Trump allies planning to invoke Insurrection Act if he wins 2024 race, says report

Donald Trump’s conservative allies are crafting a blueprint for a Republican presidency in 2025 which could include the use of US troops to put down protests and acts of civil disobedience across the US resulting from a Trump 2024 election victory.

In an extensive report published on Sunday, The Washington Post detailed the work being done under the umbrella of “Project 2025”, an effort by a coalition of conservative groups to prepare a policy and governing agenda for a GOP president. Though none of its connections to the Trump campaign are official, the Post reports that the coalition has ties to a number of members of Mr Trump’s inner circle, including most prominently Jeffrey Clark, the former assistant US attorney general who is now facing criminal charges in Fulton County, Georgia.

Mr Clark, who is thought to have been one of the key minds behind the development of the Trump campaign’s effort to overturn the 2020 election after court challenges had failed to do so, serves as a fellow at the Center for Renewing America, one of the groups involved in the effort. According to the Post, Mr Clark is now working on a new “legal” effort — a plan to go after Donald Trump’s enemies, prominent and otherwise, beginning on day one of a second Trump presidency.

The Post reports that Mr Clark’s work in this regard includes plans to weaponise the Justice Department against specific individuals deemed to be traitors to the Trump cause — former Joint Chiefs chairman Mark Milley, ex-Attorney General Bill Barr, former White House chief of staff John Kelly, to name a few. But the plans also include executive orders, in the process of being drafted, that would invoke the Insurrection Act upon Mr Trump’s inauguration thereby allowing the use of US military forces to quell protests within the US.

It would mark the first time in decades that the legislation, intended to protect the US government and other entities from domestic unrest, would be invoked. Past uses of the Insurrection Act have included efforts to quell labour strikes and even to desegregate schools in the American south.

Several groups involved with Project 2025 commented on the matter in the Post’s report, including the Heritage Foundation which denied that usage of the Insurrection Act or plans to “target political enemies” were part of Project 2025’s work. Project 2025’s director Paul Dans issued a statement in general defence of Mr Clark’s work.

Mr Clark declined to comment when contacted by the Post specifically about the Insurrection Act and his work on the matter. The Independent has reached out to Project 2025 for comment on efforts to draft executive orders invoking the Insurrection Act.

The former assistant US attorney general is now facing two felony counts in Georgia related to the Trump campaign’s efforts to change the election results in that state; Mr Trump and his team spent the days after the 2020 election pressuring Georgia officials to believe spurious claims of voter fraud and election shenanigans that state experts repeatedly said were nonsense, and in one instance the president himself even asked the state’s top elections official to “find” thousands of votes to add to his total.

Like the others who were charged in Fulton County, Mr Clark is facing accusations of violating the state’s RICO statute, which is designed to take down criminal enterprises. Those who have plead guilty in the case so far have seen that charged dropped by prosecutors, but if Mr Clark or others are convicted on that charge at trial they face mandatory prison sentences.