal with a Fauci, you don’t elevate Fauci, you don’t coddle Fauci, you bring him in, you sit him down and you say, ‘Anthony, you’re fired,’” DeSantis continued. “That’s what you do.”
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