MAGA Movement Plans Ruthless Abuse of Power by a New Trump White House

Former Trump official Russ Vought runs the Center for Renewing America (Image from Intercessors for America prayer call July 17, 2021)

Right Wing Watch reported in June 2022 that on the same day the Trump-enhanced right-wing Supreme Court majority overturned Roe v. Wade, a coalition of Christian nationalist, voter suppression, anti-LGBTQ-equality, Big Lie-promoting, and Trump-cheerleading groups had publicly launched a project that would “position the movement to take the reins of government” after a Republican victory in the 2024 presidential election.

Since then, the right-wing coalition has expanded, and reporting by national media outlets has fleshed out some frightening specifics of the “Project 2025” plan to conduct an ideological purge of the civil service and turn the entire executive branch into an enforcement arm of the MAGA movement—and if former President Donald Trump is elected, a weapon for personal retribution against his enemies.

The Washington Post reported Nov. 5 that Trump and some former administration officials are scheming with Project 2025 to abandon a rule-of-law principle embraced for decades that the Justice Department’s law enforcement decisions should be free of political pressure from the president.

Russ Vought, a former Trump official who launched a MAGA movement think tank after Trump’s defeat, told the Post, “You need an attorney general and a White House Counsel’s Office that don’t view themselves as trying to protect the department from the president.”

Even worse, Jeffrey Clark, who tried in the final days of the Trump administration to throw the weight of the Justice Department behind Trump’s false claims about the stolen election, is leading efforts to set the stage for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act to deploy the U.S. military against American citizens—a step that some far-right leaders had urged Trump to take in 2020 to stay in power.

Politico also reported this month on a complementary project called American Moment launched after Trump’s defeat to recruit and vet young ideological warriors who would be prepared to fill lower level administration jobs created by mass firings of civil service employees. American Moment would provide an army of foot soldiers to carry out the battle plans against the “deep state” ordered by the higher-ranking officials that Project 2025 is preparing to put in place. American Moment is officially part of the Project 2025 coalition. Vought is among the MAGA movement leaders helping train American Moment’s operatives, who have served internships with Sens. J.D. Vance, Josh Hawley and Marco Rubio.

American Moment was launched with more than $300,000 from the Conservative Partnership Institute, which as Politico noted “has become a sort of administration-in-exile for former Trump staffers.” CPI has been an institutional home to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Trump attorney Cleta Mitchell, who participated in the notorious call on which Trump badgered Georgia’s secretary of states to “find” him the votes he needed to win the state, and was later picked to head up CPI’s “election integrity” project, which has lobbied against federal voting rights legislation.

Recognizing the threat that Trump and his MAGA Republican allies across the country pose to our rights and freedoms, People For the American Way is encouraging supporters to take a pledge to vote against authoritarian MAGA candidates and for progressive candidates in local, state, and federal elections.

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