There is a reason that, since before the time of the emperor Tiberius, treason trials have been a favorite tool of totalitarians. Such proceedings allow them to get rid of nearly anyone they dislike. Successfully brand someone a “traitor,” an “enemy of the state,” and, bang, into the oubliette they go.
I think the treason trial is the appropriate heuristic for what is happening, and what has been happening to Donald Trump ever since 2015 when he descended the escalator.
The charge that Trump was “Putin’s poodle,” a “Russian asset,” etc., during the Russia collusion hoax was a sort of treason trial. And remember how elaborate it all was, a veritable glass onion, thanks in large part to Hillary Clinton, whose campaign concocted, paid for, and disseminated the infamous fantasy “dossier” fabricated by former MI6 spook Christopher Steele. And it was Hillary, remember, who first broadcast the charge that servers in Trump Tower were secretly communicating with Russia’s Alfa Bank. The Justice Department, the FBI, the intelligence services—all were in on that game.
Trump’s two impeachments were episodes in the long-running treason trial, as was Liz Cheney’s January 6 show trial, as are the still unfolding series of indictments that have dogged his footsteps with increasing ferocity as the 2024 election looms and Trump’s poll numbers stubbornly refuse to recede.
A lot of legal hermeneutical ingenuity has been lavished on the current criminal indictment, a 37-count blockbuster revolving around charges that Trump mishandled classified documents he had stuffed away at his Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach. I think those analyses are mostly beside the point, so much wasted foolscap. The indictment, which histrionically relies heavily on the 1917 Espionage Act, is, when looked at with a sufficiently jaundiced eye, an amusing performance. Macbeth would have said it was a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
You, dear reader, know differently. You know it is the latest writ of attainder pronounced against Trump by the regime.
For what, when you come down to it, is Trump’s crime? Please don’t tell me it has something to do with his possession of classified documents or “obstruction” of an official proceeding. Former presidents have very wide latitude with respect to managing documents, as was set forth explicitly by the Presidential Records Act in the late 1970s.
It’s a different matter with the 1,800 boxes of documents that Joe Biden glommed onto in his days in the Senate and as vice president. I believe they are still moldering under his Corvette in the garage of his Delaware residence, having wound up there after a trip through D.C.’s Chinatown and the Penn Biden Center, a facility paid for, as was Biden’s $900,000 stipend at the University of Pennsylvania, by China.
This is the moment we return to Hillary Clinton and her “home-brew” email server through which she ran all manner of classified correspondence. According to disgraced former FBI Director James “Higher Loyalty” Comey, “no reasonable prosecutor” would go after Hillary, even though she deleted thousands of emails and destroyed mobile phones and hard drives after being subpoenaed.
If you are hearing the winds murmur “two-tier system of justice” you are not imagining things. Donald Trump, as president, could declassify anything he wished. Neither Joe Biden nor Hillary Clinton had that authority. Yet Trump has to show up in Court on Tuesday to face criminal charges, while Hillary and (so far) Joe Biden skate.
I say “so far” with respect to Biden because things are heating up for the Senescent One. Margot Cleveland, writing at The Federalist, noted the curious timing of the Trump indictment: “The news of the indictment quickly suffocated coverage of a confidential human source’s claim that the Ukrainian founder of Burisma had paid a $5 million bribe to Joe Biden.” Hmm.
Nothing to see here, gents, move along please.
But Cleveland is right. “The entire case [against Trump] was a set-up from the start.” Yet one wonders, set up by whom? And what was the supposed predicate? I ask again, what was Trump’s crime?
I think it was a dual manifestation of one crime. His original sin, his unforgivable or eternal sin, was being elected president in 2016. The regime endeavored to expiate that sin by hampering Trump, then by impeaching him. But here he is, persisting in his folly, seeking to commit the same tort again. Conclusion: he must be destroyed. Hence the treason trial masquerading as a legitimate judicial proceeding.
Reflecting on the latest chapter in the tale we might call “The Persecution of Donald Trump,” the Wall Street Journal noted that this is “a fraught moment for American democracy. For the first time in U.S. history, the prosecutorial power of the federal government has been used against a former President who is also running against the sitting President.”
Donald Trump is currently, and by a large margin, the front runner of the opposition party in the 2024 presidential campaign. The party in power is attempting to silence him, to take him out of the running, by mobilizing the police power of the state against him. This is the sort of thing one expects from banana-republic regimes in Africa and Central America. It could never happen, one would have said only a few years ago, in America.
But here we are. The indictment against Trump was formally brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith. But the Journal is right. Smith is just an errand boy. “Americans will inevitably see this as a Garland-Biden indictment,” they noted, “and they are right to think so.”
Indeed. Elon Musk, no fan of Trump’s, put his finger on an essential element in this saga: “There does seem,” he wrote on June 8, responding to the indictment, “to be far higher interest in pursuing Trump compared to other people in politics.”
How’s that for understatement? Almost as good, I’d say, as his deployment of the future tense in his follow-up sentence: “Very important that the justice system rebut what appears to be differential enforcement or they will lose public trust.”
That ship has sailed, I regret to say. Joe Biden’s Department of Justice is as corrupt as Hunter Biden’s laptop. Few people of either party trust it, nor should they. What we need now is a bold new Hercules who can cleanse the Augean stables on the Potomac. It seems unlikely, I know, and perhaps supremely ironical, but the name of that cleansing hero may just be Donald J. Trump.