Biden and his gang of neocon controllers are unpopular, but they want to stay in power. How can they do this? Easy—they think. By making up charges against the main opposition candidate and putting him on trial, hoping that people either won’t vote for a “criminal” or that the opposition candidate can be pressured to withdraw from the campaign. This is what is happening to Donald Trump. But their tactics may backfire and they are destroying the rule of law.
Jack Goldsmith, an establishment anti-Trump lawyer who was an Assistant Attorney General, warns about the consequences in an article in the New York Times, August 8, 2023: “It may be satisfying now to see the special counsel Jack Smith indict Donald Trump for his reprehensible and possibly criminal actions in connection with the 2020 presidential election. But the prosecution, which might be justified, reflects a tragic choice that will compound the harms to the nation from Mr. Trump’s many transgressions.
Mr. Smith’s indictment outlines a factually compelling [sic] but far from legally airtight case against Mr. Trump. The case involves novel applications of three criminal laws and raises tricky issues of Mr. Trump’s intent, his freedom of speech and the contours of presidential power. If the prosecution fails (especially if the trial concludes after a general election that Mr. Trump loses), it will be a historic disaster.
But even if the prosecution succeeds in convicting Mr. Trump, before or after the election, the costs to the legal and political systems will be large.
There is no getting around the fact that the indictment comes from the Biden administration when Mr. Trump holds a formidable lead in the polls to secure the Republican Party nomination and is running neck and neck with Mr. Biden, the Democratic Party’s probable nominee.
This deeply unfortunate timing looks political and has potent political implications even if it is not driven by partisan motivations. And it is the Biden administration’s responsibility, as its Justice Department reportedly delayed the investigation of Mr. Trump for a year and then rushed to indict him well into G.O.P. primary season. The unseemliness of the prosecution will most likely grow if the Biden campaign or its proxies use it as a weapon against Mr. Trump if he is nominated.
This is all happening against the backdrop of perceived unfairness in the Justice Department’s earlier investigation, originating in the Obama administration, of Mr. Trump’s connections to Russia in the 2016 general election. Anti-Trump texts by the lead F.B.I. investigator, a former F.B.I. director who put Mr. Trump in a bad light through improper disclosure of F.B.I. documents and information, transgressions by F.B.I. and Justice Department officials in securing permission to surveil a Trump associate and more were condemned by the Justice Department’s inspector general even as he found no direct evidence of political bias in the investigation. The discredited Steele dossier, which played a consequential role in the Russia investigation and especially its public narrative, grew out of opposition research by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
And then there is the perceived unfairness in the department’s treatment of Mr. Biden’s son Hunter, in which the department has once again violated the cardinal principle of avoiding any appearance of untoward behavior in a politically sensitive investigation. Credible whistle-blowers have alleged wrongdoing and bias in the investigation, though the Trump-appointed prosecutor denies it. And the department’s plea arrangement with Hunter Biden came apart, in ways that fanned suspicions of a sweetheart deal, in response to a few simple questions by a federal judge.
These are not whataboutism points. They are the context in which a very large part of the country will fairly judge the legitimacy of the Justice Department’s election fraud prosecution of Mr. Trump. They are the circumstances that for very many will inform whether his prosecution is seen as politically biased. This is all before the Trump forces exaggerate and inflame the context and circumstances and thus amplify their impact.
These are some of the reasons the Justice Department, however pure its motivations, will probably emerge from this prosecution viewed as an irretrievably politicized institution by a large chunk of the country. The department has been on a downward spiral because of its serial mistakes in high-profile contexts, accompanied by sharp political attacks from Mr. Trump and others on the right. Its predicament will now very likely grow much worse because the consequences of its election-fraud prosecution are so large, the taint of its past actions is so great and the potential outcome for Mr. Biden is too favorable.
The prosecution may well have terrible consequences beyond the department for our politics and the rule of law. It will probably inspire ever more aggressive tit-for-tat investigations of presidential actions in office by future Congresses and by administrations of the opposing party, to the detriment of sound government.
It may also exacerbate the criminalization of politics. The indictment alleges that Mr. Trump lied and manipulated people and institutions in trying to shape law and politics in his favor. Exaggeration and truth shading in the facilitation of self-serving legal arguments or attacks on political opponents have always been commonplace in Washington. These practices will probably be disputed in the language of and amid demands for special counsels, indictments and grand juries.
Watergate deluded us into thinking that independent counsels of various stripes could vindicate the rule of law and bring national closure in response to abuses by senior officials in office. Every relevant experience since then — from the discredited independent counsel era (1978-99) through the controversial and unsatisfactory Mueller investigation — proves otherwise. And national dissensus is more corrosive today than in the 1990s and worse even than when Mr. Mueller was at work.”
Tho Bishop gives an excellent analysis of the legal situation: ”It’s official. It is now The United States of America v. Donald J. Trump.”
