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 Government Insanity Continues: Trump invites sheriff to 'destroy' Texas state lawmaker who opposes asset forfeiture

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PostSubject: Government Insanity Continues: Trump invites sheriff to 'destroy' Texas state lawmaker who opposes asset forfeiture   Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:20 pm

President Donald Trump invited the sheriff of a small Texas County to “destroy” the career of a state senator who sought to ban a controversial law enforcement practice by naming the lawmaker during a White House meeting.



At a listening session with county sheriffs from around the country, Trump invited the sheriffs seated in the White House’s Roosevelt Room to make a statement while reporters were present. Rockwall County, Texas, Sheriff Harold Eavenson spoke up first to discuss asset forfeiture, a practice by which law enforcement can seize the cash and property of individuals suspected of committing a crime without a guilty verdict.

Proponents of the practice argue that allows law enforcement to effectively combat terrorism and the drug trade, while opponents, including some conservatives, argue that it allows police to seize assets without due process. Trump’s predecessor, former President Barack Obama, sought to rein in an asset sharing program by which local law enforcement were given a share of whatever assets they seized.

“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,” Eavenson said.

“Can you believe that?” Trump interjected.

“And I told him that the cartel would build a monument to him in Mexico if he could get that legislation passed,” the Texas sheriff continued.

“Who is the state senator? Do you want to give his name? We’ll destroy his career,” Trump replied, presumably suggesting that the lawmaker would suffer for holding a position contrary to the president’s.

The president’s remark elicited laughter from those gathered in the Roosevelt Room, although the president did not join in. Eavenson did not offer the Texas state senator’s name, and the public information officer for the Rockwall County sheriff's office declined to name the lawmaker in question.

Texas state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, a Democrat who introduced civil asset forfeiture legislation last November, told the Texas Tribune on Tuesday that he did not believe Eavenson was referring to him with his remark at the White House because he had never met the sheriff and had never spoken with him. The chief of staff for state Sen, Konni Burton, a Republican who introduced civil asset forfeiture legislation in December and whose district is relatively close to Eavenson's Rockwall County, did not return POLITICO's request for a comment.

Earlier in the listening session, during Eavenson's introduction to the group, the sheriff told Trump that his county "is probably 85 percent Republican, so it was pretty easy for you" and added later that "we're very proud to have you as president." Rockwall County did indeed strongly support Trump in the last election, although not quite to the extent that Eavenson suggested: the county's election results website shows that just over 77 percent of those who cast a straight party-line ballot voted for Republicans, while slightly less than 71 percent of those who opted to pick individual candidates cast their votes for Trump.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-sheriff-asset-forfeiture-texas-234740
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Government Insanity Continues: Trump invites sheriff to 'destroy' Texas state lawmaker who opposes asset forfeiture

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