Presidential Retribution

“I am your warrior. I am your justice, and for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.” – Donald Trump, February 5, 2024

Retribution: deserved and severe punishment.

Is Donald Trump’s February 5, 2024 rhetoric election year bombast? Or has the former President spelled out his game-plan? A year ago at CPAC, Mr. Trump said “With you at my side, we will demolish the deep state. We will expel the war mongers…. We will drive out the globalists. We will cast out the communists. We will throw off the political class that hates our country.… We will rout the fake news media. We will expose and appropriately deal with the RINOs…. And we will liberate America from these villains and scoundrels once and for all…. We had a Republican party that was ruled by freaks, neocons, globalists, open border zealots and fools but we are never going back to the party of Paul Ryan, Karl Rove and Jeb Bush.”

If the former President is to be taken at his word, Americans should expect the pending potential 2025 Trump Presidency to be as described by John Bolton: “Trump really cares only about retribution…, and it will consume much of a second term.” Those who during his first term ignored his warnings, denigrated him, or opposed his policies will be in the Presidential cross-hairs, with the re-elected President taking on the Biblical role described in Ezekiel 25:17: “I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know … when I lay my vengeance upon you.”

Retribution would begin with weaponizing the Justice Department. “They call it weaponization [but] if I happen to be president and I see someone who’s doing well and beating me very badly, I say ‘go down and indict them.’… [T]hey would be out of business.” Some fear that a re-elected President Trump therefore will “go after” those who have opposed him (as he has threatened to do with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and others). Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who is scheduled to testify in New York’s criminal trial against the former President, has said that he would leave the U.S. if Mr. Trump wins re-election and that Mr. Trump’s first term “was a practice run for him” and “the next round … would be much worse.” There are others who share those fears, including Republicans who the Trump campaign has labeled “traitors” and with respect to whom the campaign has stated: “MAGA disowns [them] and anyone else that associates/works with [them].” Whether President Trump would pursue his enemies through the Justice Department (or other Executive Branch agencies) is an open question. Yet he most certainly would revamp Justice Department leadership and staff as part of a rearrangement of the “deep state.”

Because the Supreme Court will not rule for some months on the former President’s immunity arising out of the January 6th insurrection/seditious conspiracy/obstruction of an official proceeding/conspiracy to obstruct, that case will not be decided before inauguration day, January 20, 2025. The same is true with respect to the case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith alleging that Mr. Trump mishandled classified documents. Upon inauguration, President Trump would appoint an Attorney General who would fire Smith and appoint a new Special Counsel who would immediately suspend Trump litigation, asserting controversially among other things that no litigation – either Federal or State – relating to a former President can be pursued while that President is in office. The new Special Counsel accordingly would sue to among other things bring the Trump Georgia and New York cases to a halt (with the President reserving an arguable self-pardon for a later date). Years of litigation would follow.

Once re-elected, Donald Trump would have absolute control over the Executive Branch of government (which includes not only the Justice Department/law enforcement/the FBI and CIA, but also the Treasury/IRS, the power to pardon, etc.). There would be no check-or-balance from Congress (as prior impeachment proceedings have demonstrated) and the courts at best provide for a slow-moving and uncertain process.

Expelling the war-mongers. “I will have the [Ukraine] war settled in 1 day, 24 hours” which, when combined with his disdain for Volodymyr Zelensky, his praise for Vladimir Putin, and his opposition to further aid for Ukraine would mean that the West would concede Ukraine to Russia. Many would characterize such a policy as retribution for NATO’s (and especially Germany’s) failure to heed President Trump’s 2018 warnings to increase military spending.

Closing the southern border. “I have the right to close [the southern border]…. I fought Congress on it…. I say respectfully to President Biden, you have the authorization right now…. My policies were great. Everybody said it. Use my policies.” History, however, is to the contrary. The courts ruled that Executive Orders intended to close America’s southern border were unConstitutional and, to be sustained, require legislative validation. Even without such validation, however, expect a re-elected President Trump to issue revamped Executive Orders in an effort to seal America’s southern border … and for the courts to again strike down those Orders.

Deporting illegal immigrants. Campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt has said that “Americans can expect that immediately upon President Trump’s return to the Oval Office, he will … implement brand new crackdowns that will send shock waves to all the world’s criminal smugglers, and marshal every federal and state power necessary to institute the largest deportation operation in American history,” supporting statements made by the former President that Americans are being subjected to a migrant “invasion” that is “poisoning the blood of our country.”

Driving out the globalists. Bloomberg has reported that “Donald Trump is targeting the European Union for a potential slew of punitive trade measures [including a broad 10% tariff on all goods] designed to address long-standing grievances should he retake office…. The [U.S. and EU] are still at odds over tariff increases Trump imposed in his first term as president…, which were partly suspended in 2021 after President Biden took office. If Trump wins in November, the EU undoubtedly will be one of his chief targets on trade….”

As President, Donald Trump pulled America out of the Paris climate accords, staffed environmental agencies with fossil fuel loyalists, and claimed that global warming was a hoax and that the Earth soon would “start getting cooler.” Project 2025 is part of his re-election campaign led by the Heritage Foundation with the goal of reversing the Biden Administration’s climate and green transition policies. “We are writing a battle plan, and we are marshaling our forces” according to Paul Dans, director of Project 2025. “Never before has the whole conservative movement banded together to systematically prepare to take power Day 1 and deconstruct the administrative state.”

Most recently, the Republican National Committee has ceded control to Donald Trump after Ronna McDaniel’s forced resignation and the former President’s selection of Michael Whatley (“a hard-core ‘stop the steal guy’”) to be the new RNC Chair and Mr. Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara, to be the co-Chair. Similarly, Mitch McConnell will step down as Senate Majority Minority Leader after the November election and a Donald Trump designee will succeed him. The Republican Party now has wholly transitioned into the Party of Trump. Should Election 2024 result in a Republican sweep of the Presidency and Congress, Americans should expect corresponding Judicial Branch appointments and for realization of the promised era of retributive American government.

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Finally (from a good friend)

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