How Republicans Could Ruin the Trump Indictment Counterattack

On the surface, things appear to be worse than ever before. Never in our nation’s history has the incumbent regime launched a direct effort to jail the leader of the political opposition like we are seeing today. A tactic once limited to third-world banana republics has indeed been imported to our own country.

And yet, as President Trump’s defiant attitude and even more defiant poll numbers demonstrate, this too could very well backfire on the Biden regime and his Deep State cronies by producing an upset comeback victory for Trump in November 2024. Even former President Barack Obama has acknowledged the likelihood of Trump returning to power in January 2025.

But even as President Trump appears stronger than ever before, the rest of the GOP is, for the umpteenth time, struggling to catch up. Republicans in Congress, who actually have the power to rein in the Deep State, could blow this opportunity by responding with deafening silence, as some already have. The only way they could screw this up even more is if they take it to the opposite extreme and overstep their boundaries by exerting too much power, and doing so with their sights set on the wrong targets.

Scandals for Thee, But Not for Me

It is undoubtedly true that Joe Biden is guilty of the many things he has been accused of over the years. The latest revelations, from the FBI FD-1023 informant report on Ukrainian bribery to Devon Archer’s testimony confirming that Joe was well aware of his son Hunter’s foreign business deals, paint an irrefutable picture of a corrupt career politician who used his position as then-vice president to sell political influence at staggering prices, for the purpose of enriching himself and his family.

It is also true that the American political scene is in uncharted territory when it comes to what truly defines a scandal anymore. Not only has social media desensitized the rising generations to personal behaviors or wrongdoings that would have been career-ending just a decade ago, but the nonstop over-emphasis on Biden’s corruption by conservative lawmakers and pundits alike has diluted the very idea of what constitutes a scandal. It is still true to this day: When everything is a scandal, nothing is a scandal.

This is also due in large part to the mainstream media’s clear bias in favor of the Left. Ever since the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop first came out, they have been more determined than ever before to run cover for the Bidens, and for Democrats in general. No more would they report on political wrongdoing regardless of affiliation, as they did for Hillary Clinton and her private email server.

Conservatives may well understand this bias and try to call it out, but the sad fact is that the mainstream media still controls the public perception for a significant portion, if not an outright majority, of the country’s population. These are the rules of the game, and we have to play by them, no matter how unfair. Trying to take down the Left over yesteryear’s standards for a scandal will never work.

Feelings, Not Facts

Nevertheless, in the face of incontrovertible evidence, the Left and their lapdogs in the media have adjusted their strategy accordingly in the event that just enough independent-minded Americans start to finally think a little bit too much. Now, as the evidence proves that Joe and Hunter were directly collaborating on their get-rich-quick schemes, the goalposts have shifted to a completely different field altogether.

The narrative is now turning to a tool that has worked time and time again for the Left: pathos.

Again, conservatives who keep to their own political bubble may scoff at the notion, but it is a viable strategy: The Left will, and can, humanize Hunter Biden and will use this emotional appeal to absolve his father of any wrongdoings by framing them as an act of love.

Former Sen. Claire McCaskill has already given us an example of this strategy, waxing poetic about how Joe is simply “a father loving his son, who has been addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.” And, in a statement that most on the Right will not care to admit is more true than not: Republicans’ attempt to punish Joe for Hunter’s sins is something that “[won’t] fly with most of the American people.”

Ironically, this effort by the Left to tug at the American people’s heartstrings over Hunter’s backstory may have been foreshadowed by a conservative attempt at dramatizing Hunter’s scandals: The Breitbart-produced movie My Son Hunter. In one very short but very powerful line, Laurence Fox’s portrayal of Hunter summarizes his internal struggles in bearing the weight of his family name: “I am all that my father has left of my mother.”

As is well-known, the Biden family first faced tragedy in December 1972, when a car crash claimed the life of Joe’s first wife, Neilia, and one-year-old daughter, Naomi, with the young Hunter and his older brother, Beau, also sustaining injuries. Then, Beau Biden died in 2015 at the age of 46 after a battle with brain cancer.

Thus, the aforementioned line from My Son Hunter delivers its meaning. It was always Beau, not Hunter, who was supposed to take the torch from their father and have a bright political career. With him gone, Hunter was the only one left to make something out of the family name. That burden, some on the Left will argue, is what drove him to such a depressed state that he tried to bury his sorrows with drugs, alcohol and foreign prostitutes.

Is it really that difficult to imagine that, when politics are removed from the equation, a significant number of regular citizens will feel sympathy for such a man when his story is framed in such sympathetic tones by the media? It is certainly not hard to imagine that Middle America – suffering from a decades-long opioid crisis – can understand, if not relate to, the sufferings of a man with a long history of substance abuse.

