Trump says he would weaponise DOJ and FBI against political enemies

In a warning to his political foes, Mr Trump told Univision that the Biden administration had let the ‘genie out of the box’

Rachel Sharp
Friday 10 November 2023 08:11 EST
Trump suggests using DOJ and FBI to indict political rivals

Donald Trump has issued an alarming threat to weaponise the Justice Department (DOJ) and the FBI against his political enemies if he succeeds in taking back the White House in 2024.

Speaking to Univision in an interview aired on Thursday night, the former president suggested that he would use the federal agencies to go after and indict his rivals – something he claims his rivals have done to him.

“You say they’ve weaponised the Justice Department, they weaponised the FBI. Would you do the same if you’re re-elected?” journalist Enrique Acevedo asked him.

“Well, he’s unleashed something that everybody, we’ve all known about this for a hundred years,” Mr Trump said, in an apparent reference to President Joe Biden.

“We’ve watched other countries do it and, in some cases, effective and in other cases, the country’s overthrown or it’s been totally ineffective. But we’ve watched this for a long time, and it’s not unique, but it’s unique for the United States.”

In a warning to his political foes, he said that the Biden administration had let the “genie out of the box” and that, if they “follow through” on pursuing criminal cases against him, he would follow suit “in reverse”.

“Yeah. If they do this and they’ve already done it, but if they want to follow through on this, yeah, it could certainly happen in reverse,” he said.

“It could certainly happen in reverse. What they’ve done is they’ve released the genie out of the box.”

Donald Trump in court at New York fraud trial on Monday

The former president went on to push his baseless claims that his enemies have “done indictments in order to win an election”.

“They call it weaponization, and the people aren’t going to stand for it,” Trump said. “But yeah. they have done something that allows the next party,” he said.

“I mean, if somebody – 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 what that would be, you know, they would be out of business. They’d be out, they’d be out of the election.”

A spokesperson for the Trump campaign said in a statement to Axios after the interview aired that Mr Trump had been speaking in “terms of future elected officials who see Biden going after his political opponent in this disgusting manner, it sets a dangerous example”.

Mr Trump is currently facing almost 100 charges across four criminal trials – one in New York, one in Georgia and two federal – as he continues to seek the Republican nomination in 2024.

The former president was charged for the first time back in April with New York state charges following an investigation into hush money payments before the 2016 election.

Then came his first federal indictment, following a two-year investigation by special counsel Jack Smith, over his alleged mishandling of classified documents on leaving office.

In August, he was hit with a second federal indictment charging him over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the events leading up to the January 6 Capitol riot.

Later that month, Mr Trump and 18 close allies were charged in a sprawling RICO case in Georgia, over their efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election result in the crucial swing state.

Mr Trump has denied all wrongdoing in all four cases and has instead claimed that he is the victim of political “witch hunts”.

His latest comments on Univision topped off a busy week for the former president, following his appearance on the stand at his civil fraud trial and a rally in Florida to rival the GOP presidential debate.

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