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the presidency

“These Are Sick, Evil People”, Says Trump, Obsessed with Revenge

”From the Beer Hall Putsch to the Night of the Long Knives”

That Donald Trump chose Waco, Texas, in March of last year for the first rally of his 2024 re-election campaign was not accidental. It was the 30th anniversary of the Branch Davidian cult's battle against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Trump sees himself as the victim of unjust persecution by federal agents. It was there

that he said,

“I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.”

"If you go after me, I'm coming after you", he has said, and he shows every intention of following through, of appointing an attorney general who will do his bidding once re-elected, of using the department and its article illustration
FBI to seek revenge against a broad spectrum of judges and prosecutors, journalists and television commentators, politicians who have incurred his disfavor. One of his former lawyers, Ty Cobb, sees Trump “angrier now than he was before because he is convicted now". On Sean Hannity's Fox News show he said, "Look, what I’ve gone through, nobody’s ever gone through”, and he said it on the 80th anniversary of what our troops went through on D-Day.

“Based on what they’ve done, I would have every right to go after them, and it’s easy, because it’s Joe Biden, and you see all the criminality, all of the money that’s going into the family and him”.

To Dr. Phil he said, “Sometimes revenge can be justified. These are evil people. These are sick, evil people”.

CREW (Committee for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) analyzed some 13,000 Trump posts on Truth Social across the year and a half since Waco to find him "vowing revenge, retaliation and retribution against his foes", increasing as a consistent fixation as the election draws nearer.

He has 25 times indicated his intention to go after Joe Biden "with FBI raids, investigations, indictments and even jail time" as well as members of Biden's family. He vowed to "APPOINT A REAL SPECIAL 'PROSECUTOR' TO GO AFTER THE MOST CORRUPT PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE USA, JOE BIDEN."

About Special Counsel Jack Smith’s charges, he warned of “repercussions far greater than anything that Biden or his Thugs could understand”. There are no constraints in the Constitution to prevent the president from investigating and prosecuting whomever he chooses.

Asked on the Fox News morning show "Fox and Friends" if he intends revenge, he called it “a really tough question” because “these are bad people.” He said he could have locked up Hillary Clinton, that it…

"would have been very easy to do it, but I thought it would be a terrible precedent for our country…And then this happened to me, and so I may feel differently about it."

In fact, he did act against Clinton. Right off, upon assuming the presidency, he asked his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to prosecute his rival candidate for the presidency in 2016. But Sessions, a person of interest to the FBI's Russian influence investigation for receiving Russians in his office, had recused himself out of conflict, and so declined. Trump then had the subsequent AG, Bill Barr, appoint John Durham special counsel in what largely became a four-year investigation of Clinton and her involvement in the Steele dossier.

Trump now claims in a Fox News interview that he never said about Clinton, "Lock her up". That was quickly followed by ridiculing montages of videos on opposing networks of his saying “Lock her up” over and over.

Eight years later the psychosis has not abated. He says about Clinton, as if someone other than he is calling for her prosecution:

“Wouldn’t it be terrible to throw the president’s wife and the former secretary of state — think of it, the former secretary of state, but the president’s wife, into jail. Wouldn’t that be a terrible thing? But they want to do it. So, you know, it’s a terrible, terrible path that they’re leading us to, and it’s very possible that it’s going to have to happen to them.”

There is no “they”, of course. Only Trump. As a builder in New York and a casino operator in New Jersey, he has had run-ins with the mafia and has picked up the mafia style, as in “nice store you’ve got here, a shame if something happened to it”.

violence? It's to be expected.

Trump has since been signaling to militant elements, much as he did when in the September 2020 debate he told the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by", that violence would be unsurprising, as when he said shortly after Waco about a prison sentence…

“I think it’s a very dangerous thing to even talk about, because we do have a tremendously passionate group of voters.”

…and just recently on the same subject…

”I don’t know that the public would stand it…I think it would be tough for the public to take. You know, at a certain point there’s a breaking point. “

In polls, some 40% of Republicans think violence is acceptable if needed to get their way.

