GOP Rep. Compares Trump’s Conviction To Nazis' Rise To Power In 1930s Germany

WASHINGTON ― Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-Wis.) said Donald Trump’s felony conviction last week shows that Democrats are on a quest for power akin to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi takeover of Germany in the 1930s.

In a Friday interview on a local Wisconsin podcast, “The Meg Ellefson Show,” Van Orden spun offensive and full-blown conspiracies about Trump’s conviction being part of a coordinated plan by the Democratic Party, the media and the U.S. justice system to stop him from becoming president. He urged people to read books he said would help them understand his theory, including “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William Shirer.

“He does an incredibly detailed, methodical step-by-step of what the Nazis did to gain ultimate power in Germany,” Van Orden said. “The historical references and the similarities, the similarities to what the Democrat Party has been doing, they cannot be denied at this point. You simply cannot deny them.”

He also claimed Democrats are manipulating the entire justice system to take down Trump, recommending a book on the Soviet Union’s gulag system.

“The Democrats are going to start shouting, saying this guy, ‘He’s a convicted felon. He’s a convicted felon,’” said Van Orden. “Every single person that was sentenced to decades in the gulag and died there, committed suicide there because it was so dreary, every single one of them was convicted by a court in the Soviet Union. All of them. And what the Biden administration and the leftists have done is they have essentially destroyed the confidence in the American judicial system for over half the country.”

Republicans in Congress have largely reacted to Trump’s conviction by attacking the judge, the verdict and the rule of law itself. Van Orden has decidedly gone a step further.

He urged people to read George Orwell’s dystopian novel, “1984,” claiming it illustrates the lengths Democrats will go to spread propaganda and distort reality. He compared the book’s protagonist, Winston, to President Joe Biden, and again invoked Nazis.

“His job is to go back into history and change history if it doesn’t reflect the current outlook that the regime wants,” Van Orden said of Winston. “You’re seeing that take place right now. Joe Biden is going back and retroactively changing the stuff that they’ve been doing and the media is complicit with it. Let’s remember that the term ‘propaganda’ came from the Nazi Party. That was Joseph Goebbels.”

(Nazis did not create the term “propaganda.” It first came onto the scene in 1622, when Pope Gregory XV created the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, per the American Historical Association. It was adopted into its common use during World War I.)

“If you can’t look at the left-wing media … and see that they’re marching lockstep together and pushing a consistent message over all different forms of media, then you’re blind,” the Wisconsin Republican added.

Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-Wis.) says Donald Trump's felony conviction shows that Democrats are like Nazis in 1930s Germany.
Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-Wis.) says Donald Trump's felony conviction shows that Democrats are like Nazis in 1930s Germany. Tom Williams via Getty Images

Elsewhere in the interview, Van Orden claimed the Democratic Party has taken over America’s law schools, universities, politics and the media — just like Nazis did.

“That’s what Joseph Goebbels did by having the Ministry of Propaganda,” he said. “You get the judiciary by sending people to law school and having these radicals teach our kids this stuff. That’s what Hitler did. That’s what Stalin did. And that’s what Mao Zedong did, like, bam, bam, bam. All verifiable history stuff.”

A Van Orden spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on why he thinks it is even remotely accurate or appropriate to compare Democrats to Nazis.

In reality, Biden did not travel back in time to change the future, Democrats don’t control America’s schools or justice system, and Trump last week was unanimously convicted by a jury of his peers in a New York state court.

The Republican presidential hopeful was found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide election-year hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, an adult film star who said she had sex with Trump in 2006. Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, testified that he delivered the money on the former president’s behalf and disguised it as payments for other services.

Van Orden’s bonkers response to Trump’s conviction is only a little more removed from reality than how his GOP colleagues have reacted. Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and others have falsely claimed the twice-impeached former president is the victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy. Even they stopped at invoking Nazis, though.

Ironically, Van Orden spent Thursday in France with Biden and other political leaders to mark the 80th anniversary of the invasion at Normandy, when allied forces launched a surprise attack that helped liberate Europe from Nazi Germany. He was one of a group of lawmakers who planned to commemorate the day by parachuting into Normandy.

During the trip, he posted a video of himself on social media visiting a museum in Normandy with Nazi helmets and equipment on display.

“They didn’t need them anymore. You know why?” Van Orden said into the camera. “Because we kicked their asses.”