If Trump Was President, Could He Really “Lock Her Up?” (VIDEO)

On Sunday night’s presidential debate, one venomous exchange between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton drew a stronger reaction than any other.  Here’s how it went:



“It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.”


“Because you’d be in jail.” 

With gasps and cheers, his retort drew an equal measure of horror and delight in the audience. It reverberated far beyond.

Former attorney general Eric Holder was one of the first to react.

Other commentators likened Trump to tyrants and dictators such as Idi Amin of Uganda. Trump’s own campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tried to downplay it in an interview with the Morning Joe program on MSNBC, saying:

“That was a quip.”

Moments earlier in the debate, Trump had said that, if elected, he would tell his attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor, and investigate Clinton’s use of a private server for classified and secret State emails.

It might be worth exploring that nightmare scenario: If Trump did become President of the United States, could he carry out his threat?

Bill Diamond, who worked for George H.W. Bush and once ran for Congress, wrote on the Quora website:

“The President not only has no authority over any criminal investigation or prosecution matters, but any attempt to abuse his office to do so out of malice may constitute high crimes.

“Sound familiar? That’s right: it’s an impeachable offense.”

Professor Henry Chambers Jr. of Richmond School of Law took a closer look at the practicalities. He said in The Guardian:

“He could start the ball rolling by suggesting to the Department of Justice that it start an investigation, but even then it’s kind of nuts. The idea that he could decide on his own, ‘I will put Hillary Clinton in jail,’ is bizarre squared. He himself would be threatened with impeachment.”

Even a Conservative lobbyist like Curt Levey is in agreement. Also speaking in The Guardian, he said:

“I don’t believe he really thinks he would put Hillary Clinton in jail. The president has no authority to jail people, and people in her position don’t normally get sent to jail for first offences.”

In the past, special prosecutors – or independent counselors, which is a similar role – have been used in cases involving presidents and vice-presidents, including Richard Nixon, Spiro T. Agnew, and Bill Clinton. But the law that enabled  judges to authorize an independent counsel expired in 1999.

It has to be concluded that the remark really was just another blast of Trump’s hot air, which yet again betrayed his non-existent grasp on matters of state. It also marks what was perhaps the lowest point so far in his uniquely dirty fight.

Let’s take a look back at some of his other outrageous claims:


Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube video