Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

Trump Benefitting from Democrat Legal Attacks

 

When state and federal Democrat-inspired prosecutors began their legal attacks on Donald Trump, they believed that the mere volume of the accusations against him, regardless of their dubious credibility or lack of legal merit, would convince all but the most diehard Trump supporters that he was not fit to be elected to a second term as president. But it hasn’t worked out that way.

The Democrat obsession with Trump, also known as Trump Derangement Syndrome, has once again gone too far, by lending credibility to Trump’s claims that he is the victim of a cynical conspiracy to subvert the American legal system for partisan political advantage.

Democrats have sought to justify their extraordinary efforts to discredit and disqualify Trump as a legitimate presidential candidate by claiming that he poses a dire threat to American democracy, when, in fact, they are the ones who are guilty of politicizing the American judicial system and subverting the electoral process.

Not only have the Democrats and their compliant Trump-hating prosecutors and judges conspired to deny the former president his rights, as an American citizen, to the due process of law and the presumption of innocence, but they are also trying to deny tens of millions of American voters the right to vote for the presidential candidate of their choice.

Each new civil lawsuit or criminal indictment that has been lodged against Trump has been seriously flawed or legally questionable. But the latest legal move to disqualify Trump as a 2024 presidential candidate, a decision handed down last week by four Democrat-appointed justices on the Colorado state Supreme Court, which bars Trump’s name from appearing on the GOP state primary ballot, is the most outrageous travesty of justice yet.

MISAPPLYING THE 14TH AMENDMENT

The ruling is based upon a grossly distorted interpretation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which was passed in 1866, after the end of the Civil War. It bans anyone who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the [United States government]” from holding a federal elective office. It was clearly intended for the sole purpose of preventing former soldiers who fought for the Confederacy from seeking national office following the Civil War.

But liberal Democrats have sought to apply that obscure law to Donald Trump’s involvement in the January 6, 2021 riot by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol building, in order to remove his name from the GOP primary ballot in several blue states across the country.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruling ignores the fact that Trump has never been formally accused, let alone convicted, of “insurrection,” for his actions that day, because the legal definition of an “insurrection” would require proof of an organized plan to overthrow the government on January 6, which clearly does not exist.

If the insurrection issue ever did come up in a court trial, Trump’s defense lawyers could point to the fact that he told his unarmed supporters, just before the January 6 riot, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

Even if Trump had been duly tried and convicted of insurrection for his actions on January 6, he might still be entitled to stay on the ballot, because Section 3 of the 14th Amendment omits the presidency from the list of federal positions that are covered by its ban on holding office.

STILL UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE JANUARY 6 RIOT

As conservative commentator Victor Davis Hanson points out, “The more we learn about January 6, all the more it appears to have been a spontaneous riot [rather than a planned insurrection], more buffoonish in nature than conspiratorial.

“No one has explained the mysterious, politicized January 6 refusal of the Speaker of the House [Nancy Pelosi] to order a reinforcement of the Capitol police.

“Or the FBI stonewalling about its informants in the crowd.

“Or the revealing admissions of New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg that there were ‘a ton of FBI informants among the people who attacked the Capitol.’

“Or the months-long official disinformation surrounding the number and circumstances of those who died that day [including Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed without warning by Michael Bird, a Capitol Police officer].”

DEMOCRATS TURNED A BLIND EYE TO THE LEFTIST 2020 RIOTS

Hanson also points out that the same Democrats who are obsessed with prosecuting and severely punishing Trump and his supporters for their roles in the January 6 riot have consistently turned a blind eye to the far more destructive “summer violence” in 2020 when Antifa and BLM [Black Lives Matter] engineered riots, arson, and death.

“Their planned violence accounted for 35 or so killed, and more than 1,500 injured police officers.

“Some $1-2 billion in property was destroyed.

“A police precinct, federal courthouse, and an iconic Washington, D.C. church were torched.”

Yet, because those who incited and organized the violence and destruction were closely identified with the progressive activists of the Democrat Party, very little effort was made by local and state Democrat elected officials to hold them legally responsible. In fact, then-Senator Kamala Harris arguably encouraged the violence by seeking donations for the Minnesota Freedom Fund to bail out those arrested for looting and other crimes during the 2020 riots.

PUTTING SUPREME COURT JUSTICES IN DANGER

Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland, also refused to arrest and prosecute the liberal activists who violated federal law by harassing conservative Supreme Court justices, and staging protest demonstrations outside their homes.

There was also no effort made to punish Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer in 2020 when he issued a public threat in front of an angry crowd of liberal protestors on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court against two conservative justices who had been appointed by President Trump.

“I want to tell you Gorsuch. I want to tell you Kavanaugh,” Schumer said. “You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful [conservative] decisions.”

