A Running List of the People Trump Has Called to Prosecute

Trump has often enjoyed walking up to a microphone and implying—if not outright saying—that his enemies should be investigated.

Matt Rourke/AP

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For all his efforts to evade transparency and, instead, offer a steady stream of lies, Donald Trump has always been brutally honest about one thing: his penchant for revenge.

This lust has, over the years, taken on a particular kink. When possible, Trump has often enjoyed walking up to a microphone and implying—if not outright saying—that his enemies should be investigated, prosecuted, or arrested by the government he wants to head. These enemies include a seemingly endless list of people, from James Comey to Joe Scarborough.

It’s no surprise that vengeful threats of political prosecution have escalated since Trump’s conviction; he and his allies now appear hellbent on opening investigations into all their perceived enemies. Republicans have made clear political persecution could take place as a key role of government should Trump return to the White House.

With a second term possible, here is an incomplete and running list of everyone we could find that Trump has said should be prosecuted.

President Biden and the “Biden crime family”

As with several others here, Trump’s calls to investigate Joe Biden and his family could make its own list. Here’s a glimpse into that logic. Last year, in a Truth Social post (brace yourself for the all-caps rant), Trump wrote that, if re-elected, he “WILL APPOINT A REAL SPECIAL “PROSECUTOR” TO GO AFTER THE MOST CORRUPT PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE USA, JOE BIDEN, THE ENTIRE BIDEN CRIME FAMILY, & ALL OTHERS INVOLVED WITH THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR ELECTIONS, BORDERS, & COUNTRY ITSELF!” (President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, is currently on trial for charges of possessing a gun while using narcotics.)

And earlier this year, Trump wrote: “If I don’t get Immunity, then Crooked Joe Biden doesn’t get Immunity.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg

Bragg is the prosecutor who took on Trump, leading to his first criminal conviction. Trump acolyte Steve Bannon told Axios, “of course [Bragg] should be—and will be—jailed” if Trump is re-elected. And surely it’s just a coincidence that Bragg is also prosecuting Bannon in a money laundering and conspiracy case set to go to trial in September.

Hillary Clinton

Like Biden, the many times Trump has wanted to investigate and prosecute Clinton are seemingly endless. But let’s track a bit closer when Trump told Fox and Friends that he could reverse course and pursue prosecuting the former Secretary of State: “I could have done it. But I felt it would have been a terrible thing. And then this happened to me. And, so I may feel differently about it.”

Mediate noted an interview in which Trump, oddly, implied a similar idea:

And wouldn’t it be really bad like, as an example, Hillary with the hammering of her cell phones and all of the things she did…wouldn’t it be terrible to throw the president’s wife and the former secretary of state—you think of it, the former secretary of state, but the president, the president’s wife into jail. Wouldn’t that be a terrible thing? But they want to do it. So, you know, it’s like it’s, it’s a terrible, terrible path that they’re leading us to. And it’s very possible that it’s gonna have to happen to them.

Pro-Palestinian Protesters

Trump has made clear his disgust with pro-Palestinian protesters. During a rally last month, he told supporters that he planned to “immediately deport” pro-Palestinian supporters from college campuses.

“When I’m president, we will not allow our colleges to be taken over by violent radicals,” he said. “And if you come here from a violent country and try to bring jihadism, or anti-Americanism, or antisemitism to our campuses, we will immediately deport you. You’ll be out of that school.”

Adam Schiff

Barack Obama

Where to start? Instances of Trump calling on his predecessor to be jailed are too many to count. But a succinct explanation for those calls: Trump falsely believes that Obama illegally spied on him.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida)

As a Republican presidential candidate in the run-up to the 2016 election, Trump said that his then-rival for the nomination, Marco Rubio, should have been “indicted” over claims that he improperly used a corporate credit card for his personal use.

Huma Abedin

James Comey

There was once a time when Trump would not stop falsely claiming that the former FBI director mishandled classified information and lied to Congress.

John Kerry

Trump called for the former Secretary of State to be prosecuted over allegations that he improperly talked to Iran, violating the Logan Act.

Joe Scarborough

While repeating the ridiculous conspiracy theory that the MSNBC host was responsible for the death of a former employee, Trump said that Scarborough should be investigated for murder.

Liz Cheney

Trump attacked his longtime Republican critic, pushing for Cheney to be prosecuted over unfounded allegations published in the Federalist that she and other Jan. 6 committee members had suppressed key evidence.

Andrew McCabe

In another more harrowing instance that went beyond rhetoric, Trump, as president, reportedly told John Kelly that he wanted the Internal Revenue Services to go after McCabe, James Comey’s former deputy.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)

This is an ugly one. Trump, while repeating a conspiracy theory that the Minnesota congresswoman married her brother and illegally immigrated to the US, suggested that the Justice Department investigate Omar.

The “Oranges”

In an apparent attempt to say the word “origins,” Trump calls for the investigators to look into the “oranges” of the Mueller probe.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

Tax Day Protesters

In 2017, Trump’s disdain for protesters saw the then-president say that “someone” should look into demonstrators demanding that Trump release his tax returns.

Anonymous New York Times writer

Following an op-ed from an individual claiming to be part of the “resistance” inside the Trump administration, Trump demanded that the New York Times “turn him/her over” to the government. (Anonymous turned out to be Miles Taylor.)

This is a developing story and will be updated if Trump says, or implies, he wants to send someone else to jail.

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Straight to the point: Donations have been concerningly slow for our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, over the next few weeks so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

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