Democrats have (for good reason) criticized President Donald Trump for his signature campaign rally chant of “Lock her up” in referring to his then opponent Hillary Clinton.. Many of us objected to the display as obnoxious and demeaning to our political system. That objection apparently does not hold when a Democratic candidate, in this case Elizabeth Warren, is referencing Donald Trump as being locked up. Warren received the predictably wild applause to her suggestion in a campaign rally that Trump will be in prison by 2020.
The Massachusetts Senator and Democratic presidential candidate was at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and proclaimed “By the time we get to 2020, Donald Trump may not even be president. In fact, he may not even be a free person.” The crowd went wild. It was a painfully familiar scene.
It is of course utter nonsense. The Special Counsel’s report is now expected in March. No compelling case of obstruction or collusion-based crimes has been established against Trump. There is an allegation of campaign finance violations based on the Cohen filings. However, the Justice Department has a long-standing policy (with which I have long disagreed) that it will not indict a sitting president. Moreover, even with such a policy, the indictment of a sitting president would unlikely result in a trial, let alone incarceration, during his term. These trials are often delayed and, in the case of a president, there is a line of cases allowing considerable leeway given to a President and his schedule on such calendars for legal proceedings. In any case, the suggestion of incarceration is pure fantasy fueled by the same blind rage of the “lock her up” chants.
This type of low-grade applause line threatens to quickly take the Democratic primary from hypocrisy to demagoguery.