If Elected, Trump Threatens to Weaponize DOJ Against Biden

Former U.S. President Donald Trump, a Republican presidential candidate, speaks to guests during a rally at Clinton Middle School in Iowa on on January 6, 2024.

(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

If Elected, Trump Threatens to Weaponize DOJ Against Biden

The impeached and indicted Republican also confirmed he'll appear in court Tuesday in an effort to dismiss one of the four criminal cases against him.

Former Republican President Donald Trump made clear Monday that if returned by voters to the White House this year, he plans to weaponize the U.S. Department of Justice against Democratic President Joe Biden.

Trump's threat against Biden, who is seeking reelection, came as the ex-president prepares for oral arguments before a panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday regarding his claim that he is immune from federal election interference charges.

Just a week away from the Iowa caucuses, Trump said well before dawn Monday on his social media platform:

I will be attending the... Federal Appeals Court Arguments on Presidential Immunity in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Of course I was entitled, as President of the United States and Commander in Chief, to Immunity. I wasn't campaigning, the Election was long over. I was looking for voter fraud, and finding it, which is my obligation to do, and otherwise running running our Country. If I don't get Immunity, then Crooked Joe Biden doesn't get Immunity, and with the Border Invasion and Afghanistan Surrender, alone, not to mention the Millions of dollars that went into his "pockets" with money from foreign countries, Joe would be ripe for Indictment. By weaponizing the DOJ against his Political Opponent, ME, Joe has opened a giant Pandora's Box.

Reporting on the remarks, Business Insidernoted that "in all federal criminal cases, a grand jury must be empaneled and agree to move forward with the charges. That being said, the former president has historically favored a level of involvement in the judicial branch that calls into question the fundamental values of the separation of power and the rule of law that Americans hold so dear."

Special Counsel Jack Smith—who was selected by Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to take over Trump-related federal cases in 2022, after the Republican announced his current presidential campaign—had asked the right-wing United States Supreme Court to skip over the appeals court and swiftly rule on Trump's immunity claim.

However, the high court—which includes three Trump appointees and Justice Clarence Thomas, whose wife was involved in the "Big Lie" effort after the 2020 election—punted on the question last month, meaning the federal appeals court will weigh in first, following arguments on Tuesday. The immunity battle could delay the trial scheduled to begin in March.

"Regardless of the court's decision, Trump has for months now been planning his revenge on prosecutors and Democrats," Rolling Stonepointed out Monday, referencing its August reporting that "the former president and his allies have already begun laying the groundwork to restructure and weaponize the Justice Department into an execution tool for the far-right's agenda."

In addition to threatening to go after Biden if reelected, Trump on Monday sought the dismissal of the other election interference case against him, in Georgia, again claiming presidential immunity. His attorneys also made arguments based on due process and the U.S. Constitution's supremacy clause. That trial is set for August but could be delayed by an immunity fight.

Following caucuses and primaries beginning next week, the Republican Party is set to choose its presidential nominee at a convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in mid-July. The Democratic convention is scheduled for a month later, in Chicago, Illinois.

Biden was in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday for a speech at Mother Emanuel AME Church, where a white supremacist gunman killed nine Black churchgoers in 2015. Recalling the U.S. Civil War, he said that "once again there are some in this country trying to turn a loss into a lie—a lie which, if allowed to live, will once again bring terrible damage to this country. This time the lie is about the 2020 election."

The president stressed the stakes of the next election, echoing his Friday speech in Pennsylvania, during which he argued that Trump's "assault on democracy isn't just part of his past—it's what he's promising for the future."

It's not just Biden in Trump's cross-hairs. In November, the GOP front-runner vowed that if reelected, he will "root out" those he called "radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country," phraseology that drew comparisons to the fascist rhetoric of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party.

"Trump's not concerned about your future, I promise you," Biden said Friday. "Trump is now promising a full-scale campaign of revenge and retribution, his words, for some years to come."

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