Donald Trump doubled down on his threat to “weapon” the FBI against his critics if he were re-elected, claiming this has already been done to him.
The former president said the Biden administration had already let the “genie out of the box” after he was indicted on 91 counts of election interference, mishandling of classified documents and corporate fraud.
It comes after reports that the odds-on favorite for the Republican ticket plans to abandon the principle that criminal prosecutions should be free from political interference.
Former Attorney General Bill Barr, ex-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, former attorney Ty Cobb and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley are believed to be among his targets, sources told the Washington Post.
“If I happen to be president and I see someone who is doing well and beating me really badly, I say go down and sue him,” Trump said last night in an interview with the Spanish-language network Univision.
‘They would be bankrupt. They would drop out of the election.”
The former president told Univision that the Biden administration had already “let the genie out of the bottle” when he vowed to use the Justice Department to pursue his political opponents.
In private conversations, Trump has named a number of former officials-turned-critics whom he would use the Justice Department to target, including his former attorney general Bill Barr (left) and his former White House chief of staff John Kelly (right).
The former president, who chose to exclude Wednesday’s Republican candidates debate and label it “unwatchable,” also defended his decision during his time in office to separate migrant parents from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border.
He emphasized that the controversial policy, which was overturned by the courts, prevented “hundreds of thousands” of illegal immigrants from crossing the southern border.
“If you hear you’re going to be separated from your family, you don’t come,” he said.
‘If you think you’re going to the United States with your family, you come.
“When they hear about the separation of families, they say, ‘Well, we better not go.'”
This week it was claimed that Trump has drawn up plans to invoke the Insurrection Act on his first day in office, which would allow him to use the military against civilian demonstrations.
Some of the planning for a second Trump term is being done at the Center for Renewing America think tank, which was founded by Russ Vought, the director of the Office of Management and Budget during the final months of Trump’s term.
Vought has expressed its willingness to break with tradition, which would open the door for Trump to order the prosecution of his political enemies.
Trump sat down for a wide-ranging interview with the Spanish-language network as he takes steps to win over the Latino electorate ahead of next year’s presidential election
The largest single-day protest in US history was the Women’s March, which took place a day after Trump was sworn in in 2017. Trump aides are drawing up plans so he can use the Insurrection Act on the first day of his second term. the army to suppress demonstrations
Mark Milley, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is also seen as a target for Trump after he recently made thinly veiled comments about America’s rejection of “tyrants.”
“You don’t need a change in the law at all, you need a change in mentality,” he told the newspaper.
“You need an attorney general and a White House counsel’s office that don’t see themselves as people trying to protect the department from the president.”
Last night, the ex-president said Democrats “have already done it.”
“If they continue this, it could definitely happen the other way around,” he added.
“What they’ve done is they’ve released the genie from the box.
“You know, when you’re president and you’ve done a good job and you’re popular, you don’t go after them to win elections.”
“I have no doubt he will go after people who have turned against him,” Kelly said this week.
Trump’s former chief of staff claimed that his former boss often suggested having the FBI investigate his political enemies, but that he refused to pass those requests on to the Justice Department and instead alerted the White House.
Kelly warned that staff around Trump could handle these requests differently in a second term.
“The lesson the former president learned from his first term is don’t put guys like me in those jobs,” Kelly told The Post. “The lesson he learned was to find sycophants.”
Barr irritated Trump while still serving as attorney general, telling the Associated Press that there was no sign of widespread election fraud in 2020, as Trump had falsely claimed.
That admission prompted Trump to throw his lunch against the wall, according to former aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
Barr has since called Trump a “very petty individual who will always put his interests above those of the country.”
Asked about Trump’s plan to prosecute him, Barr sarcastically told The Post, “I’m shaking in my boots.”
Cobb has detailed all kinds of legal doom and gloom for the former president, including saying the evidence against Trump in the Mar-a-Lago secret documents case is “overwhelming.”
“Trump himself is more likely to rot in jail than anyone on his alleged list,” Cobb told the newspaper, accusing Trump of “suppressing the truth, making threats and bullying weaklings into doing his bidding.” to feed.’
Trump said his plan to separate children from their parents at the Mexican border had deterred “hundreds of thousands” of illegal border crossings
Milley made no comment.
“Retaliation” has been the theme of Trump’s 2024 election campaign, characterizing the 91 charges he faces as political in nature and promising to investigate President Joe Biden and his family if the Republican wins.
Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the Trump appointee who appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the Trump-related Russia investigation, said trying to prosecute one’s political enemies undermines the guarantee of equal protection under the would violate the 14th Amendment.
“Making prosecutorial decisions in an impartial manner is essential to democracy,” Rosenstein told the newspaper. “The White House should not interfere in individual cases for political reasons.”