Presidential candidate Kamala Harris said the Justice everyday locksmith Department “would have no choice” but to prosecute President Donald Trump if he were to be defeated in 2020. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A role reversal is starting to play out, alarming law enforcement veterans who see the Democrats mirroring Trump’s calls to punish his opponents.
Get ready for a potential new 2020 presidential campaign chant: “Lock him up.”
A role reversal is starting to play out, with some Democrats openly taunting President Donald Trump with threats he’ll be the one spending time behind bars after he’s out of office. And some White House hopefuls have started weighing in, teeing off on the norm-busting Trump presidency and arguing that no person should be above prosecution if the evidence is there.
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Yet in the process, they’re alarming law enforcement veterans across the political spectrum who see the Democrats engaging in their own version of the politicization of the country’s criminal justice system that Trump was accused of when he fanned chants of “lock her up” during his own 2016 campaign against Hillary Clinton.
“Presidents aren’t supposed to suggest there be investigations or prosecutions of particular people, let alone their political rivals,” said Matt Axelrod, a former senior Obama-era Justice Department official. “President Trump has flagrantly and repeatedly violated that norm, but that doesn’t mean the norm has been obliterated.”
“It’s so un-American to prosecute your political enemies,” added Alan Dershowitz, the retired Harvard law professor, civil libertarian and occasional cable television Trump defender. “That’s what they do in banana republics.”
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