Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Trump Has a Plan: Jail His Opponents

Forget the dog whistles. Trump is now openly talking about his plans to use the DoJ to indict, convict, and imprison his political enemies if he wins. The name being floated for AG is Texas AG Ken Paxton, who will make Democrats pine for Jeff Sessions. Paxton is as corrupt as they come and would follow Trump's orders with no hesitation. Probably dozens of top DoJ officials would refuse to serve under him and would resign, allowing Paxton to replace them all with Trump flunkies. It would be the end of "equal justice under law." This is probably not what the well-meaning but perhaps naive farmers in North Dakota want for the country, but it is what they will get if he wins: full-blown fascism in America.

During Trump's 2016 campaign, one of his themes was "Lock her [Hillary Clinton] up." In the end he didn't even try, but he knows more now than he did then about the importance of picking loyal stooges to populate his cabinet. Last weekend, Trump said on Fox: "If you get the right person, it's like magic." What he means is that if he can find an AG who will simply ignore the law and do what Trump orders, he can work his will more easily. Additionally, Trump is much, much, much, angrier now than in 2016, due to losing several major civil lawsuits and one criminal case, with several more on deck.

Even before the election, House Republicans are going after Trump's political enemies. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) is preparing legislation to "defund lawfare activites" of state and federal prosecutors leading "politically sensitive investigations," including Jack Smith, Alvin Bragg, and Fani Willis. Any bill he writes probably won't even pass the House given the Republicans' narrow margin and the desires of the 17 Biden-district Republicans to get reelected. And if it magically does, it won't even be brought up for a vote in the Senate. All Jordan can do is grandstand. He is in the wrong field. He should have been a stage actor. He's great at fantasy and would love to have large audiences applaud him every day.

There is also the little matter that while Smith is a federal employee, even if the DoJ budget takes a hit, AG Merrick Garland has a fair amount of say on how the money is spent. Bragg and Willis are funded by state governments so there is not a lot Jordan could do to defund them, even if the bill could magically pass a reluctant House, an impossible Senate, and a veto-pen-wielding president. But Jordan's district is R+20, so the more red meat he throws out, the better liked he is. (V)

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