You may remember that the “Queen of Hearts” in the Disney version of “Alice in Wonderland” had one solution to all her grievances. It was “off with their heads.” Metaphorically, former Trump adviser and current podcaster Steve Bannon reminds me of the cartoon character.
Bannon, who is currently under indictment and awaiting trial for Contempt of Congress, has been calling for the jailing of various perceived enemies of President Trump. In many cases, he is boldly predicting that they WILL be incarcerated after Republicans take control of Congress and the presidency.
Foremost in Bannon’s crosshairs is Trump’s 2016 presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton. That is not new. For the past four years, Bannon and other Trump folks have been in the front row of the chorus chanting, “lock her up.” While many in the Trump base would like to see Clinton behind bars, the odds are heavily against that ever happening.
The best Bannon can hope for is the indictment and conviction of a few of the Clinton operatives responsible for the debunked Steele dossier. Those cases are currently being investigated by Special Counsel John Durham – and already Clinton operative Michael Sussmann has been indicted by a Grand Jury.
Bannon is going further afield with predictions that two more major Republican honchos will go to jail. One of them is former Attorney General William Barr and the other is FBI Director Christopher Wray – two people appointed by Trump. And those are only at the top of the list. Both Bannon and Trump repeatedly point to people who they believe should be – and will be – investigated if the GOP takes control of Congress.
Congress, however, cannot prosecute crimes. They can only investigate and send criminal referrals over to the Department of Justice. That means for any of Bannon’s dreams to come true, Republicans would have to win the White House in 2024. If it is someone other than Trump, it is unlikely that criminal cases would be pursued against any of the major players on the Bannon enemy list. A non-Trump Republican administration is more likely to focus on democrat wrong-doers – with Hunter Biden (and possibly “the big man”) as the top targets.
The lock ‘em up rhetoric on both sides is mostly political hyperbole. I expect both sides to be disappointed when the major players on the other side do not wind up in the hoosegow.
So, there ‘tis.