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FACT SHEET: Five Ways Trump’s ‘Project 2025’ Threatens Democracy

Jul 10, 2024

Trump and MAGA Republicans have spent the past four years crafting a blueprint to cement total control over our country. Ever since they failed to overturn the results of the 2020 election on January 6th, Trump and his allies have been eager to remake the government in his image. Earlier this year, they released the culmination of these efforts: Project 2025, a policy roadmap authored by far-right extremists and key members of Trump’s inner circle.

Project 2025 is a 920-page plan to consolidate power in the presidency, like other authoritarian regimes, gutting our system of checks and balances that protects Americans’ freedoms, and weaponizing the justice system to go after their political opponents. The plan challenges the Constitution and eliminates checks and balances, enabling partisan loyalists to go after whoever they disagree with. Not only is democracy on the line, but the very rule of law is under threat. The founder of the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank behind Project 2025, said just last week: “We are in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be.” These extremists will stop at nothing to seize power over our country.

Trump has made it clear that he has no intentions to respect the rule of law or constitutional norms this time around, and is already openly discussing an unconstitutional third term in office. Trump loyalists are pushing a “post-Constitutional” vision for the country, with one high-profile far-right policy wonk who contributed to Project 2025, Russ Vought, openly writing proposals for Trump to remake the federal government in his interests. Trump praised this agenda at a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser, telling supporters he would “do a great job in continuing our quest to make America great again.”

Here are five key ways Trump and his Project 2025 blueprint threatens democracy:

1. Project 2025 Will Eliminate Checks and Balances Protecting American Democracy By Installing Thousands of Trump Loyalists and MAGA Ideologues As Civil Servants. The plan calls for the firing of tens of thousands of federal civil servants, replacing them with far-right employees loyal to Trump who could use federal power to benefit their movement and target political opponents. It even includes a database full of ideologues to serve as replacements. 

2. Project 2025 Challenges The Constitution, Concentrating Power & Fomenting Authoritarianism. Project 2025 consolidates power in the presidency by restructuring the federal government to concentrate power in the hands of partisan loyalists by replacing civil servants while decentralizing and privatizing huge portions of the federal government. Project 2025’s policies follow the same playbook that dictators and authoritarian regimes have followed repeatedly throughout the last century, challenging the Constitution’s core democratic aims. The groups behind Project 2025 have even borrowed policies from authoritarian Hungarian President Viktor Orban.

3. Project 2025 Upends Key Democratic Institutions Upholding The Rule of Law. Project 2025 maps out numerous proposals for weaponizing the government against political opponents. House Republicans have already been working to defund the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI, and Project 2025 recommends that a second Trump administration use the DOJ to sue district attorneys who use their prosecutorial discretion in ways that MAGA Republicans don’t like. These plans suggest that Trump could sue local prosecutors in retaliation for his criminal investigations and convictions. The blueprint also includes plans to demote the FBI and revoke the FBI Director’s 10-year term. The changes shift the FBI under DOJ purview, forcing the FBI director – who would be easier to replace – to report to a Trump appointee. Trump himself has also indicated that he would revoke the DOJ’s traditional independence and once again intervene directly in prosecutorial decisions. 

4. Project 2025 Guts Checks and Balances by Consolidating Power in the Oval Office. Project 2025 proposes gutting the checks and balances that are central to American democracy. The roadmap calls for weakening the independence of federal agencies –  including the Federal Reserve, DOJ, and FBI, in addition to abolishing the Department of Education – making it easier for right-wing loyalists and political appointees to act without oversight and target whoever they disagree with.

5. Spearheaded By Trump’s Inner Circle, Trump and Project 2025’s Authors Are Floating “Post-Constitutional” Visions For America. Project 2025 was authored by dozens of Trump administration affiliates, including former cabinet members and top White House staffers. Key figures involved in plans to overturn the 2020 presidential election are also involved in Project 2025, including Ken Cuccinelli and Peter Navarro. Cuccinelli, who Trump unlawfully appointed to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), reduced oversight of the DHS’s intelligence arm, ordered DHS to downplay threats from Russia and white supremacy groups while leading the agency, and oversaw things after the 2020 election. Navarro promoted Trump’s baseless claims of mass voter fraud and faced jail time for refusing to cooperate with federal January 6 investigators. Other contributors include Stephen Miller, religious fundamentalists, hate groups, and climate deniers. And, Trump recently named Russ Vought, the prominent Christian nationalist who contributed to Project 2025, as a policy director for the party’s 2024 platform.