Former President Donald Trump called for the “termination” of the U.S. Constitution over the weekend as part of his continued efforts to throw out the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” Trump wrote on his website Saturday.
In case anyone didn’t get his meaning, in a follow-up post he declared, “UNPRECEDENTED FRAUD REQUIRES UNPRECEDENTED CURE!”
The emerging theme of Trump’s campaign for president in 2024 is not only that he actually won in 2020 and the election was rigged against him, but also that the Jan. 6, 2021, riot was an appropriate response. He has made it increasingly clear that he believes that he and his supporters are above the law.
On Thursday, Trump participated via video in a fundraiser for people who are in jail for attacking the Capitol on his behalf. The FBI has arrested and charged about 900 people for participating in the riot Trump incited that day.
“It’s a very unfair situation, and we’re going to be, as you know, looking about it and talking about it very very strongly in the coming weeks, months and over the next period of a year, year and a half, during the campaign,” Trump said in the video he made for the event.
Trump has previously said he would consider pardoning rioters if he wins the White House again.
Other speakers at the “Patriot Freedom Project” event in Florida included several rioters charged with violent crimes for their participation in the Capitol riot. All of them spoke by phone from jail.
“Since June 11th of 2021, I have been an American political prisoner,” Robert Morss of Glenshaw, Pennsylvania, said through a mobile phone held up to a microphone.
Morss wore camouflage and tactical gear as he joined the mob on Jan. 6 and scuffled with police before entering the Capitol through a broken window. The FBI arrested Morss last June and this summer a federal judge found him guilty of obstructing an official proceeding as well as assaulting, resisting or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon, and robbery. He’s in D.C. Jail awaiting sentencing in January.
Another self-described political prisoner who spoke at the event, Jorden Mink of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, allegedly smashed Capitol windows with a baseball bat and assaulted police with a flagpole. Mink has asked courts to let him out of jail pending his trial, but federal judges have said that rioters like Mink belong “in a different category of dangerousness” than people who merely entered the Capitol after others cleared the way.
Trump loyalist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) attended the event in person, telling the crowd she would push for a House committee to investigate the supposed mistreatment of Jan. 6 defendants at D.C. Jail.
While Trump urges leniency for his supporters, he calls for brutal law enforcement against others. A major applause line in Trump’s 2024 stump speech touts the idea of same-day trials and executions for drug dealers.
“We are going to be asking everyone who sells drugs, gets caught selling drugs, to receive the death penalty for their heinous acts,” Trump said in his speech last month announcing his third presidential bid.
The former president said he got the idea from Chinese President Xi Jinping, the authoritarian head of the Chinese Communist Party, who supposedly claimed that China has no drug problem as a result of its “quick trial” death penalty policy.
The U.S. Supreme Court has found the death penalty unconstitutional for crimes that don’t directly result in death, though perhaps that’s one of the rules Trump would like to terminate.
A handful of elected Republicans have denounced Trump’s suggestion to trash the Constitution. On Monday, Trump responded, claiming he didn’t favor “terminating” our founding document, but still insisting that he somehow be immediately reinstalled as president.
“What I said was that when there is ‘MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION,’ as has been irrefutably proven in the 2020 Presidential Election, steps must be immediately taken to RIGHT THE WRONG,” he wrote on Truth Social.
In the coming days, the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol will issue its final report, likely focused heavily on Trump’s role in inciting the riot. Trump has only escalated his rhetoric since 2020, and committee members view their work as designed to help prevent the next insurrection.
“The report is half about the past and what we’ve just studied, and half about the future and what needs to be done to protect ourselves against similar cycles of coup, insurrection, electoral sabotage and political violence,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told reporters last week.