The Nixon administration compiled a political “enemies list,” while the Obama administration oversaw the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane project against former President Donald Trump, but President Biden “metastasized” that tact with his Justice Department’s raid on Mar-a-Lago, said Sen. Ted Cruz.
In an interview airing Sunday on “Life, Liberty & Levin,” Cruz told host Mark Levin that Biden brought the tactic of targeting political enemies with the power of the federal government to an unprecedented level.
“Democrats [have] turned to the Department of Justice,” he added. “They’ve turned the FBI, they’ve turned the intelligence community into political enforcers in a way that has never happened in the history of our country… In 230 years of our nation’s history this has never happened.”
“We’ve never seen the Department of Justice raid the home of a former president. It’s being done by a successor of the opposing political party.”
Biden’s Justice Department via the FBI raided Trump’s Palm Beach estate earlier in 2022, alleging the president illegally took classified documents with him when he left the White House.
Trump responded by criticizing the politicization of the FBI under Biden, in part pointing to a court case denying National Archives officials access to former President Bill Clinton’s White House audiotapes stored amid his socks.
“[The raid and ensuing legal action] is being done because they want to attack Donald Trump,” Cruz said. “And this was a fishing expedition. Every former president has taken documents from his administration. Barack Obama did that. Bill Clinton did that. George W. Bush did that.”
Trump recently slammed both Presidents Bush over that contention, with former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush quipping to Fox News, “bless his heart” when asked about the 45th president’s comments.
Speaking with Levin, Cruz said Biden’s lines of attack trace back to tactics by former President Richard Nixon, who enlisted White House adviser Charles Colson to produce an “enemies list.”
Amid a guilty plea for obstruction of justice in the Watergate Scandal, Nixon White House counsel John Dean revealed the “enemies list” and payments made to intelligence officer E. Howard Hunt related to the infamous political burglary.
Dean, now a staunch Trump critic who appears on various news channels, recently reflected on that era, saying he was “honored” to make what he called Trump’s “enemies list” amid a Twitter tiff about the Russia investigation.
Dean had described the Nixonian enemies list as a way to “use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies” in a 1971 letter to Republican political activist Lawrence Higby.
Cruz said the actions of the Biden administration are “as corrupt” as those of the original enemies list.
However, he added that in the case of Nixon, “the system worked.”
“They resisted and said no,” he said — referring to the 1973 Saturday Night Massacre wherein Attorney General Elliot Richardson, deputy William Ruckelshaus and Solicitor General Robert Bork sequentially resigned instead of following Nixon’s order to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox.
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“What Richard Nixon tried to do, Barack Obama succeeded in doing,” Cruz said. “And now under Joe Biden, it has metastasized, where the institutional resistance of DOJ and the FBI has been worn down.”
“They put hard partisans in the senior career levels at those institutions, and they now view themselves as the jackbooted thugs for the DNC,” he said. “And that’s not what the Department of Justice is supposed to be. That’s not what the FBI is supposed to be.”