The GOP presidential frontrunner claims the legal issues he currently faces are politically motivated
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has suggested he would consider using the powers of the US government to pursue political rivals, should he succeed in returning to the White House next year.
Speaking to the Spanish-language network Univision on Friday, the legally embattled former president echoed his past claims that the various criminal and civil charges he faces are politically motivated, and represent a “weaponization” of the US justice system.
“They’ve already done it, but if they want to follow through on this, yeah, it could certainly happen in reverse,” Trump told host Enrique Acevedo when asked if he would pursue political opponents with the FBI and Justice Department upon a return to Washington. “They’ve released the genie out of the box.”
Trump currently faces myriad legal issues linked to his prior four-year presidential administration, as well as his business and real estate empire. Among the ex-president’s ongoing cases are felony charges that he falsified business records as part of a hush money payment scheme to an adult film star, and claims that he illegally withheld sensitive government documents at his Florida estate.
He also faces various charges related to alleged subversion of the 2020 presidential election and incitement of the riots at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Additionally, Trump, his two adult sons along with the wider Trump Organization are presently accused in a civil fraud trial of grossly inflating the value of real estate properties in order to secure more favorable loans. Trump has denied all charges against him.
“They’ve done indictments in order to win an election,” Trump said to Acevedo. “They call it weaponization,” adding that “if I happen to be president and I see somebody who’s doing well and beating me very badly, I say go down and indict them, mostly they would be out of business. They’d be out. They’d be out of the election.”
Before the Univision interview, Hillary Clinton – Trump’s election rival in 2016 – warned that he would take an authoritarian slant if he wins the presidency in 2024. “Trump is telling us what he intends to do,” she told ABC’s The View on Wednesday. “Take him as his word.”
Recent polling has indicated that Trump is the clear frontrunner to secure the GOP nomination to challenge the presumptive Democratic nominee, President Joe Biden, in next year’s election.
The results of a New York Times/Siena released last weekend also showed that Trump leads Biden in five of six key battleground states in their still-hypothetical race: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Biden leads in the sixth, Wisconsin. The current president carried all six crucial states in his 2020 electoral triumph over Trump.