Trump Can Win Even If Indicted
Democrats Have Their Own Indicted Heroes
It appears inevitable at least one of the leftist prosecutors operating as a de facto political team at the federal and state levels of government will procure an indictment of President Donald Trump. That’s not because of the old saw that “a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich.” In truth, sometimes grand juries issue “no bills” and refuse to indict, effectively exonerating a person. But this is not such a scenario. Fairly or not, when witnesses invoke their Fifth Amendment right not to testify (which Trump and others around him have) and all the grand jury hears is skewed testimony put on by woke prosecutors with an agenda, the outcome is really not in doubt.
What remains unclear are the battle map and the timing. The grand jury investigation in deep-blue Fulton County, Georgia, over Trump’s alleged election meddling has wrapped up, and some grand jury recommendations of criminal prosecutions have been released to the public. In New York and elsewhere, other busy legal beavers are building their 2024 anti-Trump dams.
I agree with the observations of leftist ex-prosecutors and other commentators that special counsel Jack Smith is trying to finish up many if not most of the matters he inherited from the Department of Justice. The subpoenas of ultra-insiders Vice President Mike Pence, Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner, coupled with Smith’s multipronged efforts to shred Trump’s attorney-client privilege with his lawyers, are both bare-knuckled tactics and signs of an investigation reaching its climax.
As a result, we will likely have two firsts in American history. The first first is the indictment itself, unprecedented for a former president. The second is the open message that indictment will send to those who voted for him: Consider yourselves second-class citizens.
Two Standards of Justice
The process used against Trump has been uniquely partisan and grossly unfair. Letitia James, New York’s Democratic Attorney General, has spearheaded many of the legal attacks on Trump after running for that office in 2018 by promising to “focus on Donald Trump” and essentially to “get” him. Trump challenged her bias with a lawsuit that the courts threw out, and Trump has now voluntarily dismissed the effort. He learned the “political bias” standard he invoked against James can only be deployed by friends of the ruling class. When, for example, conservative Republican prosecutors attempt to prosecute prominent Democrats or RINOs, and even go far out of their way to demonstrate unimpeachable good faith, they nevertheless risk disbarment for being too “political.”
Presidents and their relatives who are of the Left are simply not prosecuted at all, no matter how towering the stack of evidence.
There are other double standards at play in this faltering Republic of ours. Presidents and their relatives who are of the Left are simply not prosecuted at all, no matter how towering the stack of evidence. Take former President Bill Clinton. He was caught in clear-cut perjury related to Monica Lewinsky by the late independent counsel Kenneth Starr. A RINO special prosecutor, Robert Ray, finished up the case for Starr and set Clinton free, reaping glowing acclaim from the establishment and media.
A brief tour d’horizon of related disparate treatment favoring left-leaning national leaders would include: Bill Clinton’s mystery meeting with Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the airport tarmac amidst Hillary Clinton’s legal imbroglios; Hillary subsequently skating on destroyed emails and unsecured classified records; and now the current president openly shoveling $113 billion to a country where he and his son have significant and shady business ties. All of this suggests a nation whose rulers are not so different anymore from those atop the regimes elsewhere in the world.
The reasons why we’ve sunk into this legal mire are important, and will be addressed in this column in greater depth some other time. One of my prime imperatives with these columns is to take the reader beneath the superficial political battles of the day to understand how we’ve reached such a low point for our Republic. For now, it bears mentioning briefly that the Left’s takeover of our law schools decades ago, and the GOP’s failure to fight back at the time, set the stage for the injustices we’re witnessing. I was there, a student alongside Obama at Harvard Law School, when it happened; and for what it’s worth, I tried my lonesome best to oppose it even there—and have the war stories from the time to prove it.
As the Left tightened its grip on the legal system, a few observers spoke out, including the late Rush Limbaugh. Little else was done, however. Now we witness President Trump tied down like Gulliver by otherwise forgettable prosecutors in a variety of jurisdictions.
How does Trump fight his way out of this? Besides pointing out the obvious unfairness of the legal forces rolled out against him, he should do two things over and over, as only he can. He should remind the Trump-voting half of the country that they are in the process of being officially subjugated by the Left and permanently reduced to second-class citizens. The looming indictment(s) of Trump send and underscore this message.
Trump must also point out other relevant double standards. That requires a short history lesson about indicted and revered Democratic politicians.
Democrats have a proud history of rallying around their own colorful politicians who are indicted and ultimately sent to prison. Their professed shock at the spectacle of an indicted Trump posing for a mug shot should yield to a couple sample reminders of the Democratic Left’s own recent embrace of prominent indicted pols.
