By Rob Meyne
- June 10, 2023
- 5-min read
One of the most important, and tragic, events in American history occurred this week: the indictment of a former president on federal charges. This is unprecedented. Whatever you may think of former President Donald Trump, it says as much about the forces determined to stop him as it does about Trump himself. In no sense is this a good thing for the country.
It is easier to make decisions on most issues based on emotion and your own biases (factually based or not) than to make them based on facts and objectivity. This is such a case.
While we like to say we are a nation of laws, most decisions regarding who to prosecute involve an overwhelming amount of subjectivity. If you believe most prosecutions are based on facts alone then, with respect, you don’t know much about our system. Nearly all prosecutorial choices involve opinion, bias, and preferences. It is called “prosecutorial discretion.” The DA who indicted Trump in New York, for example, immediately upon taking office, reduced the charges against thousands of people accused of violent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. The facts had not changed, only the opinion of the DA.
I’ll go further and say that any lawyer who doesn’t recognize the decision to charge Trump is unjustifiable based on past actions in similar cases – and doesn’t say so – is at this point a hypocrite not deserving of membership in the bar. Any political observer who doesn’t admit this is an entirely unjustified prosecution is also either uninformed, corrupt, or lying. If that is too pointed or confrontational for you, my apologies, and maybe this piece isn’t your cup of tea. The stakes are high and the time for timidity is gone.
How is that for direct? 😊 You know who you are! With love and apologies all around, the time for being afraid to express your opinion is gone. We are in many ways losing our country, and if you don’t work to preserve it, you are part of the problem.
The decision to charge Trump is politically driven. Period.
From the political side, it is very likely, in my view, that leading Democrats are pushing for prosecution of Trump because they know it will inflame his base and make his nomination more likely. They WANT Trump to be the nominee because they think they can beat him. At the same time, they know moderates and non-partisans will be hesitant to vote for someone under indictment or convicted.
The political ramifications will be interesting, but the legal outline is clear.
Every executive in Washington must follow a complex system of requirements and procedures for record-keeping. It is rare for Washington’s denizens NOT to violate a procedure, either intentionally or inadvertently. In almost all such cases there is either no punishment or only minor fines. That is what makes the Trump indictment indefensible. None of his predecessors has been subject to the same level of investigation, scrutiny, or potential sanctions.
Be clear: the DOJ works for the president and is taking actions to affect his leading opponent and to impact the election. Anyone who doesn’t recognize that should just, candidly, go home and stay there on Election Day, because they are hopelessly naïve.
Memos and emails have already shown the White House was involved in the decision to search Mar-A-Lago, even though President Joe Biden claimed he didn’t even know it was going to happen. This White House spews more lies in a week than Pinocchio did in a lifetime, and they aren’t even particularly clever about it.