Despite the difficulty in reconciling the idea that no one is above the law with the potential political implications of putting a former president behind bars, the truth remains that if someone is convicted of a crime, they must face the punishment.

D onald Trump on being indicted: “I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States.”

Me either.

Throughout the various investigations of Mr. Trump’s behavior, from paying hush money to a porn star to trying to overturn a fair and free election, I’ve had this bug that it would look horrible to the rest of the world if America appeared to be putting political enemies behind bars, taking away our moral authority.

Squaring that with “no one is above the law” was difficult. And I never could square it.

The truth is that no one is above the law here, and if someone is convicted of a crime, they do the punishment.

Trump’s reaction to his indictment yesterday was not shocking:

  • He ordered a satellite truck to feed out his supporters and himself to the world.
  • He cut a poorly produced video (amazingly poorly produced by the man considered the best at manipulating the media and his supporters and his staging).
  • Less than an hour after he announced his own indictment, he sent out a fundraising letter.

Nothing has changed. He’s still the arrogant, narcissistic, deluded soul he always has been.

I know his supporters believe there is a “deep state” that has it in for him. And I know those supporters believe that a president can control what the Justice Department does. You think they would have seen that even when Trump was president and tried to order his Justice Department to take down his enemies, they wouldn’t do it. Why? Because there was no evidence for his allegations. Some of the evidence for Trump’s indictment played out in full view of the public.

Yet, here we are.

The special prosecutor cut off various potential Trump appeals when he set the case for the Florida trial, where Trump has a better chance of finding a jury pool that doesn’t hate him. That should say something about the Justice Department’s approach to this most serious case.

Trump won’t ever admit he did anything wrong. | CREDIT: FLICKR/GAGE SKIDMORE

It’s a case that, as has been pointed out, is ironic because Trump tried to tar his 2016 opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with mishandling classified documents and pledging that would never happen if he were president.

One more lie.

Trump tries to equate his case with those of his former vice president Mike Pence and President Biden. Those cases, though, are far from the same as his. Neither Pence nor Biden tried to withhold classified documents from their rightful owner – the government. When they were discovered, they were turned over and there's no evidence either knew they had them. Pence’s case was closed. Biden’s is still being investigated.

Trump broadcast loud and clear that he had them and they were “mine.”

Two of Trump’s opponents for the 2024 presidential nomination jumped to his defense, before even pretending they’d read the facts of the indictment, which hadn't yet been unsealed.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: “The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society.” That’s not what’s happening but if it were, it’s not unlike DeSantis’ weaponizing his state government against LGBTQIA folks or women (from whom he has taken away control of their bodies) or children (as he rewrites the history of the country and stops any discussion of gender in classrooms).

Vivek Ramaswamy: “It would be much easier for me to win this election if Trump weren’t in the race, but I stand for principles over politics.” He said if elected he would pardon Trump on his first day in office. That’s without seeing the indictment or the facts of why Trump is being charged. That’s without even the start of a trial to determine the facts. Those are his principles, apparently.

Both go beyond “no one is above the law” and arrived at “I don’t need the facts. He’s innocent.”

And they want to be President of the United States and swear allegiance to the Constitution.

They are setting themselves up to use Trump as their role model.

Most in Trump’s position in the past cut a deal to avoid jail time. But Trump won’t ever admit he did anything wrong.

I almost wish the trial would be televised. But then the Master Manipulator would turn it into a circus.

As he did the presidency.

PMP Magazine


Text: This piece was originally published in The Screaming Moderate and re-published in PMP Magazine on 10 June 2023, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.
Cover: Flickr/Gage Skidmore. - Donald Trump. (Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)

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