When Barack Obama spoke the Republican nominee’s name at the Democratic National Convention, the room erupted in a cacophony of jeers.
“Don’t boo — vote,” the president replied.
On Friday, Donald Trump debuted his own, idiosyncratic version of this sentiment. At a rally in North Carolina, the GOP standard-bearer branded Hillary Clinton “the most corrupt politician ever to seek the office of the presidency.” His supporters affirmed this charge with a vigorous “lock her up” chant.
“Well, let’s do this. Let’s do this … November 8, let’s win. ” Trump proposed. “We win, we have lots of options. But we gotta win.”
In other words: Don’t shout “lock her up” — elect me so that I can abuse my executive powers to actually imprison our political enemy.
As Politico notes, some of those “options” may be even more fantastical than the prospect of Trump actually coming back to win on November 8.
Back in March, Trump was asked what he’d be looking for in a Supreme Court nominee. The mogul said that he would select “people that would look very seriously” at Clinton’s “email disaster.” (Auditing the Executive branch’s internal investigation into the mishandling of classified information is not a thing the Supreme Court does).
Trump’s primary proposal for locking up Clinton — instructing his Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to look into her behavior at the State Department — is closer to plausible, but still problematic. The president does not have the legal authority to order the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor. However, Trump could appoint an Attorney General who he knows is interested in investigating Clinton. But then, why involve a special prosecutor? Why not let Attorney General Chris Christie just conduct the witch hunt himself?
All of which is to say: The GOP nominee’s plans for jailing his political rival seem a little half-baked. Fortunately for Trump, there is little chance he’ll ever need to refine those plans.