WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator JD Vance (R-OH) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of State Antony Blinken in response to a November 30 column by Robert Kagan in The Washington Post, where Kagan appears to encourage insurrection against a potential Donald Trump presidency.
Senator Vance points out that prosecutors under Attorney General Garland’s command have used broad interpretations of the law in order to prosecute President Trump, and asks whether the Department of Justice is considering any similar interpretations of law that would apply to Mr. Kagan or his publisher, The Washington Post.
Senator Vance’s letter reads, in part:
“I wish to address to your attention a recent opinion piece published in the pages of a widely-circulated American newspaper. 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…
“Excuse me? I must have missed that day in civics class. Our system of federalism prescribes a robust role for state governments and often allows for local resolution of local matters. But “[t]he Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union.” “[F]ederal authority is supreme,” and “arguments by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson for state nullification . . . have long since [been] rejected.” Never mind that our country endured the horror of civil war hoping to put to bed the idea that states can ignore lawful federal authority when it inconveniences them. According to Robert Kagan, the prospect of a second Donald Trump presidency is terrible enough to justify open rebellion against the United States, along with the political violence that would inevitably follow…
“To assuage my curiosity, please answer the following questions by January 6, 2024:
- Will the Department of Justice open an investigation into Robert Kagan for potential violations of 18 U.S.C. § 241, 18 U.S.C. § 2383, or any other federal criminal statute? If not, what factors counsel against such an investigation? Why were those factors inapplicable in President Trump’s case?
- Does the Department of Justice agree with Robert Kagan that, should they perceive federal authority to be tyrannical, the states of California and New York would be free to flout the federal government?
- How does the Department of Justice distinguish between heated political rhetoric and evidence of a conspiracy to violate rights or rebel against the United States? In the view of the Department of Justice, could a demand for “nullification” or secession “intimidate” a voter into changing his behavior at the ballot box?
- Will the State Department review Victoria Nuland’s security clearance in light of her husband’s call for rebellion against the United States? If not, why not?”