What the FBI Isn't Saying About Its Shooting of a Utah Trump Supporter Should Concern Everyone

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

As RedState reported, the FBI shot and killed a Utah-based Trump supporter on Wednesday, prompting many to question exactly what happened during the incident.

According to the FBI, 74-year-old Craig Deleeuw Robertson of Provo, UT, had made a laundry list of threats against President Joe Biden and other elected officials. That part of the story appears to be true, as the man’s Facebook did contain numerous direct threats of violence, some of which got very specific.


But while there’s no question that making violent threats against government officials is illegal and will rightly welcome the attention of the FBI, that doesn’t preclude the serious concerns being shared about how the raid to arrest Robertson ended. Because of a lack of transparency being shown by federal law enforcement, there is still no clear answer on why the man was shot dead.

Was Robertson an actual deadly threat at the time an FBI agent killed him? We don’t know that because the FBI isn’t saying. Even three days after the pre-dawn raid turned fatal for the suspect, there has been no direct claim that Roberston pointed a gun at anyone. It’s possible he was refusing to comply as agents shouted at him (which can be heard in the above video), but refusal to comply is not justification for law enforcement to shoot someone.

Reports after the incident used anonymous sources to claim that Robertson was “armed” at the time of the raid.

Robertson was armed at the time, according to two law enforcement sources who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.


To reiterate, being “armed” is not a justification to shoot a suspect, even one that is refusing to comply with orders. I’m sitting in my home right now, and I’m armed. Millions of Americans are likewise armed while sleeping at night. Robertson, despite the threats he made, had a legal right to possess firearms at the time of the raid.

That leads to another big issue. Why is the FBI conducting a pre-dawn raid on an elderly man over online threats? Anytime the FBI barge in on someone who is sleeping, there is a chance that person mistakes law enforcement for unlawful home intruders and things go sideways. Robertson was old and barely able to walk. Why didn’t the FBI just pick him up and arrest him on his way to the store? Why didn’t they just knock and ask him to exit the house peacefully?

But again, it’s what the FBI isn’t saying that says the most. If Robertson did point a weapon at the agents, why hasn’t the FBI come out and revealed that yet? Doing so would quell questions about the shooting. Body cam footage has to exist, as well, because FBI agents are required to wear them during pre-planned raids. Where is that footage to prove Robertson was posing a deadly threat?

Perhaps all that is forthcoming, but the silence coming from the government is deafening right now. An explanation must be provided here, and one that deals with all the serious questions surrounding the killing of Robertson. Anything less is unacceptable.


(Editor’s Note, 11:15 AM, August 13, 2023: A previous update to this story, citing anonymous “senior law enforcement” sources, has been deleted. since it is not official information. While anonymous law enforcement sources have spoken to the media, as of Sunday morning, the FBI has not confirmed that Robertson pointed a weapon at agents. Again, additional information regarding the circumstances of the shooting needs to be provided.)


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