At a listening session with sheriffs President Donald Trump threatened to “destroy” the career of a lawmaker in support of civil asset forfeiture reform.
Asset forfeiture is a law enforcement practice in which cash and property is seized from someone who is charged of a crime – typically a drug-related crime – but before they are actually convicted. Opponents of this practice argue that it’s unconstitutional as it strips an individual of their rightful property without due process. Most of the time the cash and property is never returned, even if the individual is never convicted.
During the listening session Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson stated his concerns regarding a measure that would end such practices without a conviction (a change many states are considering, or have already made).
“On asset forfeiture, we’ve got a state senator in Texas that was talking about introducing legislation to require conviction before we could receive that forfeiture money”, said Eavenson.
Trump responded by saying “Can you believe that? Who is the state senator? Do you want to give his name? We’ll destroy his career”.
As noted by Politico, the audience laughed at Trump’s statement, but he did not join in; a potential indication that he was entirely serious.
Eavenson refrained from naming the lawmaker.