Sen. J.D. Vance called on the Justice Department to investigate a Washington Post contributor who wrote an op-ed on resisting another Donald Trump term, should the former president win the general election in November 2024.
The Ohio Republican wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week expressing concern that an opinion piece written by editor at large Robert Kagan encouraged "open rebellion" as a way of preventing a Trump "dictatorship."
"I wish to address to your attention a recent opinion piece published in the pages of a widely-circulated American newspaper," Vance wrote. "Based on my review of public charging documents that the Department of Justice has filed in courts of law, I suspect that one or both of you might characterize this article as an invitation to 'insurrection,' a manifestation of criminal 'conspiracy,' or an attempt to bring about civil war.
"After declaring that the odds of an American dictatorship in the next few years are 'pretty good' and that '[t]hose who hope to be saved [from dictatorship] by a U.S. military devoted to the protection of the Constitution are living in a fantasyland,' writer Robert Kagan — an editor at large at The Washington Post — proceeded to the conclusion that a second Trump presidency would justify secession, treason, and (likely) political violence," he continued.
In his piece, Kagan theorized that "resistance could come from the governors of predominantly Democratic states such as California and New York through a form of nullification. States with Democrat governors and statehouses could refuse to recognize the authority of a tyrannical federal government."
"That is always an option in our federal system," he added.
According to Mediaite, Trump himself promoted the article on his social media platform, Truth Social, when he shared a post from Rep. Cory Mills, R-Fla., that linked to the article.
On X, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., shared a screenshot of the Washington Post article and said the paper was "obviously green-lighting assassination" of the former president.
Vance requested that Garland and Blinken respond by Jan. 6, 2024, as to whether the Department of Justice would be investigating the matter. He also asked whether the department agreed with Kagan's position that states can simply "flout the federal government" when they don't agree with it.
The senator then asked how the DOJ distinguishes "between heated political rhetoric and evidence of a conspiracy to violate rights or rebel against the United States" and questioned whether acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who is married to Kagan, would have her security clearance reevaluated, given "her husband's call for rebellion."
Nicole Wells ✉
Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.
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