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 classified documents and business fraud.
It comes after reports that the hot favorite for the Republican ticket plans to abandon the principal 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 the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley, are said to be among his targets, sources told the Washington Post.
‘If I happen to be president and I see somebody who’s doing well and beating me very badly, I say, go down and indict them,’ Trump said in an interview with Spanish language network Univision last night.
‘They’d be out of business. They’d be out of the election.’
The former president told Univision the Biden administration had already ‘let the genie out of the bottle’ as he promised to use the Justice Department to pursue his political opponents
In private conversations, Trump has named a number of former officials turned critics that he would use the Justice Department to go after, 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 sit out Wednesday’s Republican candidates debate branding it ‘unwatchable’, also defended his decision in office to separate migrant parents from their children at the US-Mexico border.
He insisted the controversial policy which was overturned by the courts prevented ‘hundreds of thousands’ of illegal immigrants crossing the southern border.
‘When you hear that you’re going to be separated from your family, you don’t come,’ he said.
‘When you think you’re going to come into the United States with your family, you come.
‘When they hear family separation, they say ‘Well, we better not go’.’
It was claimed this week that Trump has been drawing up plans to invoke the Insurrection Act on his first day in office, allowing him to deploy the military against civil demonstrations.
Some of the planning for a Trump second term is being done at the think tank Center for Renewing America, which was started by Russ Vought, the director of the Office of Management and Budget during the final months of Trump’s term.
Vought has expressed a willingness to break from tradition, which would open the door to Trump being able to order the prosecution of his political enemies.
Trump sat down for a wide-ranging interview with the Spanish language station as he makes moves to woo the Latino electorate ahead of next year’s presidential election
The largest single-day protest in U.S. history was the Women’s March, which took place a day after Trump was sworn-in in 2017. Trump associates are drawing up plans for him to use the Insurrection Act on day one of his second term to use the military to quell demonstrations
Mark Milley the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is also thought to be a target for Trump after making thinly-veiled remarks recently on America’s rejection of ‘tyrants’
‘You don’t need a statutory change at all, you need a mind-set change,’ he told the paper.
‘You need an attorney general and a White House Counsel’s Office that don’t view themselves as trying to protect the department from the president.’
Last night the ex-president said the Democrats have ‘already done it’.
‘If they follow through on this, yeah, it could certainly happen in reverse,’ he added.
‘What they’ve done is they’ve released the genie out of 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 so you can win an election.’
‘There is no question in my mind he is going to go after people that have turned on him,’ Kelly said this week.
Trump’s former chief of staff claimed that his former boss would often suggest having the FBI investigate his political enemies but that he refused to pass on those requests to the Justice Department, instead alerting the White House Counsel’s Office.
Kelly warned that in a second term, the staff surrounding Trump could handle those requests differently.
‘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 annoyed Trump while he was still serving as attorney general, telling the Associated Press that there was no sign of widespread election fraud in 2020, like Trump had falsely claimed.
That admission prompted Trump to throw his lunch at the wall, according to former aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
Barr has since called Trump a ‘very petty individual who will always put his interests ahead of the country’s.’
Asked about Trump’s plot to prosecute him, Barr sarcastically told The Post, ‘I’m quivering in my boots.’
Cobb has spelled out all sorts of legal doom and gloom for the former president, including saying that the evidence against Trump in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case is ‘overwhelming.’
‘Trump himself is more likely to rot in jail than anyone on his alleged list,’ Cobb told the paper, accusing Trump of ‘stifling truth, making threats and bullying weaklings into doing his bidding.’
Trump said his plan to separate children from their parent at the Mexican border had deterred ‘hundreds of thousands’ of illegal crossings
Milley didn’t comment.
‘Retribution’ has been the theme of Trump’s 2024 run, characterizing the 91 criminal counts he is facing as political in nature and vowing to investigate President Joe Biden and his family should the Republican win.
Former deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the Trump appointee who appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the Trump-related Russia probe, said that trying to prosecute one’s political enemies would violate the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.
‘Making prosecutorial decisions in a nonpartisan manner is essential to democracy,’ Rosenstein told the paper. ‘The White House should not be meddling in individual cases for political reasons.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk