Elizabeth Warren says she'll prioritize going after the Trump administration's crimes if she becomes president

Elizabeth Warren says she'll prioritize going after the Trump administration's crimes if she becomes president
Elizabeth Warren LGBTQ Town Hall Screengrab

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a leading presidential candidate, announced on Tuesday that she plans to set up U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) task force that would investigate the “corruption and incompetence” of President Donald Trump’s administration.

The Democratic presidential hopeful, in her announcement, argued that if Trump is voted out of office this year, it will be necessary to clean up the mess he will leave behind.

“Donald Trump will leave behind a government that has been infected by corruption and incompetence, and his vindictive actions as president suggest that he is likely to do everything he can to undermine the next president,” Warren asserts on her website. “We cannot assume that everything will be fine once Donald Trump leaves office. The next president will need to have the energy, expertise and vision to safeguard our country, rebuild the government swiftly, and make fundamental changes so that it works for the American people.”

Warren goes on to list some of the reforms she has in mind, and they range from “remove all political appointees” to “prevent political appointees from burrowing into career positions.” The DOJ task force , Warren writes, would “investigate corruption” under Trump’s administration and “hold government officials accountable for illegal activity.”

“Donald Trump has run the most corrupt administration in history,” Warren asserts. “He was impeached for withholding foreign aid in an effort to try to benefit his reelection campaign. He has enriched himself and his business through the power of his office. And there are public reports of potentially illegal corruption in every corner of his administration.”

Historian Angus Johnston observes that one of the most important things about Warren’s proposal is her desire to “vest independent authority in the task force” — which, Johnston asserts, “must not be beholden to her control or influence.” That's what would make her effort distinct from Trump's clear desire to use the Justice Department to prosecute his enemies.

In a Twitter thread, Johnston notes that Warren’s proposal for a DOJ anti-corruption task force “goes way beyond criminal prosecutions — she’s pledging to remove bad actors, review questionable appointments and contracts, and put new oversight staff in place on a fast track.”

Johnston likes the fact that Warren proposes checks and balances for her proposed DOJ task force, writing, “Its role must be to follow the facts where the evidence leads, and act accordingly.”

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