It was probably the most repeated soundbite of the Sunday night debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
CLINTON: It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.
TRUMP: Because you’d be in jail.
An off-the-cuff response that garnered immediate reaction in the debate hall (despite strict rules against such displays of partisan cheer-leading) as well as on social media.
It followed a moment just minutes before where Trump promised to direct his Attorney General to investigate the multiple scandals that have been left unexplored under the Obama Administration:
But when you talk about apology, I think the one that you should really be apologizing for and the thing that you should be apologizing for are the 33,000 e-mails that you deleted, and that you acid washed, and then the two boxes of e-mails and other things last week that were taken from an office and are now missing.
And I’ll tell you what. I didn’t think I’d say this, but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it. But if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it, and we’re going to have a special prosecutor.
So, clearly, the mainstream media had to neutralize its impact immediately.
It began with NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell on Twitter:
Ttrying to get my head around a candidate declaring if he wins he'll get Justice Dept to appoint a special prosecutor to lock up opponent
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) October 10, 2016
Dana Bash took the ball and ran with it on CNN after the debate by comparing Trump’s remark to Hitler, because, you know… deplorables.
“Not to sound too corny, but what makes this country different from countries with dictators in Africa, or Stalin or Hitler, or any of those countries with dictators and totalitarian leaders is that when they took over, they put their opponents in jail.”
Clearly, the Hitler and Stalin comparison wasn’t enough. CNN followed up with a post at CNN.com detailing how Trump is just like a 3rd world dictator:
Vladimir Putin is often accused of jailing his political opponents. A prominent example: Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former oligarch and Putin opponent, spent 10 years in prison on charges many believe were politically motivated. He now lives in exile in Switzerland.
Leopoldo Lopez, an opposition leader in Venezuela, is serving a 14-year prison sentence on charges that a former prosecutor says were fabricated by the government.
Taiwan’s former president, Chen Shui-bian, was jailed on corruption charges that he says were politically motivated after his political party lost power in 2008.
Augusto Pinochet assumed power in Chile after a coup in 1973, disappearing and arresting political opponents.
The comparisons to blood-thirsty dictators continues in the post, including details of state-ordered executions in North Korea and under Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe.
Just one problem, Trump did not declare that he would suspend the constitution and jail Clinton if he becomes president as the article suggests and as the dictators in CNN’s examples did. He specifically said he would have his Attorney General appoint a special prosecutor to “look into” Clinton’s email scandal. Later, he speculated that Clinton would be in jail as an impromptu response to Clinton’s attack on him.
Let’s be clear, the only reason for a special prosecutor under in a Trump Administration is because a majority of the American people think Clinton broke the law, according to a poll detailed in The Hill:
The vast majority of Americans believe Hillary Clinton either broke the law or exercised bad judgment by using a private email server that triggered an FBI investigation, according to a new poll.
A full 92 percent of Americans in an Associated Press-GfK poll said that Clinton’s email setup either broke the law or was in “poor judgment.”
A majority said her actions were criminal.
And yet, the Attorney General under Barack Obama has been unable to muster any sort of legitimate investigation into Clinton’s behavior. Moreover, the FBI investigation into the behavior appears now to have been fixed from the start with the FBI granting unprecedented immunity to key players in the scandal. Finally, the Attorney General met privately with Clinton’s husband just days before the FBI announced the conclusions of their investigation. A meeting that FBI agents ordered reporters to ignore.
Given all of that, wouldn’t it be fair to say it’s the Obama Administration delivering banana republic-style justice?