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The Travesties of the Trump Trials

Do not believe the White House/mainstream media-concocted narrative that the four criminal court cases—prosecuted by Alvin Bragg, Letitia James, Jack Smith, and Fani Willis—were not in part coordinated, synchronized, and timed to reach their courtroom psychodramatic finales right during the 2024 campaign season.

These local, state, and federal Lilliputian agendas were designed to tie down, gag, confine, bankrupt, and destroy Trump psychologically and physically. They are the final lawfare denouement to years of extra-legal efforts to emasculate him.

Indeed, the nation is by now worn out by these serial assaults on constitutional norms: the Hillary-funded Steele dossier subterfuge; the pre-election Russian laptop disinformation campaign; the two impeachments without special counsel reports; the impeachment Senate trial of a private citizen; the effort to remove Trump’s name from state ballots; the ongoing attempt to emasculate the Electoral College; or the radical opportune changes in state election laws to ensure massive mail-in balloting.

Recently, Andrew McCarthy has reviewed in depth this coordination between White House personnel and prosecutors, long known and long denied by the left. Biden, for example, had complained to aides about Attorney General Merrick Garland’s tardiness in getting special federal prosecutor Smith appointed—and thus apparently ensuring Trump was convicted before the election.

Nathan Wade, Fani Willis’s now-fired paramour prosecutor, visited and consulted with the White House counsel’s office when he was acting supposedly as a purely local county prosecutor. The January 6th left-wing-dominated congressional committee consulted with the Biden administration in sending forth its criminal referrals about Trump’s purported role in the protests. And to handle his pseudo-indictment against Trump, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg hired Biden Justice Department official Vincent Colangeio.

Two, the prosecutors’ delayed criminal indictments and E. Jean Carroll’s civil suit were predicated only on Donald Trump running for reelection. After his 2020 defeat, the loss of the two Republican senate seats in Georgia, and the January 6 demonstrations/riot, Trump was written off by pundits as politically toxic.

Then his historic comeback in the subsequent year terrified the left. The reboot prompted the subsequent indictments and suits years after the purported crimes. It was left unsaid that had Trump not been a conservative Republican and leading presidential candidate, he would have never been indicted.

Three, most of the indictments either had no prior precedent in criminal law or will likely never be used again, at least against anyone left-wing. Moreover, many of the writs relied on manipulation of statutes of limitations.

Neither Bragg nor any other local prosecutor had previously transformed a supposedly local affidavit misdemeanor into a supposed federal campaign finance violation, a gambit so preposterous that it had been passed on by federal attorneys.

Letitia James was the first New York Attorney General to indict a state resident for the supposed crime of overvaluing real estate to obtain a loan, which was paid back timely and in full, to the profit of lending institutions. No bank, after auditing Trump’s assets and viability to pay back loans, was unhappy to loan to him. But all were quite happy to profit from the hefty interest—and would likely be happy to loan to him again.

James sought to make Trump a criminal without ever finding a crime, much less a victim. Nor, until the checkered and unethical career of Fani Willis, had any local prosecutor ever indicted an ex-president for a supposedly improper phone call questioning whether all the state’s votes had been fully counted.

Alvin Bragg’s case was nonexistent given the statute of limitations on supposed misdemeanors committed over six years prior—until Bragg transmogrified the accusations of minor crimes into felonies and, with them, extensions granted supposedly due to the COVID lockdowns.

In Carroll’s case, her unsubstantiated accusations of a sexual assault were also well past the statute of limitations until a left-wing New York legislator and unapologetic Trump hater passed a special law—a veritable bill of attainder aimed at Trump—waiving the statute of limitations for a year in cases of accusations of long-past sexual assault in the state of New York.

Four, all the indictments and suits took place in either blue cities, counties, or states. And most of the jury pools in or near New York, Atlanta, or Miami were or will be heavily Democrat. So far, the New York judges who have overseen Trump’s civil and criminal trials—Justices Engoron, Kaplan, and Merchan—were all liberals, appointed by Democrat or liberal politicians, and some have donated to Democrat causes. They were not shy about expressing disdain for defendant Trump. No changes in venues were ever allowed.

Five, all the prosecutors, Bragg, James, Smith, and Willis, are likewise either Democrats or associated with liberal causes. In the case of Bragg, James, and Willis, all three ran for office and raised money on promises and boasts of getting Donald Trump. And all three have now set the precedent that local and state prosecutors can warp the law and use it to go after an ex-president and leading presidential candidate of the opposite party for naked political purposes.

Six, all these cases were equally applicable to high-profile Democrat politicos. E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit was the most laughable of all the court dramas, but its outline and protocols just as easily could have applied to Tara Reade. She came forward to accuse candidate Biden of having sexually assaulted her years earlier—roughly about the same period’s as Carroll’s fluid timelines. Her story is about as believable or unbelievable as Carroll’s. But the difference was that whereas the media canonized the delusional and self-contradictory Carroll as a useful anti-Trump tool, it demonized Reade as a crazy loon and liar—and a potential impediment to Biden’s 2019-20 primary campaign.

