Republicans push to defend the FBI or shut it down - USA Trending Blog

Republicans push to defend the FBI or shut it down - USA Trending Blog

Republicans push to defend the FBI or shut it down - USA Trending Blog

The legal troubles surrounding former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, have made the FBI a common target for 2024 Republican presidential candidates and some current members of the House GOP.

After the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate for classified documents last year, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-GA., called to defund the FBI on X, formerly known as Twitter

This position has been reiterated by other members of the House in recent months, including Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Matt Gaez, R-Florida, as federal and state investigations focus on Trump and House Republicans investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings abroad.

Some lawmakers have alleged the agency is “weaponized” against conservatives and have called for the Trump-appointed FBI director Christopher Wray to step down.

On the campaign trail, 37-year-old biotechnology entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy took the calls a step further and said he would shut down the FBI and replace it with a similar institution.

“I think the FBI as an institution should not exist,” Ramaswamy told USA TODAY. “I think that that is far more practical than it sounds…I do not believe that an institution that entrenched in its culture and way of operating can be reformed."

Here's what political and legal experts say about the practicalities of defunding or shutting down the FBI.

What would happen if lawmakers defunded or shut down the FBI?

The FBI is a federal agency primarily funded by Congress, which reviews the FBI’s budget appropriations, programs and selected investigations.

Defunding it would mean many resources for law enforcement would likely be missed, according to David Super, a constitutional law expert at Georgetown University. The FBI has the resources to compete toe-to-toe with sophisticated adversaries, such as drug cartels, other organized crime and the intelligence services of foreign countries wanting to spy on the U.S., he said.