By Joshua Barlow
Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” where he said the Department of Justice needs to be transparent in its investigation of former President Donald Trump, while members of his own party need to stop with the violent rhetoric.
Hogan on Sunday said that, while he was relieved U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland provided more information and had unsealed the warrant regarding the Aug. 6 FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, the seriousness of the investigation against the former president, especially where it concerns espionage and treason, requires more transparency.
“I was not one of the people that was just reacting, you know, just defending Donald Trump,” said Hogan. “But I understood that without anyone understanding what this was about, that it was going to and could lead to even further division and angry rhetoric from both sides.”
“On the one side, you could say, well, if the Justice Department, the FBI and the federal judge believe that they should do it, then it must be pretty serious,” Hogan continued. “On the other hand, in the absence of more transparency, people are going to continue to jump to conclusions.”
Hogan was asked what he thought about the incendiary and sometimes violent rhetoric being levied at the FBI by members of his own party.
In the week since the raid on Mar-a-Lago, GOP lawmakers, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, Rick Scott and Paul Gosar, have referred to the FBI as a tool of Joe Biden’s Democratic Party, called to defund the bureau, and encouraged citizens to resist the authority of federal law enforcement.
Many of Trump’s supporters on his social network, Truth Social, are actively calling for civil war because of the raid.
“It’s very concerning to me. It’s outrageous rhetoric,” Hogan said. “My father, my uncle, two of my cousins were FBI agents. And I work with them on an ongoing basis. State police work with them every single day. These are dedicated law enforcement officers.”
“First, we had the left talking about defunding the police and attacking police officers, and now we have the right saying defund these federal law enforcement officers,” Hogan said. “Losing faith in our in our federal law enforcement officers and our justice system is a really serious problem for the county.”
This past week, a man in Columbus, Ohio, attacked an FBI field office with a nail gun and an AR-15-style rifle, leading to a highway chase that ended with his death by law enforcement.
Hogan still said it was the responsibility of Garland, the DOJ and federal law enforcement to make sure a lack of information on the unprecedented investigation against the former president doesn’t create a vacuum where conspiracies can grow.
“This week, it was actually a win for Donald Trump,” Hogan said. “It seemed to motivate his base and people were rushing to his defense and feeling as if he was being picked upon and martyred. But I don’t think, you know, we’ve seen the end of the story yet.”
Hogan, who has been openly critical of Trump throughout his administration, was asked what he thought about Republican leaders who rushed to Mar-a-Lago to show support for the former president after the search.
“I’m not sure history’s going to remember all of them fondly,” he said.
When asked if he’s heard the buzz about his own chances for the White House, and if he would consider a run in 2024, Hogan seemed uninterested.
“I understand why all the people are talking about that because they’re frustrated with both parties and a majority of people are really kind of fed up with Democrats and Republican and all this angry rhetoric and toxic, divisive politics,” he said. “I haven’t given any thought to that.”
As part of Maryland Matters’ content sharing agreement with WTOP, we feature this article from Joshua Barlow. Click here for the WTOP News website.