Skip to main content

Ben Weingarten

Federalist Senior Contributor; Claremont Institute Fellow

View Video Library
Share
Opinion

Trump indictment proves we no longer live in America anymore

Jun 20, 2023

Share

Former President Donald Trump is now facing his first federal indictment which includes 31 violations of the Espionage Act. While a recent poll says 48% of American voters agree Trump should have been charged with the crime, some analysts argue Trump might again avoid any significant negative fallout.

Straight Arrow News contributor Ben Weingarten suggests the charges could even get dismissed. Whatever the outcome, Weingarten believes the indictments against the former president are hurtful to America.

The case could get dismissed. The government could lose in Florida, or as the case goes up the legal ladder, potentially. But the damage has been done to our republic, whether or not Trump walks free.

And I think the brazenness and the overt politicization here is the point. This is in effect an information operation using lawfare — a political indictment irrespective of its legal merits.

It is meant to shock the conscience. It is meant to eviscerate all norms. It is meant to demonstrate that this is what has become of our institutions — that they are political apparatuses wielded as weapons against their opponents to the point of seeking to get an ex-president behind bars on sentences totaling hundreds of years.

The effort now to coerce Judge Cannon to recuse because she might not rubber-stamp the government’s case aims to further corrupt and delegitimize our system, setting the stage for still further attacks on the legitimacy of the Supreme Court aimed at getting judges there to rule “rightly” if Trump cases ever arrive there, recuse, or risk the wrath of unhinged progressives.

Our republic is in a dark and perilous place. If this prosecution ends tomorrow, nevertheless, it will have transformed us into a Third World country.

As predicted for Straight Arrow News at the outset of this year, Donald Trump has been indicted – federally indicted – an unprecedented act.

 

The 37-count case, brought by a Justice Department that has been waging jihad against Trump almost from the time he descended the elevator in his eponymous tower, under control of Trump’s successor, as Trump is the leading candidate to unseat him, which threatens to leave the 45th president of the United States to die in jail – the first such prosecution ever brought, on grounds never brought before and which may not even be applicable for presidents, stemming from a glorified document dispute, pursued in the most dubious fashion, and using maximum chicanery which might even threaten to get the case dismissed, collectively mean this: We no longer live in America anymore.

 

In America we didn’t try to lock up political opponents; we certainly didn’t try to lock up political opponents by bringing novel cases against them never faced when similar conduct has arisen among those on the other side, in the middle of an election cycle in which the opponent is running.

 

You’d probably think twice or three times about pursuing such an investigation, let alone bringing a case, in the Old America, given the law enforcement apparatus’s record of pursuing frivolous investigations of the opponent before – the depths of which were exposed in real-time as the investigation advanced, showing time and again that apparatus acted in hyper-political and weaponized fashion to frame the opponent as treasonous, and try and subvert and sabotage him before.

 

Should any such an investigation have ever been pursued, myriad steps would have been taken to ensure it was kept completely quiet – not with public spectacles, and with leak after leak – that is, pursued in the most scrupulous, secretive, strictly apolitical manner.

 

Certainly you wouldn’t raid the private home of the opponent in shock and awe fashion after he had previously given you access to it – in a process started because of an apparently politically biased archivist’s gripes; you wouldn’t get a magistrate judge to sign off on a fishing expedition search warrant – a magistrate judge who had had to recuse himself just weeks earlier from a lawsuit involving the opponent; you wouldn’t leak pictures from that fishing expedition, and for clearly political purposes; and you’d be totally open and transparent about what you were doing and why you were doing it once the investigation happened to become public.

 

You probably wouldn’t bring the case in front of a grand jury empaneled in a Washington D.C. famously hostile to the opponent, and in front of judges who loathe that opponent and his supporters; you wouldn’t eviscerate legal linchpins like attorney-client privilege, or engage in rhetorical acts with impunity liable to get such a case dismissed, or allegedly hold out a judgeship for a lawyer representing one of the accused if the lawyer and his client cooperated against the opponent – a stunningly corrupt seeming quid pro quo.

 

Certainly you wouldn’t let the prosecutor bringing the case be someone unanimously slapped down by courts for leading prosecutions against high-profile political figures, or for recklessly abusing defendants in Espionage Act cases before; or whose wife donated to the campaign of the president whose Justice Department is pursuing the case against the president’s leading opponent, and whose wife produced a documentary on the wife of the then-president who had previously made the current one his vice president; and you wouldn’t unseal the indictment literally one day after allegations mushroomed that the president had taken millions in a bribe from a foreign oligarch – and that the FBI had seemingly buried that allegation and perhaps never pursued it, and that the FBI seemed to be covering up its burying of that allegation.

 

Any such case like this would have to be so open and shut, so egregious, and the conduct so dangerous, that no one in America could say it shouldn’t be brought.

 

If there was even a hint of doubt about whether this should be brought, through the process on which it has been brought, against anyone other than Donald J. Trump – and in fact that it would be brought against someone with diametrically opposite political views, and against some with a diametrically opposite disposition – than this prosecution could not stand.

 

Now, it may not. 

 

The case could get dismissed.

 

The government could lose, in Florida, or as the case goes up the legal latter.

 

But the damage has been done to our republic, whether or not Trump walks free.

 

And I think the brazenness and the overt politicization here is the point.

 

This is in effect an information operation using lawfare – a political indictment irrespective of its legal merits.

 

It is meant to shock the conscience.

 

It is meant to eviscerate all norms.

 

It is meant to demonstrate that this is what has become of our institutions – that they are political apparatuses wielded as weapons against their opponents to the point of seeking to get an ex-president behind bars on sentences totaling hundreds of years.

 

The effort now to coerce Judge Cannon to recuse because she might not rubberstamp the government’s case, aims to further corrupt and delegitimize our system, setting the stage for still further attacks on the legitimacy of the Supreme Court aimed at getting judges there to rule “rightly” if Trump cases ever arrive there, recuse, or risk the wrath of unhinged progressives.

 

Our republic is in a dark and perilous place.

 

If this prosecution ends tomorrow, nevertheless, it will have transformed us into a Third World country.

Video Library

Latest Commentary

We know it is important to hear from a diverse range of observers on the complex topics we face and believe our commentary partners will help you reach your own conclusions.

The commentaries published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.


Latest Opinions

In addition to the facts, we believe it’s vital to hear perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. We hope these different voices will help you reach your own conclusions.

The opinions published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.

Weekly Voices

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Monday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Tuesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Wednesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Thursday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Friday

Left Opinion Right Opinion