James Michael Curley was a longtime Irish-American politician in Boston allied with the Kennedy family and many other prominent Democratic leaders. A Congressman, Governor of Massachusetts, and four-term Mayor of Boston, Curley was a flamboyant figure who had many run-ins with law enforcement. It’s been credibly alleged that Curley was paid off to resign from Congress to make way for a young John Kennedy right after World War II.
In 1946, having vacated his congressional seat, Curley campaigned for the mayor’s office for the fourth time. He soon found himself under indictment for bribery, and later mail fraud, by federal authorities. He ran defiantly with the slogan “Curley Gets Things Done.” Curley was elected despite it all as Boston Democrats closed ranks around their embattled kinsman.
While in office Curley was convicted of mail fraud in 1947 and sentenced to federal prison. He remained mayor, however, with the city clerk serving as “acting mayor” in his absence. Curley was in prison for only five months before President Harry Truman commuted his sentence. Truman did so as a part of a presidential campaign that was one of the most racially and ethnically focused ever, tactics that jacked up urban turnout and helped him eke out a narrow win in 1948 over Republican nominee Thomas Dewey. Upon release from prison, Curley returned to the mayor’s office accompanied by a brass band playing “Hail to the Chief.”
So great were the Bostonian’s ties to the leadership of the Democratic Party that Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, long-time Democratic Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, helped secure a pension for Curley long after he left office. Two statues of Curley still stand today at Boston’s landmark Faneuil Hall.
“Mayor for Life”
Then there’s Marion Barry. Like Curley, Barry was a charismatic mayor of a deeply Democratic large city, the nation’s troubled capital city. In 1986, Barry was elected to his third term as mayor of Washington, D.C. Despite Barry’s open admissions of substance-abuse problems and the crack epidemic engulfing his city, the Washington Post faithfully endorsed Barry for reelection.
Yet in January 1990, Barry was arrested for crack cocaine use and possession at a D.C. hotel. Barry’s former girlfriend, an FBI informant, had invited Barry to the hotel room and insisted he smoke freebase cocaine before they had sex. Agents monitored them on camera in another room. Upon his arrest, Barry memorably offered up at once a confession and a prime candidate for Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations: "B***h set me up.”
Barry was charged with perjury, drug possession, and conspiracy to possess cocaine. But the jury downplayed much of the evidence and convicted him merely of the possession charge. Several black jurors insisted the prosecution had falsified evidence as part of a racist conspiracy, even denying certain facts that were stipulated to as part of the trial.
Barry lost reelection that year—his only electoral loss ever—and went to federal prison for six months. Released in 1992, Barry promptly ran for city council and was elected with the slogan "He May Not Be Perfect, But He's Perfect for D.C." Two years later Barry reclaimed the mayor’s office.
In 2018, four years after Barry’s death, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled a statue of Barry commissioned by the D.C. government. Bowser portrayed Barry as a civil rights icon, saying, “Sometime after Martin had a dream and President Obama gave us hope, Marion Barry provided opportunity.” She dedicated the statue to the man she described as “our Mayor for Life, Marion Barry.” The statue stands today on Pennsylvania Avenue, a stone’s throw away from the White House grounds.
Warts and All
While such sordid men obviously do not deserve the loyalty shown them, let us at least acknowledge the reasons for such fidelity. When historically persecuted people rally around embattled champions, as Irish- and African-Americans did for these Democratic mayors, they are motivated in large measure by self-protection. So too conservatives and Christians today fighting off leftist tyranny rightfully feel the same urge to stand with Trump, a fighter standing amidst a rising sea of woke oppression and RINO sellouts. In the aftermath of a Trump indictment, we can’t allow the Democratic Left to trumpet his travails and occupy the high ground by ignoring their past support of indicted (and ultimately convicted) leaders.
We must expect that the leaders we choose to represent us will frequently bear the battle scars of fighting a corrupt regime.
We live in a new age in which the law increasingly is applied unequally to Americans based on their political beliefs. As a result, we must expect that the leaders we choose to represent us will frequently bear the battle scars of fighting a corrupt regime. The pending indictment(s) of Trump will come with that bright-red disclaimer, which his half of the country must repeat again and again.
Trump’s supporters must insist that the woke devotees who egged on this witch hunt, and who will rapturously beat their breasts in triumph when the indictment(s) are handed down, be given a “perp walk” of their own: a virtual tour of the Curley and Barry statues, while being asked to explain yet another of their double standards.
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