Democrats in Congress are considering updating the Insurrection Act of 1807 to prevent abuse if a Trump-like politician returns to the White House, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
"The discussions are preliminary, and debate over the act has been fraught in the aftermath of Mr. Trump’s presidency. Proponents envision a doomsday scenario in which a rogue future president might try to use the military to stoke — rather than put down — an insurrection, or to abuse protesters. But skeptics worry about depriving a president of the power to quickly deploy armed troops in the event of an uprising, as presidents did during the Civil War and the civil rights era," the newspaper explained.
In June of 2020, Trump threatened to deploy federal troops against Black Lives Matter protesters marching after the police killing of George Floyd. One month later, The Times reported the protests were the largest movement in America's history.
"While no evidence has emerged that Mr. Trump planned to invoke the act to stay in office, people close to him were pushing for him to do so. Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser, attended a meeting in the Oval Office on Dec. 18, 2020, in which participants discussed seizing voting machines, declaring a national emergency and invoking certain national security emergency powers," the newspaper reported. "The idea was also floated by Roger J. Stone Jr., the political operative and longtime confidant of Mr. Trump, who told the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in an interview that Mr. Trump should consider invoking the Insurrection Act."
Jon Moseley, an attorney for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, said his client expected Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act on Jan. 6, 2021.
The DOJ charged the Oath Keepers leader, Stewart Rhodes, with 'seditious conspiracy' related to Jan. 6 riot.\n\nThe group's planning "was about their fanciful idea that ... Trump was going to activate them as a militia under the insurrection act," says his attorney Jon Moseley.pic.twitter.com/vF975RlfgI— New Day (@New Day) 1642164596
“If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” Trump threatened on June 1, 2020 as activists chanted outside the White House.
The law, most recently invoked by President George H.W. Bush to put down unrest in Los Angeles in 1992 after four LAPD cops were acquitted in the caught-on-camera beating of Rodney King, has a long history.
"The law dates to the early 19th century, when President Thomas Jefferson signed it amid concerns that Aaron Burr, his former vice president, was plotting to raise an army," the newspaper reported. "President Andrew Jackson used the act in 1831 to crush Nat Turner’s rebellion of enslaved people. President Abraham Lincoln invoked it during the Civil War. President John F. Kennedy used the law to send troops to enforce the desegregation of Alabama public schools, and President Lyndon B. Johnson invoked it to protect civil rights marchers in Selma, Ala."
Trump is invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807. It's a United States federal law that "governs the ability of the President of the United States to deploy military troops within the United States to suppress civil disorder, insurrection, and rebellion."pic.twitter.com/h0yrqVkOKW— Arash Markazi (@Arash Markazi) 1591052183