MSNBC political contributor Jason Johnson drove himself into a tizzy on Thursday over a hypothetical situation in which President Trump comes up with an excuse to shut down voting in California and proceeded to tell host Nicolle Wallace that "we’re not talking hypotheticals."
Johnson said the arguments being made by Trump's defense team in the Senate impeachment trial were that he has the power to do what ever he wants to stay in power.
"And when people spout nonsense, whether it’s Dershowitz or whether it’s Fox News, Donald Trump always listens. The scenario that he set up yesterday by basically saying the President can do whatever he wants, imagine Donald Trump deciding sometime in June, 'Well, I heard this conspiracy theory that a whole lot of legal immigrants voted in California, so I’ve decided that during the presidential election California has to undergo extreme vetting because we can’t trust their votes. We’re going to shut down voting in a state.’ This is literally the kind of thing he will do now. We’re not talking hypotheticals anymore," Johnson said.
"That’s the part that I think disturbs me. For all these people who are worried about their elections, we’re talking about the actual country," he continued. "Anything he will do to Joe Biden, he will do to a senator, he’ll do to a senator in his own party/ So why people aren’t concerned, why people don’t realize that this is step one to actual autocracy — not the theoretical one, not the one we talk about in class, but an actual president who will say, ‘This state’s votes don’t count. These people don’t have a right to vote. These people can’t come into the country.’"
"I don’t understand how anyone cannot be terrified, not just angry, but literally terrified about what the future will bring," he added.
Johnson's comments were criticized as being hysterical and hyperbolic. Johnson defended his segment, stating, "The law is only as powerful as those who uphold or enforce it. Who's actually going to check him?"
The president declares a state of emergency citing actionable intelligence that non-citizens are voting and potentially disrupting the election. Initiates laws to "prevent" it. The law is only as powerful as those who uphold or enforce it. Who's actually going to check him?— Jason Johnson (@DrJasonJohnson) January 30, 2020