President Donald Trump's reelection rallies might have found version 2.0 of their familiar "lock up!" Chants: "Lock them up!"
With special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation mostly in the rearview mirror and William Barr installed as the protective attorney General Trump hoped Jeff Sessions would be the president on the attack during his speech Monday evening in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, reviving his baseless treason accusations against the FBI and Democrats.
"We caught 'em – they were spying, ”Trump said, referring to the counterintelligence investigation of his campaign that began in 201
Trump's accusation is transparently meritless, but that holds the point. Heading to his 2020 reelection campaign, Trump – with help from Barr – is trying to establish a narrative that investigates his campaign's contacts with Russia, voting from anti-Trump bias in the law enforcement and intelligence communities, Not his campaign's secretive contacts with people in the Kremlin's orbit. Trump wants to be as a victim and Obama-era officials as bad actors who had it out for him from the beginning.
Trumps audience seemed ready to get on board, cheering his accusations of treason and then breaking out into "lock them up!" Chants. Trump basked in the chants for a moment before threatening to ss Barr on law enforcement officials who investigated him.
"Well, we have a great new attorney general who is going to give it a very fair look," Trump said. 19659007] Trump accuses the FBI and Democrats of treason. He then has to pause as his fans chant, "lock them up!"
"We have a great new attorney general who will give it a very fair look," Trump says. pic.twitter.com/TNEoVny7pJ
– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 21, 2019
Barr, for his part, doesn't seem to be troubled by Trump's threat to use trumped-up charges against his perceived political enemies. During an interview on Fox News last week, hit back at Democratic leaders who accused him lying under oath during his congressional testimony and seemed to threaten to investigate them saying, "they may be concerned about the outcome. of a review of what happened during the election. ”
During an interview with the Wall Street Journal that was published on Monday, Barr insisted he's protecting the presidency, not just Trump. Barr has already announced he's launching into the origins of the FBI's counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign.
The "lock them up!" Chants weren't the only time Trump's fans called for summary imprisonment of his enemies on Monday night . When Trump brought up Hillary Clinton earlier in the rally, his audience responded with resounding to the classic "lock up!" Chants .
Trump's latest rally came hours after he suffered a defeat in federal court
Trump's rally came hours after Judge Amit Mehta of the DC District Court ruled against Trump in his effort to prevent House Democrats from subpoenaing 10 years of his financial records from the accounting firm Mazars USA. While the White House is sure to appeal to Mehta's ruling, it indicates that Trump's strategy of stonewalling all congressional subpoenas may be a losing one.  Asked about the ruling just before taking off to Pennsylvania for his rally, Trump suggested he doesn't think he needs to list to judges who were appointed by Democratic presidents.
"Well, we disagree with that ruling – it's crazy," Trump said. "This never happened to any other president … it's totally the wrong decision by obviously and Obama-appointed judge. He was a recent Obama-appointed judge. ”
Trump 100 percent thinks he can just choose to ignore rulings from" Obama-appointed "judges.
" We disagree with that ruling … it's totally the wrong decision by obviously an Obama-appointed judge. He was a recent Obama-appointed judge. " pic.twitter.com/ksyJcWWe1h
– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 20, 2019
But Mehta's ruling opens by discussing how another president, James Buchanan, raised similar concerns about congressional oversight but "Courts have grappled for more than a century with the question of the scope of Congress's investigative power," Mehta wrote. "The binding principle that emerges from these judicial decisions is that the Congress must act in furtherance of its constitutional responsibility to legislate and must apply to congressional judgments about what Congress needs to carry out that purpose."
Attorney General Barr is powerless to stop the DC District Court from ruling against Trump. But if the fight over subpoenas makes its way to the US Supreme Court – whose balance has shifted to the right due to Trump's nominations of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh – the extent to which Congress will be empowered to conduct oversight on a president who is
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