The next time Donald Trump presents himself as an ally of law enforcement, keep this report from Mediaite in mind:
Former President Donald Trump seemingly endorsed a call for Capitol Police officers who repelled rioters on January 6, 2021 to be prosecuted on Truth Social Thursday. Trump’s post linked to another one from earlier this week on X, which showed officers grappling with and using their batons to pushback on the rioters.
The original message published to the platform formerly known as Twitter argued, “The Capitol cops beat the hell out of innocent J6 protesters, and the videos are finally coming out. The cops should be charged and the protesters should be freed This is why the uniparty didn’t want the videos released.”
It was accompanied by a roughly minute-long video of officers defending the Capitol’s lower west terrace tunnel, which became notorious for its violence during the insurrectionist assault on Jan. 6.
To be sure, the former president did not write the underlying message — but he used his own social media platform to amplify the message.
At no point did Trump indicate that he disagreed with the original claims. The Republican’s eagerness to promote the message suggested the opposite.
It was a rhetorical escalation of sorts: The former president has gone to great lengths to align himself with Jan. 6 protestors, but the idea that Trump would extend his imprimatur to the idea of prosecuting police officers because they clashed with rioters attacking the Capitol is entirely new.
What is not new, however, is the Republican’s willingness to go after law enforcement in unusually stark terms.
Earlier this year, for example, Trump lashed out at the officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbit during Jan. 6 violence as a “thug,” “coward,” and murderer.
Also in recent months, the former president has lambasted federal law enforcement as “corrupt,” “crooked,” and ?a “real threat to democracy.” Trump has also equated the FBI with “the Gestapo,” and claimed there are “fascists“ in the bureau and the Justice Department.
Now, evidently, the frontrunner for the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination has also expressed tacit support for prosecuting members of the Capitol police.
If a Democrat talked about law enforcement like this, I wonder what would happen if he/she then claimed to “back the blue.”