Trump loyalist pushes ‘post-constitutional’ vision for second term

Trump loyalist pushes ‘post-constitutional’ vision for second term

The Washington Post reports:

A battle-tested D.C. bureaucrat and self-described Christian nationalist is drawing up detailed plans for a sweeping expansion of presidential power in a second Trump administration. Russ Vought, who served as the former president’s budget chief, calls his political strategy for razing long-standing guardrails “radical constitutionalism.”

He has helped craft proposals for Donald Trump to deploy the military to quash civil unrest, seize more control over the Justice Department and assert the power to withhold congressional appropriations — and that’s just on Trump’s first day back in office.

Vought, 48, is poised to steer this agenda from an influential perch in the White House, potentially as Trump’s chief of staff, according to some people involved in discussions about a second term who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.

Since Trump left office, Vought has led the Center for Renewing America, part of a network of conservative advocacy groups staffed by former and potentially future Trump administration officials. Vought’s rise is a reminder that if Trump is reelected, he has said he will surround himself with loyalists eager to carry out his wishes, even if they violate traditional norms against executive overreach.

“We are living in a post-Constitutional time,” Vought wrote in a seminal 2022 essay, which argued that the left has corrupted the nation’s laws and institutions. Last week, after a jury convicted Trump of falsifying business records, Vought tweeted: “Do not tell me that we are living under the Constitution.”

Vought aims to harness what he calls the “woke and weaponized” bureaucracy that stymied the former president by stocking federal agencies with hardcore disciples who would wage culture wars on abortion and immigration. The proposals championed by Vought and other Trump allies to fundamentally reset the balance of power would represent a historic shift — one they see as a needed corrective. [Continue reading…]

Comments are closed.