As Trump continues to throw gasoline on the fire, he's also taking advantage of the chaos to make his move to start rounding up dissidents by declaring people to be "Antifa" and declaring Antifa to be a domestic terrorist organization.
President Trump said on Twitter on Sunday that the United States would designate a group of far-left anti-fascism activists as a terrorist organization, a declaration that lacked any clear legal authority, as his administration sought to blame the group for violent protests across the nation over the weekend.
“The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization,” Mr. Trump wrote.
The president has periodically criticized antifa, a contraction of the word “anti-fascist” that has come to be associated with a diffuse movement of left-wing protesters who engage in more aggressive techniques like vandalism.
But it was not clear that Mr. Trump’s declaration would have any real meaning beyond his characteristic attempts to stir a culture-war controversy, attract attention and please his conservative base.
First, antifa is not an organization. It does not have a leader, membership roles or any defined, centralized structure. Rather, it is a vaguely defined movement of people who share common protest tactics and targets.
More important, even if antifa were a real organization, the laws that permit the federal government to deem entities terrorists and impose sanctions on them are limited to foreign groups. There is no domestic terrorism law, despite periodic proposals to create one.
“There is no authority under law to do that — and if such a statute were passed, it would face serious First Amendment challenges,” said Mary B. McCord, a former head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “But right now, the only terrorist authority is for foreign terrorist organizations.”
In dealing with effectively domestic terrorism investigations into neo-Nazi organizations like the Base and Atomwaffen Division, for example, the F.B.I. has treated them as criminal enterprises.
Nevertheless, in a statement after Mr. Trump’s tweet, Attorney General William P. Barr said the F.B.I. would use its partnerships with state and local police to identify violent protesters, whom he also called domestic terrorists.
“The violence instigated and carried out by antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly,” Mr. Barr said.
Let's not forget Trump did this before, treating protesters at his inauguration as domestic terrorists, locking up dozens and charging them with federal rioting felonies before the courts acquitted multiple people and dismissed charges against everyone else.
No, Trump wants show trials to distract from the fact the country is burning itself to the ground under his "leadership" and he's most likely going to get them.