Wyoming’s political leaders had thoughts on the reported raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. But they were very different thoughts.
The state’s senior U.S. senator and governor were concerned; Wyoming’s junior U.S. senator was fiery. The state’s lone and campaign-embattled U.S. representative was silent. And the top Democrat in the Wyoming State Senate was weary of the Trump fandom.
The FBI on Monday evening raided Trump’s residence and broke into his safe, according to Trump. He posted a statement to social media platform Truth Social calling the raid “political targeting at the highest level,” and an example of “lawlessness, political persecution and (a) Witch Hunt.”
“Raiding a former president’s home is unprecedented,” wrote U.S. Sen. John Barrasso in a Monday Twitter post. “The Justice Department needs to quickly and transparently tell the American people who approved this raid and why it occurred.”
Within hours of Barrasso’s inquiry, the New York Post reported that Judge Bruce Reinhardt approved the warrant on Trump’s estate. Fox News then reported that while working as a private attorney, Reinhardt had represented several people linked to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking ring.
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon on Wednesday morning released a brief statement and an inquiry.
“The Justice Department should never be weaponized. We need to know why this raid occurred, and that it is not just a political attack,” said Gordon.
The National Archives and Records Administration told media outlets in February that Trump needed to return 15 boxes of classified documents that he took from the White House when departing office.
‘Unreasonable Searches and Seizures’
Strong wording flowed from the campaign page of the state’s junior U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, in the hours following the raid.
Lummis re-posted multiple prominent Republicans’ posts on Monday, linking the FBI’s raid to concerns over the 87,000 agents the IRS is about to add under the Inflation Reduction Act. She also tweeted an image depicting the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects personal property against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
“Know your Constitutional rights,” said Lummis in the post.
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican and the lone House delegate for Wyoming, said nothing on her campaign Facebook or Twitter pages about the raid.
Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler also did not respond to a texted inquiry Wednesday morning.
Cheney voted in January 2021 to impeach Trump and this summer investigated his actions through the Congressional Jan. 6 (2021) Committee.
‘It’s Not A Witch Hunt If You’re a Witch’
State Senate Minority Floor Leader Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie, said the raid is just one of dozens of signals to the Republican Party majority to wake up and reevaluate Trump’s behavior.
“It’s not a witch hunt if you’re a witch,” said Rothfuss in a Wednesday interview with Cowboy State Daily.
“We’ll have to wait and see what the results of the search will be,” said Rothfuss, adding that, given the National Archives statements, “it’s unfortunate that he didn’t treat classified materials with appropriate precautions and security while he was president. And honestly, it’s also unfortunate that many of his supporters don’t care.”
Rothfuss theorized that Trump enjoys the controversy and a state of victimhood as his claim to fame and power.
“He won the presidency (because) he was capable of capturing the dominant portion of the news media, communicating a demagogical message to a persuadable demographic,” he said.
Rothfuss said Trump’s reaction to the raid is “just another example where he’ll claim to be persecuted, when at the end of the day, it’s just that he’s breaking the law.”
The Wyoming Republican Party backed Trump in a mass email sent Tuesday, calling the raid “outrageous.”
“America was not built on bully principles and weaponizing our federal agencies to take down political opponents,” reads the email, adding that “the Democrats” are “OUT OF CONTROL.”
The email concludes by asking recipients to contact Gordon, Barrasso, Lummis, and Cheney to “DEMAND they take a stand against the weaponization of federal agencies.”