Law? What Law?

The unprecedented federal indictment of Donald Trump raises serious political and constitutional questions. Is it prudent or fair for a prosecutor to interfere in a presidential election in such an extraordinary manner? Is there a political motive here, given the circumstances? Is it even a crime for a president of the United States to possess classified documents? 

Officious liberals, and their fellow travelers on the neocon Right, want to remove the case from its political context. Trump is a criminal, they say. No one is above the law. But if the law is enforced selectively, it ceases to be law and becomes a hammer. 

When prosecutor Jack Smith intoned, “we have one set of laws in this country,” it almost sounded like a challenge. Hunter Biden has been under federal investigation for five years, and evidence of money laundering and other crimes is mounting by the day. Does anyone really believe the Biden Justice Department will allow him to be charged? 

Hunter’s father kept classified documents in the garage of his family home in Delaware. Democrats insist Joe Biden is innocent as a babe, but we don’t know what was in the documents or what they were doing there. Hillary Clinton was never charged with using a private email server to send and receive top secret information. She was spared only by the caprice of a showboating anti-Trump partisan spy, then-FBI Director James Comey, who decided that “no reasonable prosecutor” would find criminal intent in her “extremely careless” actions. But others might interpret her “extreme carelessness” differently. 

The Left is very good at obscuring their whimsical “justice” with dizzying procedural pretexts. (The New York Times’ pet conservative, David French, dresses up the Trump indictment with a new concept called “The Comey Test.”) But the law does not enforce itself, it is enforced by prosecutors who can abuse their discretion. What is happening to Trump is not even that unusual these days. Anyone who is on the wrong side of the liberal elite is a potential target of a political prosecution. Trump is just public enemy number one.

When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Trump had the right to “prove innocence” in Alvin Bragg’s bogus “hush money” case in New York, she didn’t misspeak. She was telling the truth about how Trump has been treated since his entry into politics. Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his wild goose chase for “Russian collusion” by throwing an unconventional sop to his captive following: Trump was not charged with obstruction, but he wasn’t exonerated either. 

There are striking parallels between what Trump calls the “boxes hoax” and the Russia collusion hysteria, particularly the invocation of the very serious-sounding Espionage Act, a century-old law originally enacted to target socialists and anti-war agitators that has since been repurposed by national security hawks in the modern Democratic Party. Uninformed voters will be led to surmise that Trump is accused of espionage, but this is not the case. Just as with “Russia collusion” before, Trump has been tainted with the innuendo of treason. What Trump is actually accused of, withholding sensitive documents from an administrative agency many people have never heard of, is a more mundane and rather abstract “crime.”

Now, as always, Trump’s real crime appears to be daring to exercise the traditional prerogatives of his office, despite a rogue bureaucracy in Washington that hates his guts. Trump’s lawful, constitutional authority was called into question every single day of his presidency by subordinates who were lionized for defying him. Would they have even allowed him to declassify the documents at issue? 

Never mind the phony outrage about Trump’s “espionage”: he was impeached over a perfectly legitimate leaked phone call with a foreign leader. The FBI knowingly used political “opposition research” from Clinton to spy on his 2016 campaign, and then proceeded to exhaust his presidency with a baseless investigation. Not one person has been punished for these extraordinary abuses of power.

The daunting ambition of a lawless, ungovernable elite now comes to a dangerous verge. The Washington swamp now presumes to actually dictate election outcomes in the name of the law. But this is not some bone-dry legal matter. 

Trump is a former president, and a presumptive nominee in the next presidential election. The choice to indict him—and it was a choice—was an ineluctably political decision, one that will unavoidably interfere with the right of the people to choose their own leaders. But nobody made Jack Smith king of this country, and the people did not choose to be drawn into his expedition across the Rubicon.

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About Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a Mt. Vernon fellow of the Center for American Greatness and a staff writer and weekly columnist at the Conservative Institute. His writing has also appeared in the Daily Caller. Follow him on Twitter @matt_boose. ‏

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