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A preview of a second Trump term

April 19, 2025. WASHINGTON — At the direction of Donald Trump, 47th president of the United States, Attorney General Ken Paxton yesterday sent teams of FBI agents to the residences of Hillary Clinton, Rachel Maddow, Gen. Mark Milley and Michael Cohen.

Knocking on their doors at precisely 9 a.m., the lead agents were polite but firm, all identically telling their targets, “We’ve come to confiscate your electronic devices pursuant to a lawful warrant. You are not now under arrest.” Clinton appeared the least fazed. “What might the charges be?” “Sorry, ma’am,” replied the female agent with a small ponytail and large vest emblazoned with the familiar oversized yellow letters FBI, “we’re not now permitted to say.”

Their homes were searched by a dozen agents each, as their family members — including President Bill Clinton — waited outside for one to two hours.

Paxton explained the administration’s reasoning: “May we remind critics that the American people have spoken?,” an apparent reference to Trump’s electoral count victory of 270 to 268, despite Biden’s popular vote margin of 13 million votes over Trump — or 50% to 42%. (The remainder went to four minor-party candidates, especially Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s 5%. This was the third time in seven national elections that the Electoral College selected the popular vote loser as president.)

Secretary of Homeland Security Stephen Miller made additional news on immigration in a Newsmax interview. “Today, we’re beginning construction of 100,000 modular homes in Waco, Texas to launch ‘Operation Relocation’ to eventually deport from six to 11 million migrants who came here illegally. Promise made. Promise kept.”

The Supreme Court, in a brief 6-3 opinion on the shadow docket written by Justice Samuel Alito, refused to consider the unconstitutionality of the law enacted this past February that permitted such deportations without formal hearings. He argued that it had “deep historical roots based on the 1943 Korematsu decision that allowed the detention of 130,000 Japanese Americans in 1942 as well as President Washington’s military response to the so-called Whiskey Rebellion in 1791.”

The Pentagon also yesterday sent in federal troops under the 1871 KKK Insurrection Act to a dozen cities where protesters waved signs “Democracy, Not Dictatorship” and “No Jails for Girls After Abortions” — organized by MoveOn, Brady United and the ACLU. Tens of thousands of peaceful marchers in each location appeared shocked to encounter M1 Abrams tanks rolling down city streets to block their paths with tear gas, flash grenades, and rubber bullets. Thirteen students in Atlanta were killed when they stood in front of tanks that wouldn’t stop. All were crushed to death, according to local police reports.

Reporters caught up with President Trump early afternoon in between rounds of golf at his Bedminster Club, which he had dubbed “The Northern White House.” “Well, didn’t Biden do the same thing to me and Rudy when he sent the FBI to raid our homes? Sad about the deaths in Atlanta but, excuse me, what were those protesters doing in front of our tanks? Since national security is our top priority, we will not tolerate local violent insurrections. No one’s above the law, right?”

“Anyway, please remember that today is the exact 250th anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord that made us an exceptional model of Freedom & Democracy.”

A subsequent statement from all 48 Democratic senators, drafted by Elizabeth Warren, rejected what it called ” ‘DictatorDon’s’ campaign of fear, smear and vigilantism. Yet due to the perfect storm of ex-Attorney General Merrick Garland’s unfortunate two year prosecutorial indecision and three criminal trials stalled by defendant Trump and his compliant court — plus the lone holdout that produced a hung jury in the hush-money trial — Donald Trump escaped any guilty verdicts that could have stymied his photo-finish electoral vote win.”

“At the same time,” the Democratic statement concluded, “the ‘Pro-Palestine’ riots at the Chicago DNC Convention in August allowed the Republican nominee to relentlessly run on his campaign theme of ‘Stop Liberal Fascism,’ which discouraged Mainstream Media analyses of rising MAGAutocracy.’ So he’s now the lawful — yet illegitimate — president. But polling at only 28% favorable, King Don will be dethroned by the Rule of Law in a country that still believes in a Democracy ‘of, by and for the people.’ The so-called ‘Party of Lincoln’ should invoke not merely his name but also his words.”

Green was New York City’s first elected public advocate and the author or editor of two dozen books on politics and government, including this month’s “The Inflection Election: Democracy or Fascism in 2024?,” from which this is excerpted.


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