Such talk spurs others to action. Since Trump’s election loss in 2020, election workers and local officials across the country have been threatened, as have been the secretaries of state who oversee elections; as have federal judges been – 450 targeted in 2023 alone; as have members of Congress been – 8,000 threats logged by the Capitol Police in 2023. “People are threatening not just the prosecutor, the special counsel, the judge, but also family members,” said Ronald Davis, director of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Families have been doxxed, their street addresses and phone numbers posted on social media to cause fear enough for them to move from their homes to shelter elsewhere. Bomb threats against librarians have closed libraries. Reuters found 152 posts article illustration
of pro-Trump websites that called for the beating or killing of New York judges Arthur Engoron and Juan Merchan in New York and Scott McAfee in Georgia, and that was in just March and April before the guilty verdict in the hush-money case. The right-wing is working to find and harm the twelve jurors for the sin of doing their civic duty in the Manhattan case.

Trump's followers often react with posts urging that the jurists be beaten, tortured, and killed. “Someone in NY with nothing to lose needs to take care of Merchan,” wrote one of them on Patriots.Win. Engoron received a fake bomb threat at his home in January; an envelope containing white powder was delivered to his chambers in February. “These judges and lawyers should HANG for perpetuating these fraud cases,” wrote one commenter. Executions would set “an example for future generations of judges and lawyers.”

Trump’s constant vilification of judges and prosecutors has brought this about. Now subject to laws that seek to bring him to account for what he has brought upon himself, he is out to undermine respect of the justice system. His followers have become dutifully distrustful of government and the courts. What then do they make of Hunter Biden’s conviction, and that Father Joe did not say the trial was rigged, did not attack the judge, did not vilify the jury, will not pardon his son? Will some of the Trump worshipful have second thoughts about a justice system purportedly weaponized against the Right as Trump says? Unlikely. It is a cult and cults admit of no contradictions. They are already saying that Biden orchestrated the conviction of his own son to justify the criminal charges against Trump. And Trump won’t stop. He will find excuse to go on attempting to destroy confidence in our nation of laws because the indictments against him, he who says he did nothing wrong, could only have come about in a “rigged” and “corrupt” system.

revenge is justified

Trump has prepared his disciples to believe that his campaign of retribution is fitting and proper. He has been telling them that the élites, the globalists, they are all…

”communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical-left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country”.

When they see one after another from Trump’s enemy list undergo investigation, indictment, prison, that will seem right because…

“they lie and steal and cheat on elections and will do anything possible — they’ll do anything, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America and to destroy the American dream.”

MAGA propaganda has fashioned what his supporters believe is an accurate description of an ugly America. They are persuaded that Trump exposes a truth about the government, the deep state, that no one else dares to reveal. So when as president he moves to shut down news organizations such as MSNBC – a desire he has expressed – and other purveyors of what they’ve long been told is fake news, they will applaud.

the gangster image

Trump's narcissism disallows his thinking of himself negatively, so we are now watching him, as a convicted felon, fancy the idea of being an outlaw. It bolsters his tough guy image, suitable for his brutalist plans for retribution against the other side of the law. Convicted, he joins the dozen or so of his entourage and administration who have served time or are under indictment. He brought to his trial a former Hell’s Angels leader who had done time for attempted murder. At his rally in the Bronx last month, Trump invited onto the stage two rappers facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder.

And he has been comparing himself to Al Capone, bragging, “He was only indicted one time; I’ve been indicted four times” and he has a bigger team of lawyers “than any human being in the history of our Country, including even the late great gangster, Alphonse Capone!” (who was, in fact, indicted at least six times). “He was seriously tough, right?”, he said at a rally in Iowa last October. “If you looked at him in the wrong way, he blew your brains out."

And most peculiarly, he has again — this time in the company of Republican lawmakers — spoken of the Hannibal Lecter, the cannibal in the film "The Silence of the Lambs", as "a nice guy", raising questions about sanity.

Political journalist Samuel Earle speaks of Trump as “besieged by the authorities, charged with countless egregious felonies but surviving and thriving nonetheless, with an air of macho invincibility”. As a felon who may nonetheless become president, what is to stop him from ignoring laws while in office? Not impeachment, surely. We learned that is a dead letter.

jail break

He continues to say he will pardon the January 6th insurrectionists, which invalidates the Depart of Justice and turns the White House into a criminal enterprise. Trump begins his rallies with the “J6 Prison Choir”, singing their rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner called “Justice for All” while Trump recites the Pledge of Allegiance. He took to calling the January 6th convicts “hostages” but now calls them “patriots” and “warriors”. “We’ve moved from the Beer Hall Putsch to the Night of the Long Knives”, says commentator Thom Hartmann, as Trump steps up his retributive cruelty.