And, if nothing else, Hunter’s status as a private citizen, still to this day, renders him an ultimately meaningless target in the grand scheme of things. Even if the sympathetic approach taken by the Left doesn’t work, his lack of a political office means that there is no substantial victory to be gained out of finally bringing the hammer of the law down on him. His name becomes nothing more than a buzzword for Fox News viewers still clinging to the hope that someone in a position of influence will be held accountable, even if they are not a public official.

Impeachment Now … But Not Who You Think

The knee-jerk reactions by some prominent Republicans to immediately call for Joe Biden’s impeachment are just that: impulsive demands that are not taking a moment to step back and consider the big picture.

The most recent impeachment attempts in American history have only backfired on those who initiated them, with both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump seeing their support within their respective parties increase in the aftermath. With a presidential election on the horizon, Republican efforts to do the same to Joe Biden will most likely yield the same result. And with just over one year to go before the 2024 election, such a decision could prove to be politically fatal.

While most think of impeachment in relation to the presidency, it is a tool that can be used for any federal office-holders; throughout American history, it has most commonly been used against members of the judicial branch. Only one Cabinet-level official has faced impeachment proceedings: Secretary of War William Belknap resigned just ahead of his impeachment vote in 1876.

As such, Republicans in the House of Representatives can, and should, use the power of impeachment to go after a different target than Biden: someone in a lower position who won’t generate much sympathy or see the base rally to his support when he is thrown to the wolves.

Republicans should impeach the man directly overseeing the latest and most egregious political witch hunt against President Trump: Attorney General Merrick Garland.

It is clear that Garland has a massive political chip on his shoulder after his Supreme Court nomination was blocked by Senate Republicans ahead of the 2016 election, and he has turned to exacting his revenge on all conservatives as Attorney General. From targeting conservative parents protesting school board meetings, to arresting pro-life pastors on charges that had already been dismissed in court, Garland’s blatant abuse of power for political vengeance knows no bounds. His selection of Jack Smith as the Special Counsel alone is grounds for impeachment given Smith’s own history of politically motivated prosecutions, including the infamous targeting of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, whose conviction was overturned unanimously by the Supreme Court.

If Republicans in the House really are serious about taking the fight directly to the Deep State apparatus that is targeting President Trump, then their efforts are best used against the Department of Justice that is overseeing this prosecution, not Joe Biden. By compartmentalizing this counter-attack and focusing solely on the DOJ and Garland, Republicans will continue to keep the narrative focused on the Trump indictment, without muddying the waters by turning it into a fight over Joe Biden’s relationship with his son.

While it may be true that an impeachment of Garland may not make as much waves as an impeachment of Biden, it also guarantees that there will not be as much backlash. After all, is the Left’s base going to rally around Garland and make him into a political martyr the way they would for Biden? And if independents are truly opposed to the systematic abuse of power being used against President Trump, then surely they will more highly approve of such punishment being used against the public official who is directly overseeing such a travesty. It’s a guarantee that the already tuned-in Republican base will overwhelmingly support such a move; while it may not be Biden, as many in the Fox audience are demanding, a federal impeachment trial nonetheless will demonstrate that the GOP is prepared to finally take action rather than just talk about it.

Revenge: Cold, but Calculated

For years, one of the most repeatedly ineffective attacks that conservatives have tried to use against the Left is to point out their hypocrisy on major issues: From their support for abortion while turning around and crying about children being killed in shootings, to their endless pandering to black Americans while simultaneously criticizing courageous black conservatives like Clarence Thomas, it is easy to see that they truly have no standards except double standards.

Unfortunately, this argument would only work with a fair and unbiased media, which we clearly do not have. As such, a coordinated GOP effort to respond to the Trump indictment by simply going “but Hunter!” is doomed for failure. Not only will it fail for the many reasons previously outlined, but it would also fail because, most simply, deflection is not an effective strategy. Nonstop slideshow presentations about Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals will not stop the Deep State from pursuing Donald Trump for completely unrelated (even if fraudulent) charges.

The Left has chosen the path of political lawfare against President Trump, clearly unaware of the many ways in which it could backfire on them. The Right would be best served by exploiting this backlash and going after those who are directly responsible for this assault on our Republic. Most simply, they should make the Left regret that they ever chose the path of prosecutions-turned-persecutions.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: WFP USA Board Chair Hunter Biden speaks during the World Food Program USA's 2016 McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony at the Organization of American States on April 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Kris Connor/WireImage)