Trump’s Threats: The Ominous Shadow Over Congressional Investigators

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team

 

 

 

 

Members of Congress who played key roles in investigating former President Donald Trump’s involvement in the January 6 U.S. Capitol riot are grappling with concerns about their safety and the possibility of arrest if Trump secures a second term in November.

In interviews with CBS News, House Democrats involved in the House January 6 select committee and some police witnesses who testified before it expressed fears of reprisals from a future Trump administration.

Trump himself hinted at the prospect of future arrests of committee participants in a March 18 social media post, singling out the panel’s vice chair, former Rep. Liz Cheney, suggesting she should be jailed along with others on the committee.

Representative Adam Schiff of California, one of the Democrats on the Jan. 6 select committee, admitted discussing with his wife the potential consequences of their involvement in the investigation, acknowledging concerns about personal safety.

Representative Pete Aguilar, chair of the House Democratic Caucus and a member of the Jan. 6 committee, took Trump’s threats seriously but maintained a sense of humor, mentioning the close proximity of the Washington, D.C., jail to the Capitol.

Reflecting on Trump’s pattern of following through on his statements, Representative Zoe Lofgren, another California Democrat involved in the committee, expressed worry about being targeted by Trump supporters and the potential weaponization of the Department of Justice against dissenters.

Former Washington, D.C., police officer Michael Fanone, who testified before the committee, believes Trump’s intentions are clear and that those who spoke out against him should be concerned about arrest.

Harry Dunn, a former U.S. Capitol Police officer and committee witness, echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing that anyone who has testified against Trump or criticized him publicly should be vigilant.

The Trump campaign declined to directly address inquiries about Trump’s intentions to pursue arrests of committee members, instead deflecting blame onto other political figures.

Trump’s rhetoric and threats have raised alarms among scholars, who warn of authoritarian tendencies when political leaders call for the incarceration of their opponents.

The House January 6 select committee conducted a thorough investigation of Trump’s actions surrounding the Capitol riot, but was disbanded after Republicans gained control of the House. Some committee members faced threats and harassment from Trump supporters.

There are concerns among lawmakers and aides about the implications of a presidential candidate threatening to jail legislators for their legislative work, potentially violating the Speech and Debate Clause protecting congressional independence.

Representative Aguilar highlighted the danger posed by Trump’s rhetoric, likening it to that of dictators, and emphasized the gravity of the situation for all members of Congress.

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