One of the hallmarks of President Donald Trump‘s 2016 campaign was the “lock her up” chants that rang through his rallies. As that quote became a constant refrain, it became clear that jailing Trump’s political opponent was one of the main attractions to his supporters.
Of course, Hillary Clinton never landed in jail, though Trump has suggested that he’s willing to open a new investigation into his former opponent. In most administrations, the White House and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are independent of each other, but Trump seems to have a different outlook on the whole idea of a separation of powers.
In his latest eyebrow-raising interview (this time with Politico), the president teased that he might be willing to lean on the DOJ to open an investigation into the Biden family.
During his time as vice president, Joe Biden urged the ousting of a top official in Ukraine, and some Republicans have said that Biden made that move because his son, Hunter, had a financial stake in the Ukrainian shake-up.
It’s a watery conspiracy theory with a lot of long lines connecting the dots, but there’s just enough there for the president to paint it as a wild abuse of power.
The New York Times gave the story a spot on the front page with this caveat sentence buried in a middle paragraph: “No evidence has surfaced that the former vice president intentionally tried to help his son by pressing for the prosecutor general’s dismissal.”
In his conversation with Politico, Trump was asked if he’s spoken to Barr about investigating Biden and answered that he hasn’t but that it “certainly it would be an appropriate thing” to do. Later, he added that such an investigation “could be a very big situation” for the former vice president.
Trump has been pretty open about the fact that he expects to square off against Biden in the general election.
“Looks to me like it’s going to be SleepyCreepy Joe over Crazy Bernie,” he tweeted Friday. “Everyone else is fading fast!”
So it’s probably not much of a surprise that Trump is already attacking Biden regularly both online and during rallies.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.