Robert Reich: Trump’s Latest Threat Is A Doozy – OpEd


Donald Trump recently threatened that if he is indicted on a charge of mishandling classified documents after leaving the White House, there would be “problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before,” adding “I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it.”

These words followed on last month’s threat by Senator Lindsey Graham that if Trump is prosecuted, there would be “riots in the street.” Trump appeared to endorse Graham’s threat, sharing a video link on his Truth Social platform.

Trump’s latest threat requires four responses:

1. Trump is daring the Justice Department to prosecute him, in effect asserting he is above the law. He is not above the law. The Justice Department is methodically and carefully sifting through evidence and presenting it to a grand jury. 

Neither the Department nor the grand jury should be intimidated by Trump’s latest threat.

2. Trump’s rhetoric is dangerous. We have already seen the consequences of what happens when Trump invites a mob to the streets. Five people died on January 6, 2021. Many more – including members of Congress and the former Vice President – could have been killed on that day. Since the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s incendiary words have fueled death threats to numerous federal officials, judges, and lawmakers. 

All Americans should condemn Trump’s latest threat and incitement to violence. 

3. We are dealing with a sociopathic narcissist who wants nothing more than to divide the nation over himself. This is not a matter of left versus right, liberal versus conservative, Democrat versus Republican. It is a question of the Constitution and the rule of law versus authoritarianism and tyranny. If Trump prevails — if he intimidates law-enforcement officials from doing their jobs over his attempted coup or his theft from the White House of secret documents — we lose our democracy. 

The media must stop covering this as if there are two sides to this story. There are not.

4. The time has come for Republican lawmakers, candidates, and rightwing media owners and personalities to show some backbone and vigorously repudiate Trump. Their failure to do so before now has created a monster that threatens to consume this country. It is up to them to tell their constituents, followers, readers and viewers that there is no place in America for Trump’s threats to law enforcement and his incitements to violence. 

Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Lindsey Graham, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Rupert Murdoch, and others must say it loudly and clearly: We repudiate Trump and his threats. No person is above the law.

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, and writes at Reich served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

3 thoughts on “Robert Reich: Trump’s Latest Threat Is A Doozy – OpEd

  • September 18, 2022 at 4:08 pm

    An accurate analysis of the legal problem that stands before us. But is that enough to stop a cult driven mob who supports a demigod who is mentally ill. This is the eternal struggle of living In a democratic country. History of empires shows that the odds for democracy is slim. Certain people know they can profit personally when a country disintegrates. The best way to win a war is to let competing factions destroy their own country

  • September 18, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    The best synopsis of “The Trump Problem” I’ve read. In a few concise paragraphs Mr. Reich tells his readers we are in jeopardy and what we, “all democratic citizens of these United States”, must do to change the outcome.

    I applaud you Mr. Reich.

  • September 19, 2022 at 6:24 am

    Trump requested troops prior to the January 6th mess and Pelosi refused. Trump never wanted violence of any kind but he is right about people being ticked off. Trump has been treated poorly and hasn’t committed any crimes. There is ample evidence of foul play from the left. The poor excuse of a president we currently have is in CYA mode to protect his son and himself of serious crimes. The gloves are coming off.


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