Bragg had to torture the law to fabricate a federal campaign finance indictment against Trump. But Hillary Clinton clearly violated federal campaign statutes—and was variously fined—when she tried to hide her “opposition research” payments to Christopher Steele as “legal expenses.” In truth, Steele was hired and paid to concoct a fake anti-Trump dossier and likely should have been barred from working for a presidential campaign given he was not a U.S. citizen.

In the case of Smith, simultaneously with his case against Trump, his twin special prosecutor, Robert Hur, found that Joe Biden had unlawfully removed classified files for much longer than Trump (30 years plus), in a much less secure location (his rickety garage), and without a president’s authority to declassify his documents. Moreover, he had disclosed their contents to his ghostwriter, who destroyed evidence under subpoena by Hur. Yet unlike Trump, Biden was not charged, given that Hur claimed that Biden, in his opinion, was so old and amnesiac that he might win sympathy rather than a conviction from a jury.

Willis indicted Trump for supposedly trying to pressure officials to “find” missing Trump ballots, thus supposedly violating “racketeering” statutes, as he oversaw an attempt to find troves of ballots he thought had been cast for him. Of course, in the same state, Stacy Abrams, after losing the gubernatorial race of 2018, claimed she had actually won, despite losing by over 50,000 votes. She sued to overturn the election and then made a celebrity-political career touring the nation, falsely claiming she was the real governor and her victorious opponent was an illegitimate governor.

For that matter, in 2016, left-wing organizations, celebrities, and thousands of political operatives sought to overturn the Trump victory by appealing to the electors to renounce their states’ popular vote tallies and thus become “faithless electors.” In sum, there was a true conspiracy, or, better, a “racketeering” scheme, to use Willis’s parlance, to coordinate various groups to overturn the constitutional duties of electors to throw the election to Hillary Clinton. Clinton, along with the likes of ex-president Jimmy Carter and soon-to-be House Minority Leader Hakim Jeffries, would continue to deny that Trump was the legitimately elected president.

In sum, the number of suits against and indictments against Trump grew in correlation to his political fortunes. They were designed in the election year 2024 to do what Democrat voters likely cannot. They are ridiculous and sui generis, and will never be used against anyone other than Trump. They have done more damage to democracy, the rule of law, and equal justice to the law than all of the antics that Trump is accused of.

Moreover, they will set in motion a dangerous tit-for-tat cycle of weaponization that threatens the very constitutional order of the United States.

If Trump is elected to restore the rule of equal justice, will a Republican special counsel revisit Robert Hur’s work and find ex-President Biden quite capable of standing trial for the crimes Hur has already investigated and confirmed?

Will then a new Republican-appointed FBI director order a SWAT-like raid, with Fox News forewarned and Newsmax reporters on the scene, to descend into the Biden beach house?

Will county and state prosecutors in Utah, Montana, and Oklahoma feel that to stop this cycle of illegality, they must charge the Biden family members by bootstrapping local indictments onto federal crimes?

Will conservative women in the future come forward in Arkansas, Idaho, and Alabama to claim that in their past, they now suddenly remember that decades ago a prominent Democrat candidate harassed them? Will their right-wing lawyers cherry-pick the proper red-state judge?

Will conservative district attorneys find ways to indict Joe Biden on the various imaginative bookkeeping and “loan repayments” used to disguise the fact his corrupt family received well over $20 million from illiberal foreign interests, much if not all of it camouflaged to avoid income taxes?

Will some South Carolina legislator get a bill of attainder passed in the legislature, ending the statute of limitations for a year for all those in 2016 who sought to undermine the electors and flip them to Hillary Clinton?

In August or September, will a right-wing state prosecutor and a conservative judge find that Joe Biden’s creative bookkeeping warrants a $450 million fine, payable before appeal?

And will Republican officials and judges in purple states move to get Biden’s name off the ballot?

Such scenarios are endless and, given the current precedents, could all be justified as desperate deterrent measures to shock the left into ceasing their efforts to sabotage our constitutional system and rule of law.

A final note. There is a divine order of balance in the world, one known variously by particular civilizations as kismet, nemesis, karma, or what goes around, comes around payback. We’ve already seen such forces at work: Sen. Schumer at the head of a mob at the doors of the Supreme Court, calling out threats to justices by name, only now finding pro-Hamas thugs circling his own home. Or Democrats during the Trump years straining to find ways to invoke the 25th Amendment, now humiliated into claiming a non-compos-mentis Joe Biden is “sharp as a knife.”

Tragically for the country, to stop this left-wing madness, the Trump travesties may not be the end, but the beginning of precisely what the Founders feared.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004, and is the 2023 Giles O'Malley Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Hanson is also a farmer (growing almonds on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump and the recently released The Dying Citizen, and the forthcoming The End of Everything (May 7, 2024).

Photo: NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 26: Former U.S. President Donald Trump (L) appears in court with his attorney Todd Blanche during his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments at Manhattan Criminal Court on April 26, 2024 in New York City. Former U.S. President Donald Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to trial. (Photo by Curtis Means-Pool/Getty Images)