Today, during a White House meeting, Pres. Trump not only scoffed at the idea of ending unlimited civil asset forfeiture, but even threatened to destroy the career of a state senator in Texas trying to do just that.
An overview of the exchange, via Politico:
“On asset forfeiture, we’ve got a state senator in Texas that was talking about introducing legislation to require conviction before we could receive that forfeiture money,” Eavenson said.
“Can you believe that?” Trump interjected.
“And I told him that the cartel would build a monument to him in Mexico if he could get that legislation passed,” the Texas sheriff continued.
“Who is the state senator? Do you want to give his name? We’ll destroy his career,” Trump replied, presumably suggesting that the lawmaker would suffer for holding a position contrary to the president’s.
The bill in question in Texas is SB156 from Sen. Juan Hinojosa (D-Dist. 20). However, a slew of bills to deal with the rampant abuse of forfeiture by law enforcement has been filed by both democrats and republicans in Texas, most notably SB380 from Sen. Konni Burton (R-Fort Worth).
I generally don’t like to blog about the personal traits of the president – but this attack on efforts to restrain asset forfeiture can’t be ignored. It tells me one of three things:
- Trump is just trying to cozy up to the law enforcement community (all of which seem to oppose any limits on their power)
- Trump doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.
- Trump’s word should be taken at face-value.
Any of these three are dangerous.
Learn about the Asset Forfeiture “Federal Loophole” in this video:
Michael Boldin [send him email] is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, where this article first appeared. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.Follow him on twitter – @michaelboldin, on LinkedIn, and on Facebook.