WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump’s coup attempt prompted House Republicans to use the looming threat of a government shutdown to “fund” federal prosecutions against him.
“Republicans in Congress can and must defund all aspects of the armed government of corrupt Joe Biden that refuses to close the border and treats half the country as enemies of the state,” Trump wrote on his social media late Wednesday -Media platform Truth. “This is also the last chance to defund these political prosecutions against me and other patriots.”
While Trump didn’t use the word “shutdown” in his post, he called the upcoming end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30 “a very important deadline.”
The House always has the power to pass a bill that would defund the special counsel investigating Trump, but it has not even considered such a measure. Failure by Congress to pass a budget bill by the end of the month will result in a partial government shutdown, including the possible furloughs of federal workers.
“Use the power of the wallet and defend the country!” Trump wrote.
At least one of his key allies in Congress took notice. Within an hour of Trump’s post, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) posted an image of it on the social media site X, still commonly known as Twitter, with the comment: “Trump opposes the continuing resolution. ” Stay tuned.”
There are two federal criminal indictments against Trump. One is related to his attempts to remain in power despite losing the 2020 election, which culminated in the violent attack on the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters on January 6, 2021. The other accuses him of illegally storing top-secret documents at his country club home in Florida and then refusing to turn them over despite a grand jury subpoena requiring him to do so.
He also faces charges in Georgia for trying to overturn his 2020 election loss and in New York for allegedly falsifying business records to make a $130,000 hush-money payment to a porn star in the days before the 2016 election hide.
If convicted on the federal or Georgia charges, Trump faces decades in prison. The potential penalty for the New York case is not as severe and could potentially result in no prison time.
Trump forced the government to shut down in late December 2018 after the Republican-led Congress refused to give him money for a wall along the southern border. He promised during the 2016 election campaign to force Mexico to finance this project, but as president he never attempted to persuade the country to do so.
That shutdown ended after 34 days when Trump gave up on forcing Congress to include wall funding in the spending bill and instead plundered the Defense Department budget, using billions of dollars intended for things like soldier housing and schools to fund it used by border fences.
After four years in office, Trump managed to build just 52 miles of new fence where no barrier had previously been, although replacement of the existing barrier continued as under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.