El Salvador's President Blasts FBI Raid on Trump
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele. (Yuri Cortez/AFP via Getty Images)
By Charles Kim | Wednesday, 10 August 2022 08:42 PM EDT
El Salvador's president, Nayib Bukele, has criticized Monday's FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.
''What would the U.S. Government say, if our police raided the house of one of the main possible contenders of our 2024 presidential election,'' Bukele said rhetorically in a Twitter post on Monday.
Bukele was reacting to a report by TMZ on Monday regarding the raid where dozens of federal agents descended on Trump's Palm Beach, Florida, home, and resort to find boxes of ''classified material'' he allegedly removed from the White House when he left office in January 2021.
The unprecedented move to execute a federal search warrant on the home of a former U.S. president required Attorney General Merrick Garland, an appointee of President Joe Biden, to sign off as well as a federal judge, the publication reported.
''These are dark times for our nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, and occupied by a large group of F.B.I. agents,'' Trump said in a statement Monday. ''Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States before.''
Bukele is one of several unlikely voices rising to criticize the move, including disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.
''[The Department of Justice] must immediately explain the reason for its raid and it must be more than a search for inconsequential archives, or it will be viewed as a political tactic, and undermine any future, credible, investigation and legitimacy of Jan. 6 investigations,'' Cuomo posted Tuesday morning on Twitter.
While Cuomo's tweet may show the irony of the situation due to the relationship between Cuomo and Trump during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bukele — who has called himself the ''coolest dictator in the world,'' according to Al-Jazeera — is constantly being scrutinized for the actions of his government.
In April, Bukele forced lawmakers to enact a measure allowing anyone sharing information about that nation's gangs to be imprisoned for up to 15 years, a move that could lead to journalists being censored, The New York Times reported at the time.
The law comes during a state of emergency Bukele declared in El Salvador after the gang-related deaths of 87 people across the country in a three-day wave of violence, with security forces detaining as many as 6,000 people, the Times report said.
''Salvadoran journalism has, for years, brought state abuses out of the gloom, and this series of actions indicates they want to silence it,'' Astrid Valencia, Amnesty International's researcher for Central America, told the publication.
''There is concern that the recent reform and the vagueness of the terms used may become the last obstacle promoted by Salvadoran authorities to limit the exercise of the right to inform and be informed.''