Last week’s indictment of Donald Trump is the latest example of why liberals really should have read my book, Resistance Is Futile. Or Aesop’s fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Either one.
After years of making insane accusations against Trump, from Russian collusion to indicting him for misdemeanor record-keeping errors in his blackmail payments to a porn star, liberals finally have him dead to rights committing serious felonies. And no one believes them.
It’s your own fault, liberals.
Much to my surprise, the documents Trump had spirited away to Mar-a-Lago were not cheesy souvenirs appealing to his juvenile sensibility, like Shaquille O’Neal’s shoe or a picture with Kim Kardashian.
No, the documents he’d stuffed in Mar-a-Lago’s ballroom, bathroom, and shower (among other highly secure locations) included information about our nuclear weapons programs, the defense capabilities of the U.S. and other countries, potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack, and plans for possible retaliation.
As Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr said in an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” these were “among the most sensitive secrets the country has.”
Plans to attack Iran drawn up by the Pentagon are NOT — as alleged in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal five days after the indictment was released — “newspapers, press clippings, letters, notes, cards, [and] photographs [gathered by President Trump].” (Good to see the Dominion lawsuit has forced Murdoch’s companies to start being honest with conservatives!)
In another reminder that Trump defenders need to wait a beat before repeating his claims like trained seals, the government has Trump on audiotape boasting about how incredibly “secret” and “highly confidential” the documents are — as he showed them off to people at his Bedminster Club. “As president I could have declassified it,” he told the non-security-cleared person, “Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.”
How many Republicans have sworn up and down that Trump had declassified all the papers he removed from the White House? Now he’s on tape admitting that that was a lie.
Trump’s excuses — I declassified all of them! I complied with the Presidential Papers Act! It’s a political hit job! — are not only false, but irrelevant to the obstruction of justice counts against him. You can be completely innocent of the underlying charge, but you still have to produce documents in response to a subpoena. If a grand jury requested it, you’d have to produce Shaquille O’Neal’s shoe.
This is a basic requirement of Anglo-Saxon law. Otherwise, targets of investigations would fire up the shredding machines, evidence would disappear, and the legal system would grind to a halt.
Just last year, a lawyer in the U.K. was ordered to pay more than $700,000 for telling an IT manager to “burn” a message app in response to a search warrant for electronic communications. He wanted the messages destroyed for purely personal reasons, having nothing to do with the case.
But as an Above the Law column remarked at the time: “[H]ere’s a free tip [to lawyers] that is guaranteed to make your practice better: don’t tell clients to ‘burn’ evidence — yes, even if the contents are potentially embarrassing.”
Trump’s argument that he had a right to hide these documents from the government is the equivalent of Democrats’ “EVERYBODY DOES IT!” defense of Bill Clinton’s perjury in the Paula Jones case. (Fine, you’ve convinced me: All Democrats engage in oral sex with interns young enough to be their daughters.)
Like Trump, Clinton thought the underlying lawsuit against him was a political hit job, nobody’s business, his “private life.” So he perjured himself dozens of times during his sworn deposition.
After a DNA-stained blue dress proved he’d lied under oath, every single Supreme Court justice boycotted Clinton’s next state of the union address. They’d react the same way to Trump’s obstruction today. You can’t have a legal system if people lie under oath and defy subpoenas. It’s unfathomable that a president or ex-president would do these things.
Clinton’s criminal case ended with a deal. In exchange for not going to trial, he (finally) produced a “forthright admission that he gave false testimony under oath” — as The Washington Post put it — accepted a five year suspension of his law license, paid $25,000 in fees, and agreed not to request reimbursement of his legal fees. He also paid Paula Jones $850,000 and another $90,000 to her lawyers for contempt, described by The New York Times as “part of the unprecedented finding of contempt of court against a President of the United States by a Federal judge.”
Trump’s case could end with something like that, or it could end with a report, reciting his crimes, but declining to prosecute, as happened to Hillary.
But it won’t, principally because prosecuting Trump helps Biden get reelected by revving up the Trump crazies, and — with any luck — winning him the nomination, rather than a sane person who could point out that Joe is visibly decomposing before our eyes, Kamala is an imbecile, and their combined track record is appalling.
Trump’s argument isn’t that he didn’t do it, but deflection. What about Hillary? What about Hunter Biden? It’s a double standard!
YOU DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW THERE WAS A DOUBLE STANDARD???
Any Republican who thought he could get away with doing something illegal because Democrats did it first is too stupid to be our champion, much less the Republican nominee for president.
You want to do something about the double standard, right-wingers? Run someone who enrages the left by winning, not by constantly creating legal messes benefiting no one but himself.