Donald Trump spent days raging at the FBI over a search of his Mar-a-Lago resort, which he described as a “burglary” and “abuse” while accusing documents found there may have been an “facility”. . He was joined by many Republicans, who widely denounced the search as a “witch hunt.”
The obvious position of Republicans loyal to Trump is that any law enforcement activity directed against him is by definition illegitimate, no matter how serious the alleged activity. So a GOP-controlled house next year would likely undermine the investigation into Trump in any way possible.
But the exact nature of this threat is little known. While many have noted that a GOP house could host fake Benghazi-like hearings, there is another possibility: using specific parliamentary tools to essentially deceive investigators.
Such a tactic could greatly complicate efforts to hold Trump accountable and lead to government shutdowns. The prospect is even bleaker when you consider that a GOP house would contain a large faction of fervent Trumpists who see making Trump untouchable by the law as their highest calling.
Democrats tell me they’ve begun examining a number of tools Republicans might use in such a situation, in part to prepare for a worst-case scenario. The details of this show show that the GOP, which is now rallying around Trump, could have dire real-world consequences later.
Virginia Representative Don Beyer, for example, has been exploring ways Republicans could target the salaries of law enforcement officers deemed enemies of Trump.
“They want to make sure Trump is above the law,” Beyer said, noting that he expects a GOP house to rally around the position that anyone in law enforcement “who poses a threat to Trump is deterred, must be punished or fired”.
Note that some House Republicans, such as Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene and Colorado’s Lauren Boebert, have already called for the FBI to be defunded. Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has cabled endless investigations into Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department in retaliation for all activities involving Trump.
Even an extreme GOP house probably wouldn’t disband the FBI entirely, and an endless Benghazi-like circus would be annoying but not debilitating. But another threat takes the form of a parliamentary maneuver.
Beyer points out that a GOP representative majority could reintroduce the Holman rule. This obscure rule — which Republicans revived the last time they held the majority until the Democratic majority ended it — would allow Republicans to use spending bills to try to cut the salaries of specific federal officials or blocs of federal employees and thus eliminate certain programs.
Republicans could also seek to quash investigations into Trump or even investigations and prosecutions related to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack. They could do this without the more unlikely act of defunding the entire FBI.
Such an effort, of course, would not pass the Senate (if the Democrats hold it) and would never be signed by President Joe Biden. But it’s evident that Trump loyalists will force showdowns over this in the House of Representatives, and if the GOP majority is tight, those loyalists could have more success.
“I have no doubt they would threaten government shutdowns and debt ceiling breaches,” said Beyer, who predicted “some of the worst attacks on the rule of law we’ve ever seen.”
In his outburst over the weekend, Trump raged in all directions that the FBI search warrant amounted to tyranny in boots.
We don’t know if Trump will face felony charges or prosecution for anything related to January 6th, but for now, many Republicans (though not all) are keeping up that Trumpian drumbeat even after the Mar-a-Lago search Ultra-sensitive documents, here’s the reality: For Maga loyalists, Trump is above the law.
Given that this crew could soon wield more control over the House of Representatives, do you doubt that upholding absolute impunity for Trump will be among its highest responsibilities, no matter how much chaos it unleashes?
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/feral-trumpists-stoke-fires-to-keep-him-untouchable-41917134.html Wild Trumpists stoke fire to keep him untouchable