Live After Quit

“Trump Threatens Enemies with FBI and DOJ: What Will Happen Next?

In a recent interview with Univision, President Donald Trump seemed to suggest that he may be able to use the FBI and the Department of Justice as weapons against his enemies. Trump made the remarks while discussing a farm bill the Senate was considering. He said, “They give billions of dollars away every year to fighters against the US. I tell them, I will weaponize the FBI and the DOJ [Department of Justice] against you if you don’t agree with me.” The remarks, which were widely reported, sparked outrage among critics who argue that this kind of behavior is antithetical to the separation of powers doctrine and a fundamental violation of federal law. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) immediately issued a statement condemning Trump’s comments. “We are deeply disturbed by President Trump’s suggestion that he will weaponize the Department of Justice and FBI against his enemies,” the statement said. “Doing so would constitute an abuse of power and a violation of the rule of law, which is enshrined in our Constitution.” The American Bar Association (ABA) agrees, saying it is patently unacceptable for the president to “explicitly threaten to misuse law enforcement powers for political gain.” In response to the outcry, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement on Trump’s behalf, saying, “The President was merely expressing a widely-held sentiment that Congress should not be giving aid and support to adversaries of the United States.” She went on to say that Trump “would never misuse the power of the federal government” for political purposes. Nevertheless, Trump’s suggestion has been widely viewed as a frightening indication of how he views the powers of his office and the instruments of law enforcement. Not only is it a dangerous threat to civil liberties, it also raises serious questions about the potential for abuse of power and the rule of law.