The Nazi’s Aryan phraseology has entered his language – the radical-left “live like vermin” in our midst, migrants are "poisoning the blood of our country." A video appeared on his Truth Social account with fake headlines in the style of newspapers of World War I vintage but describing a second Trump presidency. One predicts "what's next for America" is the "creation of a unified Reich". It was Hitler’s aim to create a Third Reich that would rule for a thousand years. Another said "15 Million Illegal Aliens Deported" next to World War I dates. The campaign said the staffer who posted the video did not notice the word “Reich”. “It is never accidental”, rebutted New York University professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a scholar of history’s authoritarian “strongmen”.

Which makes one wonder. The DOJ says that 1500 January 6th insurrectionists have been charged. Does Trump imagine them, once freed from prison and pending cases, to become his private army akin to Hitler’s brownshirts — the Sturmabteilung, aka SA — or Mussolini’s blackshirts?

Republicans fall in line, of course

Trump tells his audiences, “They’re not coming after me. They are coming after you, and I am just standing in their way.” They're not, of course. It is he and the MAGA Republicans, who have joined in Trump's post conviction retribution frenzy, who intend to go after anyone who has displeased their leader.

 Jeff Clark, the former Trump Justice Department official indicted in the Georgia election case, urges “brave district attorneys in the United States to step forward and to take aggressive action”, to file lawsuits in federal court "just for starters, as soon as possible" against anyone involved in criminal cases against Trump. In other words, invent specious charges, burden targets with attorney costs, damage their lives and livelihood.

 Stephen Miller, expected to be Trump's immigration czar in charge of deporting millions of undocumenteds, asks,

“Is every Republican D.A. starting every investigation they need to right now?...Every facet of Republican Party politics and power has to be used right now to go toe-to-toe with Marxism and beat these Communists”

No crimes committed; just invent something. Vigilante justice. "Communists" and "Marxists" are how right-wing extremists now regularly refer to Democrats.

 Ronny Jackson, formerly Trump's controversial physician and now representing Texas, said:

“I am going to encourage all of my colleagues and everybody that I have any influence over as a member of Congress to aggressively go after the president and his entire family, his entire crime family, for all of the misdeeds that are out there right now related to this family.”

 J.D. Vance is pledging to use the Senate's rule that allows a single senator to block nominations, as did Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville block military promotions for months, to throttle Biden's judicial and U.S. attorney nominations in retribution for what he calls the persecution of the former president.

 John Yoo, infamous for writing the torture authorization letter for George W. Bush when in the Justice Department and long a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote in National Review that, as a balance to Trump's prosecutions, "Republicans will have to bring charges against Democratic officers, even presidents". Hunter Biden will need to be charged for taking money from foreign governments, Joe Biden for influence peddling at the behest of his son, he wrote. "Only retaliation in kind can produce the deterrence necessary to enforce a political version of mutual assured destruction.”

 Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has already demanded that Bragg and one of his top trial lawyers in the case, Matthew Colangelo, testify. There are of course calls for New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Judge Merchan to be prosecuted.

 House Speaker Mike Johnson declared that Republicans would “do everything we can” to exact revenge for Trump. He called on the Supreme Court — " I know many of them personally" — to overturn Trump’s conviction and grant him immunity from prosecution. “This will be overturned, guys, there’s no question about it". Johnson and his Republicans on the Hill are even writing legislation that would force any state cases against Trump to be transferred to federal courts where Trump could have his Justice Department vacate them or can pardon himself.

Out to flip Trump's criminality into an indictment of the American legal system, Johnson says about all of this that they are "the law and order team. I mean, we believe in the rule of law".

1 Comment for ““These Are Sick, Evil People”, Says Trump, Obsessed with Revenge”

  1. A terrific piece. Also, for readers who do not follow the news on a daily basis, or who may have short memories, a very useful summary of Trump’s incendiary rhetoric post-Waco.

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