Finally, there is the “kid gloves” treatment that anti-Trump senior FBI and IRS officials have applied to prominent or well-connected Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Hunter Biden, letting them get away with clear violations of federal law.

UNEQUAL ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAW

It is all part of a disturbing pattern of behavior by Democrats who, in recent years, have been acting as if they believe that the strict enforcement of the laws should be applied exclusively to Republicans, especially if they are associated with Donald Trump.

The three Republican-appointed judges on the Colorado court who dissented from the decision also noted that Trump was denied a fair trial before the judgment was rendered. Ironically, the court’s ruling also violates the due process clause of Section 1 of the same 14th Amendment, which guarantees Trump the right of every citizen to defend himself and confront his accusers at a court hearing before a decision condemning any crime is handed down.

Similar attempts to strike Trump’s name from state GOP primary ballots have been struck down by courts in the states of Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, and Rhode Island, but are still pending in the states of Alaska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Vermont, and Virginia

Of course, the highly dubious legal attempts to strike Trump’s name from 2024 ballots are only the most recent attempt by Democrats and Trump’s many enemies in the mainstream media and the traditional wing of the GOP to use any means necessary, fair or foul, to discredit him both as a candidate and during his years as president.

THE PERSECUTION OF DONALD TRUMP CONTINUES

It began with Hilary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign secretly hiring Christopher Steele to write and circulate his notorious dossier filled with false claims that Trump was colluding with Russia to subvert the election. The dossier then became the basis of an FBI investigation and a two-year-long probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller which failed to find any evidence to support the bogus charges against Trump.

Frustrated House Democrats then impeached Trump twice, but failed to gain a conviction, the first time for asking Ukraine’s then newly-elected President Zelensky to investigate Biden family corruption in that country, and the second time for Trump’s involvement in the January 6 riot.

Even after Joe Biden took office, the constant attacks on Trump in the mainstream media continued, while the same reporters continued to cover up for President Biden’s failed policies at home and abroad, and disturbing signs of his age-diminished cognitive and physical abilities.

Politically motivated liberal Democrat prosecutors and judges in Georgia, New York, and Washington, D.C., as well as Biden’s Justice Department and the FBI, continued to persecute Trump and his supporters. They staged a pre-dawn raid on his Mar-a-Lago home, hunted down and jailed hundreds of Trump supporters for peacefully participating in the January 6 protest at the Capitol, and used novel interpretations of the law to indict Trump on more than 90 criminal charges that would never be prosecuted against any other ordinary individual, let alone another former president.

As Trump’s popularity continued to grow with the Republican voter base and in head-to-head polls against Joe Biden, Democrats, and the mainstream media have intensified their attacks, most recently twisting Trump’s words to accuse him of echoing the heinous rhetoric of Hitler and Mussolini, and harboring intentions to rule as a dictator if elected president again.

But Trump’s loyal supporters have learned long ago to disbelieve the accusations of his critics. They know, based on the record of his first term as president, that Donald Trump is not a dictator, nor a bigot, nor a threat to democracy, despite the accusations of his enemies.

THWARTING THE LIBERAL ELITE AGENDA

Those false accusations are actually assisting Trump in implementing his campaign strategy of painting himself as the target of a conspiracy by liberal elite Democrats, the deep state establishment, and the “fake news” media. They hate him because he promises to save America from the elites who are seeking to thwart the will of the people. He also promises to serve as the “retribution” for working-class Americans whose best interests were abandoned years ago by the Democrats in favor of race and gender-based identity politics and an anti-American, socialist-inspired, progressive agenda.

Progressive critic Samuel Moyn recognizes that the effort by his liberal colleagues to convict Trump, send him to jail, and, most recently, remove his name from the primary and presidential ballots, is counterproductive because it  “transforms what ought to be a national referendum on the future of the country into a national spectacle of how judges will interpret a provision from its past.”

According to Democrat pollster Douglas Schoen, “The bottom line is that in the short term, this decision [by the Democrat-appointed judges of the Colorado Supreme Court] helps Trump, who can now focus on shining the spotlight on the media and the ‘elites.’ Democrats, on the other hand, are decidedly not the beneficiaries and may actually wind up the biggest losers if this leads to a number of states following Colorado’s lead. . .

“The decision by the Colorado court to remove Trump without any findings of culpability anywhere serves to underscore the argument. . . that Trump increasingly will use. . . that the issue is not about what he did on January 6, or what he attempted to do in Georgia, or any of the other criminal cases, but rather about how the Democratic party, the media, and the ‘elites’ are ganging up on him to subvert democracy.

“Given that the Colorado Supreme Court made this unprecedented decision without any cross-examination, testimony, or the normal protections of due process, Trump will undoubtedly use the decision as a prime example of being the victim of a ‘weaponized’ [justice] system — and in the process, make his perceived status as a martyr that much harder to dispel,” Schoen concludes.

