We Don’t Have “Purges” in America!

Statement by David Holden, Democratic candidate for Congress, Florida 19th Congressional District, on Rep. Francis Rooney’s call for a purge of the FBI and Department of Justice


Rep. Francis Rooney yesterday took a page from the Stalinist playbook and 
called for a “purge” of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice.

Asked by MSNBC chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson during an interview if he was trying to discredit the FBI and DOJ by saying they didn’t respect the Constitution, Rooney responded, “No, I’m not trying to discredit them. I would like to see the directors of those agencies purge it” of “these people who are kind of a deep state.” Despite repeated, incredulous questioning from Jackson, Rooney stuck with his call for a “purge.”

Rooney has gone so far off the rails of sensible political discourse that he’s actually using the language of dictators in an effort to destroy our highest and most valuable law enforcement agencies. This is beyond politics; it threatens despotism.

This is the kind of fanaticism and extremism that I’m battling here in Southwest Florida. 

Now the fight is about much more than politics. It’s about our democracy, our freedom, and the governing structures that guarantee them. We need to protect our law enforcement institutions from extremists like Francis Rooney. He has lost all perspective and clearly has no respect left for the Constitution or the role of federal agencies in upholding it. What he and people like him will do if they remain in power is frightening and dangerous.

As a candidate, as a congressman – as a citizen of this great country – I will always uphold the Constitution, the law, and the agencies that administer it in our name from the depredations of all fanatics and extremists. We don’t have “purges” in America! And I will make sure that we never will. I will always work to ensure that America remains strong, democratic and free.