Newsmax host claims FBI search of Mar-a-Lago shows the U.S. has a “a tyrannical government that we need to be armed to protect ourselves from”

Video file

Citation From the May 22, 2024, edition of Newsmax's Eric Bolling: The Balance

ERIC BOLLING: I have to bring some of these things up. You're so right about all these things. License to kill - now, mind you, Mar-a-Lago is a secure location. It has U.S. Secret Service all over the place all the time. Those documents weren't gonna get stolen or mutilated during a raid. License to shoot and kill — there were innocent people standing around Mar-a-Lago. People staying there, friends, guests. What happens if Donald Trump is there and sees someone — an FBI agent roughing up Barron Trump or Melania Trump in their — in her closet, which we know they went through, and decides to push back? Is there gonna be a gunfight at Mar-a-Lago because the FBI and the Secret Service are going to get into it? I'd also like to point out that picture we showed a couple of times with the classified documents that FBI gave us was fake, staged. Those aren't the documents they found. The documents they found that were classified, didn't have those markings on it. That is a picture the FBI put together to make it look worse than it was. I can't even begin to tell you how angry I am at what's going on because they can do — Stephen, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was put in place for this and they're showing us that they are a tyrannical government that we need to be armed to protect ourselves from. Am I wrong? 

Media Matters' Matt Gertz previously discussed the MAGA claims regarding FBI guidelines on use of force at Mar-a-Lago:

Over a handful of hours on Tuesday, the right’s conspiracy theory ecosystem concocted a sinister plot by President Joe Biden to assassinate his predecessor out of the banal fact that FBI agents received standard instructions on the use of force before conducting a court-ordered search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in 2022.

Hundreds of pages of filings were unsealed on Tuesday in Trump’s classified documents case, revealing that the former president — who is charged with 40 federal criminal counts related to his alleged willful retention of documents after leaving the White House — had multiple documents marked “classified” in his bedroom that were discovered months after the 2022 search.

Credible outlets reviewed the documents and produced a wave of news stories detailing what a judge described as “strong evidence” of Trump’s allegedly criminal acts. Meanwhile, Trump’s MAGA media supporters ginned up a counternarrative based on a credulous reading of a deceptive argument from Trump’s lawyers that was included in the unsealed documents.

A Fox News reporter has since noted that the same “standard” use of force policy was in place when FBI agents visited the home of President Joe Biden.

Regarding Bolling's claim that the photo at Mar-a-Lago was staged, The New York Times reported in 2022:

On Wednesday, Mr. Trump took to his social media site to say that “the F.B.I., during the raid of Mar-a-Lago, threw documents haphazardly all over the floor (perhaps pretending that it was me that did it!), and then started taking pictures of them for the public to see.”

But the genesis of the photograph appears to be in keeping with standard protocols for how federal agents handle evidence they come across in a search.

The Justice Department would not comment on the specifics of the photograph. But it is standard practice for the F.B.I. to take evidentiary pictures of materials recovered in a search to ensure that items are properly cataloged and accounted for.