The outrageous Colorado Supreme Court decision enables Trump to use the basic but persuasive argument that American democracy relies on the ability of voters, not judges or partisan election officials, to determine who their leaders will be.

Even independent voters with no love for Donald Trump are being turned off by the self-appointed Democrat “defenders of democracy” who are far too quick to limit voters’ choices to secure their preferred electoral outcomes. They, in fact, rather than Trump, are the ones who pose a threat to the integrity of our elections and our democracy.

EVEN TRUMP’S GOP ENEMIES CONDEMN THE COLORADO DECISION

The Colorado Supreme Court decision is so blatantly unfair that even many “Never-Trump” Republicans have been forced to defend Trump’s right to have his name appear on the Colorado GOP primary ballot so that registered Republican voters, rather than a rogue block of four Democrat-appointed judges, can pass judgment on his qualifications to run as the GOP’s candidate for president once again.

For example, Peter Meijer was one of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over his actions on January 6 and paid a high political price for it when he lost his bid for re-election in his Michigan district in the 2022 midterm election.

Nevertheless, he writes in an opinion piece in The Free Press, “You will be hard-pressed to find someone less disposed toward Trump than me. . . [But] as someone who believes Trump’s liability for January 6 is political, and that pursuing legal action against a former president must rest on an unshakable foundation, I must also stand against the mockery that this Colorado Supreme Court ruling represents.

“One of Donald Trump’s greatest talents is his ability to make his opponents become the very thing they despise. In efforts to ‘protect democracy’ from Trump, those who view Trump as a threat to democracy are defiling democratic norms in the process. At every turn, they reinforce the worst suspicions of the public that our system is rigged. . .

“Bending the law and loosening interpretations to force Trump’s accountability for January 6 into the legal realm will be far more damaging [to our democracy] in the long term than whatever Trump’s opponents think they might prevent,” Meijer concludes.

In some respects, the increasingly inevitable return bout between Trump and Biden in the 2024 presidential election is reminiscent of a championship boxing match in which both veteran fighters are somewhat “over the hill,” but have no credible replacements readily available.

IF TRUMP CAN BEAT BIDEN, WHY CHOOSE A SUBSTITUTE?

For most Republicans, Trump remains, by far, the most effective proponent for his populist agenda. He has succeeded in expanding the party’s base to include large numbers of working-class and minority voters who do not feel comfortable with the radical progressive ideals that dominate today’s Democrat Party. They see no need to accept a less controversial substitute for Trump promoting essentially the same policies, such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis or former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, especially in light of recent polls which consistently show Trump to be leading Biden in a head-to-head matchup, both nationwide and in most of the key presidential battleground states.

While Democrat party leaders see the same polls and worry about both Biden’s age and dismal job approval ratings, they are reluctant to push him to drop his bid for re-election, because his default replacement, Vice President Kamala Harris, is equally unpopular, and could not be denied the nomination without provoking a highly divisive fight with the party’s black and feminist factions.

TAMPERING WITH THE ELECTION TO PROTECT BIDEN

Democrat Party leaders have also gone to extraordinary lengths to protect Biden from any serious challengers during their presidential primary season. The Democrat National Committee (DNC) has refused to schedule nationally televised debates between Biden and the other declared candidates for the nomination and changed the primary schedule to make South Carolina, where Biden’s party support is strongest, the first state in the nation to vote, displacing Iowa and New Hampshire.

As a result, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. dropped out of the Democrat race for the nomination in October and blamed the DNC for “rigging” the primary rules against him. Kennedy declared that he would continue his rum for the presidency as an independent candidate. Other left-wing third-party candidates running for president include Jill Stein and black activist Cornell West. Because all three are expected to take more votes away from Joe Biden than Donald Trump in the November election, Democrat lawyers have been working to keep them off the ballot in as many states as possible. The Democrats are also attempting to prevent representation on the ballot by the centrist No Labels party, which has yet to name its presidential candidate.

The Trump campaign reacted to the ruling of the Colorado Supreme Court removing his name from the state’s presidential primary ballot by filing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and a request for an expedited ruling before the deadline for adding candidates to the primary ballot.

THE SUPREME COURT’S ROLE IN THE 2024 ELECTION

In reviewing the Colorado decision to remove Trump from the ballot, the Supreme Court is likely to resolve, once and for all, the dispute over the nature of the January 6 event. Did it qualify, as Democrats have claimed, under the terms of the 14th Amendment, as an “insurrection” by Donald Trump and his supporters, intended to forcibly block Congress’ certification of the results of November’s presidential election? Or was it a partisan political rally, protected by the First Amendment, like many others that have taken place at the Capitol in recent years, but which was allowed to get out of control, due to inadequate Capitol security safeguards, and turned into a destructive riot?