That is the name of the latest criminal indictment from Special Counsel Jack Smith, charging the US government’s leading political opponent with crimes against democracy. For peak rhetorical flair, the indictment evoked Section 241 of Title 18 of the US Code, more commonly known as the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act. This marks the greatest fulfillment of a personal fantasy New York Times subscribers have enjoyed ever since Barack Obama sent a thrill up their legs.
The aforementioned “newspaper of record” summarized the indictment as such:
[A]s the indictment methodically documented, Mr. Trump was told over and over again by his own advisers, allies and administration officials that the allegations he was making were not true, yet he publicly continued to make them, sometimes just hours later.
He was told they were not true by not one but two attorneys general, multiple other Justice Department officials and the government’s election security chief — all his appointees. He was told by his own vice president, campaign officials and the investigators they hired. He was told by Republican governors and secretaries of state and legislators. As one senior campaign adviser put it at the time, it was “all just conspiracy” garbage “beamed down from the mothership.”
Ultimately the charges against Trump come down to an unwillingness to share the public opinion of advisers and various government officials. A refusal to respect the sanctity of the American political process. To share, or perhaps fuel, the rage of the majority of his base.
This particular indictment of Trump embodies the irreconcilable divide within America today.
On one side, Smith can be fairly viewed as a defender of longheld political norms, a champion for the belief that even presidents can be held liable for their actions, and a rare man of action in a time where most political rhetoric only serves as a means to grift off the passions of outraged voters. Trump weaponized his cult of personality against the hallowed grounds of the US capitol and sought to maintain a hold over political power after the people soundly rejected him in the ballot box.
On the other, you have an America that views Smith as a mere agent of an evil regime, trying to destroy a man for the crime of awakening millions to an illusionary political reality that has captured American life. Any claims to “enforcing the rule of law” are made all the more absurd by the extensive immunities offered to the degenerate son of the sitting president who was responsible for being a key source of “the big guy’s” non-official income. While it is true that Sidney Powell found no Kraken, the powers at be did boast publicly about their “fortification” campaign to ensure Donald Trump’s electoral defeat in a once-important national publication.
In the eyes of Washington, including many whose paychecks rely upon the approval of Trump voters, taking any of this seriously makes you an insurrectionist deserving of being crushed.
The ever-growing list of legal indictments against the former president poses great risks to Donald Trump, the man; the continual legal escalation from Biden’s prosecutors and their state-level allies, however, has greater significance for the political realities of modern America.
Given Trump’s lingering unpopularity with a large swath of the voting public, it is not unreasonable to view each new criminal charge as an in-kind donation to the former president’s current presidential campaign. Polling trends show indicate that nothing did more to stall the national aspirations of his leading rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, than the willingness of the feds to act against their boss’s predecessor. It is quite possible that the only candidate that could lose to Joe Biden is Donald Trump. While no doubt the same Democrat consultants that embraced the “pied piper” strategy in 2016 — and more successfully in 2022 — view this prospect as an additional win, the regime’s reaction should be viewed as sincere rather than cynical.
As Rothbard illustrated in Anatomy of the State, any powerful state requires the perception of legitimacy by its populace. Ludwig von Mises defended the mechanism of democracy as a means to promote political stability by allowing for a clash of political visions to be heard via the electoral process. Trump’s attack on the integrity of the entire process, which resonates to this day with tens of millions of Americans, is a unique danger to the domestic power of the regime.
This does not mean Washington is more impotent now in imposing its will on civilians than it was before Biden, however. An insecure regime is a dangerous one, which explains both the increasingly militant optics and radical language from the beltway, as well as the escalation in terms of domestic surveillance, censorship, financial warfare, and other measures by the feds and their corporate proxies. But the gradual erosion of legitimacy has resulted in declining rates of military enlistment, increased promotion of state’s rights from Republican governors, decreased confidence in federal authorities, and broadening recognition that America’s elites are capable of truly horrific evils.
America is just over a year away from its next presidential election. Already, the political season has devolved into the sort of unserious political theater that has become normalized in national democracy. The noise and stupidity that will capture screen time of the declining corporate press and social media are likely to serve the dull the senses and create widespread political exhaustion for those who are serious about the real issues plaguing the nation.
Politics in America, however, is no longer simply about electoral kayfabe. One side is really at war with the other. Only time will tell as to whether those opposed to the current regime are capable of doing anything meaningful about that fact.
As usual, Tom Di Lorenzo hits the nail on the head: “. . . if Trump is convicted in the “January 6” case. That is what he is accused of: Discussing with HIS LAWYERS (aka “unnamed indicted co-conspirators”) the possibility of vote fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
Like the good Stalinists that they are, the Demo-Bolsheviks want to be free to engage in massive, massive vote fraud involving literally millions of fraudulent votes, and then imprison for life (or execute with the death penalty) anyone who even dares to question them about it. The latest indictment against Trump does include the death penalty if found guilty. Why get the CIA to murder deep state political opponents if they can pretend to do it “legally” instead?”
The issue isn’t whether you “like” Donald Trump. The issue is the perversion of justice for political ends. We must do everything we can to stop this.