Already looking ahead to the turmoil his re-election could cause, Donald Trump and his allies are reportedly circling an idea to invoke the Insurrection Act on his first day in office, deploying the military to act as domestic law enforcement.
According to a Washington Post report on Sunday, the drafting of such plans has largely been “unofficially outsourced” thus far to a coalition of right-wing think tanks working under the title “Project 2025.” It was identified as an immediate priority for the hypothetical resurrected Trump administration, internal communications obtained by the newspaper showed.
In response to questions from the Post, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung provided a statement: “President Trump is focused on crushing his opponents in the primary election and then going on to beat Crooked Joe Biden,” he said. “President Trump has always stood for law and order, and protecting the Constitution.”
Citing people who’ve spoken to him, the Post also reported that Trump has remarked in recent private conversations that he’d like to use the Justice Department to go after his enemies, including former members of his administration like John Kelly, Bill Barr, and Gen. Mark Milley.
To accomplish this, the Project 2025 team has begun work on a plan to dispense with long-standing Department of Justice policy designed to prevent executive branch conflicts of interest—with some allies suggesting that it would not present any problems at all to allow the president to direct prosecutions via the DOJ.
“You don’t need a statutory change at all, you need a mind-set change,” Russ Vought, Trump’s former budget director and current head of the Center for Renewing America, told the Post. “You need an attorney general and a White House Counsel’s Office that don’t view themselves as trying to protect the department from the president.”
Milley did not comment on the possibility he’d be targeted by a future Trump Administration, but Kelly told the newspaper, “There is no question in my mind he is going to go after people that have turned on him.”
“The lesson the former president learned from his first term is don’t put guys like me … in those jobs,” Kelly said. “The lesson he learned was to find sycophants.”
Barr seemed somewhat less concerned. “I’m quivering in my boots,” he quipped when approached by the Post.
The news hardly comes as a surprise—the former president has hardly kept his retributive machinations a secret, writing on Truth Social over the summer that he would “APPOINT A REAL SPECIAL ‘PROSECUTOR’” in an effort to take down Biden, his family, and “ALL OTHERS INVOLVED WITH THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR ELECTIONS, BORDERS, & COUNTRY ITSELF.”