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Former President Donald Trump appeared to suggest that his administration could exact some retribution against political opponents who have targeted him with indictments should he win the presidency next year.
“If they do this, and they’ve already done it, but if they follow through on this, yeah, it could certainly happen in reverse. It could certainly happen in reverse,” Trump said in an interview with Univision that aired Thursday, according to the Washington Times. “What they’ve done is they’ve released the genie out of the box. You understand that, they’ve done something that nobody thought would happen.”
The 45th president also called the indictments against him, which were brought by the Biden administration, “pathetic,” adding he was charged to help President Biden win reelection. In addition, he said Biden has “weaponized” both the Justice Department and the FBI.
“They’ve done indictments in order to win an election. They call it weaponization, and the people aren’t going to stand for it,” Trump told the Spanish-language network. “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.”
The Times reported further:
The former president has been indicted in four separate cases this year, both federal and state. The Justice Department has charged him in Florida for mishandling classified documents and in Washington for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
He is also facing charges in New York for hush money payments to cover up extramarital affairs and in Georgia for trying to overturn the state’s 2020 election results.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
He did say, however, that he believes the indictments have “actually been helpful from the standpoint of getting elected.” He also called the charges against him “political persecution [and a] political hoax.”
“I’m probably the only guy ever indicted whose poll numbers have shot up through the roof,” he said.
Other Republicans have called the charges against him political in nature.
After the FBI’s unprecedented raid on the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August 2022, radio host and former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino labeled it “third-world bulls**t.”
During an interview on network colleague Jesse Watters’ “Primetime” program, Bongino went ballistic on the Biden administration and the Justice Department, which he accused of becoming highly politicized in recent years.
“This is some third-world bullshit right here,” Bongino said. “Let me say it again, third-world bullshit. I mean every word of that. I don’t care that it’s cable news.
“I was a federal agent, I raised my right hand. And I swore to protect and defend the constitution of the United States. And I love this country. This is a freaking disgrace. A disgrace. We don’t live in Cuba. We don’t live under Kim Jong Un” of North Korea, he continued.
“We live in a constitutional republic. A representative democracy. You have a bunch of FBI agents raiding the home of a former president because they don’t like his politics? Are you kidding me?” he added.
“This is some third-world garbage that happened tonight,” he continued.
Following the raid, Trump said that it was political in nature and meant to keep him from running again in 2024.
“These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Trump said. “Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before. After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.”
Michael Tabman, former head of the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office, told Fox News the raid on a former president is “unprecedented.”
“We just haven’t investigated presidents after they’ve served their term,” he said. “But it is a huge move by the FBI in that the political sensitivities are clear. It’s obvious that they’re dealing on a very, sort of tenuous political climate when you go out and you investigate a president, especially one who says he may run for office again.”