“We’ll Destroy His Career”: Trump On Senator Who Wants Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform (Video)

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Well, this is disturbing…

Earlier today, President Trump offered to “destroy” the career of a state senator who introduced legislation that a Texas sheriff doesn’t like.

From CNBC:

During a White House listening session with law enforcement, Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson brought up a state senator who introduced a bill requiring that a suspect be convicted before their assets can be seized, an action he opposed. Efforts to stop the practice of seizing assets before conviction have received bipartisan support in the state.

In case you are unfamiliar with civil asset forfeiture, here’s what it is:

Civil asset forfeiture is a nasty legal loophole that allows government thugs to steal your property without charging you with a crime. They can seize your cash, car, bank accounts, jewelry – and even your home or business without arresting you for doing anything wrong.

Under this racket, the government proceeds directly against your property. An individual doesn’t need to be convicted of a crime, so criminal procedure does not apply. And because the forfeiture is against the property, the owner is a third party claimant in related court proceedings.

Your Fifth and Fourteenth amendment rights don’t apply in these cases.

It is, in essence, legalized theft.

It can be VERY expensive and VERY time-consuming to fight to get your property back. Sometimes, the cost of a case is more than the value of the goods stolen, and often people can’t afford to fight back at all. (source)

Federal cops are now officially raking in more “assets” than burglars in this country do.

Listen carefully to what Trump says in this video.

While Eavenson did not provide Trump with any names, The Dallas Morning News reported that two Texas senators have offered legislation this year to require conviction before a person’s assets can be seized (which is a GOOD thing, because as stated above, civil asset forfeiture is a racket and violates Constitutional rights):

Sen. Konni Burton, a Republican who often pushes civil-liberties legislation to protect personal information and property, was a fierce critic of Trump during the campaign. She and Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, a McAllen Democrat, have formed an unlikely team pushing this asset forfeiture legislation.

Hinojosa said he didn’t believe he was the target of Eavenson’s comments. But he said he wasn’t concerned about Trump’s promise to wreak havoc on a senator’s career.

“I don’t know the sheriff,” Hinojosa said. “Quite frankly, I don’t pay much attention to what Trump says anymore.”

Several other senators have also supported this change in the past, including two civil-libertarian Republicans: Bob Hall, whose district includes Rockwall County, and Don Huffines of Dallas.

Eavenson said he didn’t take Trump’s offer seriously:

“He was just being emphatic that he did not agree with that senator’s position.

“I’m not into assassinating his character,”  he added about the unnamed senator.

While I agree that Trump was probably joking about destroying the unnamed senator’s career, something else he said during this conversation is deeply concerning:

Sheriff: “A state senator in Texas was talking about introducing legislation to require conviction before we can receive that forfeiture money.”

Trump: “Can you believe that?”

Can we believe what, Mr. Trump? That some – actually, many – people are against law enforcement officials stealing assets from people who are merely suspected of committing a crime but have not been charged or convicted of any wrongdoing?

If you still don’t fully understand why civil asset forfeiture presents a huge threat to personal property and due process rights, check out the Institute for Justice’s in-depth report on the racket.

During today’s listening session, Trump had this to say about curbing the practice:

“I’d like to look into that. There’s no reason for that.”

Reuters elaborates:

In 2016, a group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill, which did not become law, that would have required the government to do more to show that seized property was connected to a crime. Critics have said suspects have few avenues to challenge the seizures and that forfeiture laws were sometimes abused. Police in some cases seize property from people who are never charged or convicted.

I wonder if Trump actually understands what civil asset forfeiture IS.

After all, he did select Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, and he is a strong supporter of the practice. Sessions has a history of opposing any reform.

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