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Dan Cox says he would use Maryland law enforcement to ‘stand against’ federal government after raid on Trump’s residence

Maryland’s Republican nominee for governor rushed to defend former President Donald Trump in the wake of the FBI search for possibly unauthorized documents at Trump’s Florida residence and vowed to use Maryland state resources to “stand against” the federal government if he’s elected in November.

Cox said on social media he would, as governor, use the Maryland State Police and Maryland National Guard “to stand against all rogue actions of this out of control tyrannical Biden administration with fierce tenacity.”

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He did not specifically say what he would have the law enforcement officers do or by what authority — other than vague references to the state and federal constitutions — he would use to order them into action.

“Our children, families and loved ones and the freedom we cherish and is our birthright as Americans demands we oppose these criminal acts of this current administration,” Cox wrote in posts that appeared on Facebook and Truth Social, Trump’s own social media platform.

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The statement was one of several he posted across multiple social media platforms, including eight posts on Facebook, between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

“This is not a time for silence,” Cox said in another post, calling on all Maryland Republicans to publicly condemn the raid on Trump’s residence at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach.

Cox’s campaign did not return a request for an interview and has declined repeatedly to speak with reporters.

Cox won his primary campaign last month in large part because of his endorsement from the former president, whom he has long supported.

A first-term state delegate from Frederick County, Cox is also a lawyer who helped spread Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud in 2020 and attended the Jan. 6, 2021, rally at the White House before the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Cox said he did not go to the Capitol as the mob turned violent but posted on social media that Vice President Mike Pence was a “traitor” for not overturning the results.

Running on Trump’s policies and support, Cox launched his campaign for governor last year and defeated Kelly Schulz, who was supported by incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, in the July primary. He will face Democrat Wes Moore in November’s general election.

Political observers said Trump’s vocal support helped Cox win over the conservative base that turned out to vote in the primary, and Cox himself credited Trump for helping him win.

But sometime in the three weeks since the primary, Cox removed a few lines of the personal biography on his campaign website that refer to his support of Trump.

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At the time of the primary, the “Meet Dan Cox” page included the sentence: “As one of President Donald Trump’s volunteer lawyers in Philadelphia during the 2020 election, and in the Maryland State House, he has led the fight for election integrity.”

That sentence has been removed, along with another phrase referring to his desire to “advance America First policy objectives,” according to a comparison between his site as of Aug. 9 and an archived version of it.

Still, Cox’s comments online since the news of the FBI search show he remains firmly in Trump’s corner. He repeatedly used the hashtag #IStandWithPresidentTrump and accused President Joe Biden’s administration of breaking the law by ordering the search.

Cox, who turned 48 on Tuesday, also included his extended statement on the search in a fundraising email to supporters, asking them to “donate $48 for Freedom today Stand with Dan and President Donald Trump from the Tyranny Facing Our Nation and State.”

Maryland Democratic Party spokesman Ernest Bailey said in a statement that Cox “blindly puts loyalty to Donald Trump and his harmful MAGA agenda above all else.”

“Cox’s primary concern is currying favor with a disgraced former president and touring the right-wing radio circuit,” Bailey continued. “He has repeatedly shown that in times of crisis, he will seek to inflame tensions and feed into partisan divisions.”

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During a Tuesday morning radio appearance on WFMD’s Morning News Express, Cox said that U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is “corrupt” and called for his resignation, alleging that Garland was “acting outside of the control of the law.”

“He’s attacking the former president of the United States — number 45, my good friend Donald Trump. I’m standing with the president of the United States,” Cox said on the Frederick news/talk/sports radio station. “Donald Trump is one of the greatest presidents of all time. He’s up there with George Washington, because he stood against every single onslaught of this socialist, communist attack.”

Cox continued, saying that, under the Presidential Records Act, the president is “designated as the authority to determine which records he needs to retain as part of his presidential record so that he can write his memoirs.”

“So when there’s a question, there’s always a regulatory review by the archivist,” Cox explained. “It’s not a raid by the FBI.”

According to the National Archives, the U.S. government retains complete ownership of presidential records, or documentary materials received by the president, his immediate staff or an adviser that have an effect on his ability to carry out his constitutional duties, once a president has completed their term in office.

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This does not include personal records, or diaries, journals, personal notes and other records that do not involve the president’s ability to perform his constitutional mandates.

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Details of the search warrant were not disclosed and it’s unclear what, if any records were recovered in the search.

Hogan, who is considering running for the Republican nomination for president in 2024 against Trump, called on the Biden Administration to be more transparent about the search.

“These are unprecedented circumstances that require unprecedented transparency and accountability from our government institutions,” Hogan said in a statement. “The American people deserve to know all the facts as soon as possible, and I call on the Biden administration to release — at minimum — the documents authorizing the FBI search. If the federal government cannot ultimately provide overwhelming evidence that action was absolutely necessary, then it will only undermine faith in democracy and the rule of law, and further divide Americans.”

Hogan has said he will not support Cox, who tried to impeach the governor and sued him over his administration’s COVID-19 policies.

Though it’s unclear for what exact purpose Cox would be hoping to use the state police and National Guard, they are typically deployed by governors to respond to states of emergency, not to counteract federal law enforcement action.


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