At the same time, the Supreme Court will also have to determine the intentions behind Trump’s speech to his supporters earlier that day, in urging them to ask Congress to challenge the results of the previous November’s election, and his delay in asking his rioting supporters at the Capitol to stop and go home.

The Supreme Court rejected a request last week from Special Counsel Jack Smith, who will be trying Trump in a Washington D.C. federal district court for election interference, for an expedited decision on Trump’s claim that he has “absolute immune” from prosecution for anything he did as part of his duties as president, including trying to assure that the 2020 election was conducted properly.

“It is of imperative public importance that respondent’s claims of immunity be resolved by this Court and that respondent’s trial proceed as promptly as possible if his claim of immunity is rejected,” Smith’s legal team wrote in its petition to the Supreme Court.

Instead, the Supreme Court decided to follow normal procedure by allowing the lower D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on the immunity claim first before considering the question. Trump’s lawyers, on the other hand, agreed with the court’s decision, and criticized Smith’s request to “rush to decide the issues [in the case] with reckless abandon.”

TRUMP PLAYING FOR TIME

Trump celebrated the court’s decision in a fundraising message to his supporters in which he wrote, “The Supreme Court just DENIED the Biden prosecutor’s emergency request to ROB me of my right to presidential immunity,” the fundraising message read. “I will still have to fight for my rights in the Appeals Court – as the Biden Special Counsel will do everything in their power to rush my fake trial and wrongly CONVICT me before the 2024 election.”

The Supreme Court had also previously agreed to rule on the question of whether the Trump supporters who rioted at the Capitol on January 6 violated the federal law against obstructing an official proceeding, which is also one of the main charges against Trump in his federal election interference case, which is scheduled to go to trial in a Washington D.C. federal court on March 4, the day before the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses are held in 17 states and territories across the nation. However, the Supreme Court review of the obstruction question and Trump’s immunity claim could force a delay in the start of that trial until after the presidential election, which would be Trump’s preference.

Most legal scholars believe that, in the end, the Supreme Court’s 6-3 conservative majority will not let the Colorado ruling, throwing Trump off the ballot, stand.

“I would think this would be a nightmare for John Roberts,” said Supreme Court historian Stephen Wermiel, a law professor at American University. “The last thing I could imagine he would want is for the court to find itself pretty much deciding critical issues about the 2024 election.”

SUPREME COURT UNDER ATTACK FROM THE LEFT

One of Roberts’ goals as chief justice was to fashion the court’s rulings in such a way as to avoid partisan controversy and restore the public’s confidence in its impartiality. That confidence had been shaken by the court’s interference in the 2000 election by stopping the vote recount in Florida, which gave Republican George W. Bush the presidency over Democrat Al Gore.

Protecting the court’s reputation by avoiding partisan controversy was almost certainly the reason why Roberts dissented from the opinion of his fellow conservative justices on the Supreme Court and refused to strike down the Obamacare law as unconstitutional five months before the 2012 election,

It is also the reason why Roberts tried unsuccessfully to persuade the majority block of conservative justices last year to avoid striking down the Roe v. Wade decision, which wound up being a major factor, according to the exit polls, in the much better-than-expected showing by Democrats in the 2022 midterm election.

The impartiality and authority of the conservative-dominated Supreme Court are already under concerted attack by progressive activists, due to its recent decisions. In addition to overturning Roe v, Wade, the court’s conservative supermajority has expanded 2nd Amendment gun ownership rights, limited the regulatory authority of the Environmental Protection Agency, struck down race-based college admission affirmative action standards, and defended the religious rights of individuals when they come in conflict with government regulations. The liberal media has also been unfairly accusing conservative Justice Clarence Thomas of unethical behavior, and pressuring him to resign.

However, the Democrats’ lawfare attacks on Trump have made the deep involvement of the Supreme Court in the outcome of the 2024 election unavoidable because so many of the criminal charges they have lodged against him are legally problematic.

DEMOCRAT ATTACKS MAKING TRUMP STRONGER

The lawfare attacks that Democrats had hoped would discredit Trump in the eyes of voters have backfired badly. Every time he has been targeted and indicted based upon highly questionable legal theories, his popularity as measured by the opinion polls has increased.

The decision by the Colorado court to ban him from the ballot is the strongest evidence yet supporting his claim that he is being persecuted by the liberal deep state establishment.

Barring Trump’s name from appearing on the ballot makes him appear much more like a victim than a perpetrator of election interference or a threat to American democracy.

It has also forced Trump’s strongest primary opponents, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis to come to his defense, despite his overwhelming lead, further strengthening Trump’s candidacy and making it even more likely that he will soon wrap up the GOP presidential nomination, and then go on to defeat Joseph Biden in next November’s election.

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