Ron DeSantis' Presidential Plan to Dismantle the 'Deep State'

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

Florida Governor and GOP presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis has revealed his ambitious plan to dismantle and reorganize the executive branch of the federal government if he wins the White House in 2024. DeSantis has been privately discussing a “Day One” strategy with advisors and strategists, aiming for a “disciplined” and “relentless” operation to rein in the power of the executive branch aligning it with what the “Founding Fathers envisioned.” 


His plan aims at the justice system, which conservatives deem to be weaponized especially amid the federal indictment of former President Donald Trump, who is currently the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. According to senior outside advisors, the goal ought to be returning the DOJ and FBI to a more limited “pre-9/11” mission. 

On the campaign trail, DeSantis pointed to the Trump indictment as well as the impacts affecting the lives of ordinary Americans, telling a Greensboro, North Carolina audience:

And is there a different standard for a Democrat Secretary of State versus a former Republican president? I think there needs to be one standard of justice in this country. Let’s enforce it on everybody and make sure we all know the rules. You can’t have one faction of society weaponizing the power of the state against factions that it doesn’t like, and that’s what you see. And here’s the thing… there’s obviously very high-profile examples.

DeSantis went on give examples of weaponization of the government against ordinary Americans like pro-life advocates and parents attending school board meetings, saying:

It’s not just affecting people at the top, it’s affecting people all throughout our country.

In private conversations, DeSantis expressed his determination to prevent power from being geographically centralized in the District of Columbia, stating:


We’re not going to let all this power accumulate in Washington, we’re going to break up these agencies.

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DeSantis also revealed his plan to relocate parts of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to different regions of the country, aiming to align the agency more closely with the vision of the founding fathers. In the private call, it is reported that DeSantis said that he will order “some of the problematic components of the DOJ” to be reorganized and “shipped to other parts of the country.”

DeSantis criticized the DOJ and FBI, accusing them of targeting pro-life activists, targeting parents at school board meetings, and colluding with tech companies to censor information, specifically referencing the handling of the 2020 election. DeSantis said that he would:

…completely put the kibosh on the FBI and DOJ’s nonsense with respect to so-called misinformation.

Reports suggest that DeSantis has been working on his plan for months, collaborating with members of Congress such as Representatives Thomas Massie and Chip Roy, as well as organizations like the Heritage Foundation and the Hoover Institution. His approach to dismantling what he called the “deep state” involves acting swiftly through the executive branch, in lieu of congressional approval. Unlike some federal positions, such as FBI director or Attorney General, DeSantis does not believe certain federal employees are immune from having their employment terminated by the president. 


The DeSantis campaign recently criticized former President Donald Trump’s past association with Dr. Anthony Fauci, a figure widely disliked by conservatives. DeSantis claimed he would have removed Fauci from his position. Earlier this month, Trump and DeSantis engaged in a public exchange making statements debating who could better dismantle the deep state. Trump, in Iowa, boasted that he could reshape the federal government within six months. In New Hampshire, DeSantis questioned why Trump hadn’t achieved this during his own four-year term.

DeSantis added:

…bureaucrats will wait you out if you’re a lame-duck president.

Addressing leaks, which became an issue during Trump’s presidency, DeSantis vowed not to tolerate them, stating:

If they’re leaking, we’re going to fire people.

DeSantis claimed that his administration experienced no leaks during his four-year tenure as governor of Florida. 

Among those DeSantis aims to shake off include “the intelligence and national security class” often employed as paid cable news contributors after leaving public service. The governor already has a list of security clearances to be revoked: the more than 50 former senior intelligence officials who signed a public letter ahead of the 2020 election claiming that the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian a disinformation campaign.


As Governor DeSantis continues to run his presidential campaign, his plans to reshape and “re-constitutionalize” the executive branch are timely as Americans watch the DOJ’s indictment and continued investigations against his GOP primary rival, former President Trump.


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