Trump Is Mad GOP Lawmakers Aren’t Taking More ‘Action’ Post-Conviction

In the time since his historic criminal conviction in his New York hush-money trial, Donald Trump has been growing increasingly frustrated with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, venting in conversations and phone calls with prominent allies — including some members of Congress — that they are not moving swiftly enough to protect him and rain havoc on his Democratic enemies, according to two people familiar with the situation.

“I need action,” the former president has privately insisted to close GOP allies this month, one of the sources relays to Rolling Stone. The other source adds that Trump earlier this month angrily inquired, using profane language, about a perceived lack of decisive action from conservative lawmakers to punish the Biden administration — for the actions of a Manhattan district attorney who isn’t under President Joe Biden’s control.

As Rolling Stone reported last month, even before his conviction, Trump was pushing Republican lawmakers to pass a bill that would shield current and former presidents from non-federal prosecutions, allowing them to move a state or local prosecution into a federal court instead. Some Trump allies have been pushing for a House floor vote on a measure that would accomplish this goal, according to Axios, and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has been whipping support for the legislation.

During the years of his post-presidency and as he runs to reclaim the White House, Trump and his government-in-waiting have been crafting numerous plans for how to wield the U.S. federal government for large-scale acts of vengeance against his political foes, should he win another term. However, Trump has been making it very clear to the rest of the MAGA elite that he is craving concrete forms of retribution against the Biden administration now.

In some of these conversations, Trump has not only griped that Republicans on Capitol Hill aren’t adequately backing him up, he has demanded that lawmakers come up with new, more audacious ideas for using their legislative powers and procedural maneuvers to — among other things on Trump’s wishlist — bring certain aspects of the Biden administration to a grinding halt.

“[Trump] doesn’t just want Congress to defund Alvin Bragg. He thinks there needs to be a wider net cast,” the second source tells Rolling Stone. Early this month, House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), one of Trump’s most diehard allies in Congress, called for appropriations measures that would “defund” the Manhattan district attorney and other prosecutors who’ve pursued Trump, his inner circle, and his real-estate empire.

This source also says that earlier this month, Trump personally pushed allied MAGA lawmakers to hold up Biden’s judicial nominees, and also said Republicans on the Hill should be more aggressive in launching invasive congressional investigations that — in Trump’s mind — could establish a conspiratorial connection between Biden or Attorney General Merrick Garland and non-federal prosecutors who have gone after Trump.

Reached for comment on this story, Trump’s communications director, Steven Cheung, replied: “Crooked Joe Biden and his corrupt administration have weaponized the justice system to target the leading candidate and their opponent — President Trump — in an effort to meddle and interfere in the 2024 election. The American people understand this is political persecution only seen before in third world dictatorships. With just a few more months left in his disastrous presidency, Biden is now trying to jam through as many radical leftist judicial nominees beholden to him before President Trump takes office.”

(Other democratic nations that aren’t dictatorships have indeed prosecuted and even imprisoned former presidents and ex-leaders. Trump and other members of the Republican elite routinely accuse the Biden administration of “election interference,” the very thing that Trump is criminally charged for doing when he tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election.)

Last week, Trump visited the U.S. Capitol for the first time since the violent Jan. 6 insurrection, when the then-president’s supporters stormed Capitol Hill and delayed the peaceful transfer of power from Trump to Biden. Trump came to the Hill to meet with Republican lawmakers and demonstrate there’s “unity” in the party behind his presidential campaign.

At least some GOP lawmakers are heeding Trump’s calls to retaliate against Biden and Democrats for Trump’s conviction in New York. Six Republican senators, led by potential Trump vice presidential contender J.D. Vance of Ohio, issued a statement last week declaring that they will block the Senate from fast-tracking Biden’s nominees for judges and prosecutors, in response to the Biden administration’s supposed “lawfare against his leading political opponent for the presidency.”

Cleveland-area pastor Darrell Scott, who’s been a close Trump ally for years and is working on efforts to boost the former president in 2024, also feels Congress should be thinking about retribution. “The GOP Congress needs to exhaust every effort to not only vindicate President Trump, but to ensure that the Democratic Party will never be able to use lawfare against Republicans to interfere with elections, especially presidential elections, in the future,” he tells Rolling Stone.

It’s not clear yet if Trump’s angry pleas will convince enough Republicans to successfully jam up the gears in Congress between now and Election Day in November. But if these attempts fail, it won’t be for lack of effort.

“How many are willing to be recruited into these election-year kamikaze missions for Donald Trump?” says one senior GOP Senate aide. “So far, it just looks like the usual gang.”

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