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The Indictment Reeks

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Apparently the leaks about the Manhattan grand jury being done with the Trump case for a month amounted to a head fake, deliberate or otherwise.  Donald Trump went from predicting his own arrest a few weekends ago to publicly praising the grand jurors ("gained such respect"), apparently under the belief that they'd decided not to pursue charges.  Yesterday afternoon, I asked a legal guest on my radio show if that was unwisely premature on Trump's part, considering that the grand jury pool was almost certainly stacked with people who hate him, with an outcome still unclear.  A few hours later, the indictment was announced.  Trump's 'great respect' warm and fuzzies instantly vanished, in favor a statement of outrage.


Whatever you think of Trump, the indictment reeks.  The fact that it's been sought is plainly and outrageously political, no matter how hard certain media outlets gaslight.  With the caveat that it's currently sealed, and we haven't seen all of its substance, it's thus far been widely and rightly seen as a profoundly feeble case, with even the New York Times conceding that the legal theory behind it rests on a novel, "untested," and "risky" bank shot, requiring a convoluted effort to upgrade a possible misdemeanor into a low-level felony -- all spearheaded by a partisan ideologue who's notorious for downgrading criminal charges. Given the reality that the feds looked at this exact same set of facts and declined to pursue charges, even as they're coming after Trump from other angles, says it all.  This is a deep blue city prosecutor weaponizing the law against a prominent member of the opposing party.  It's an abuse of office.  A former president has never been indicted in this country.  This is very much not the way to make that history.

Politically, this is helpful to Trump, certainly in the near term.  The party has been rallying around him every since this plot line developed, pushing him into the middle of the spotlight, where he likes to be.  No one else is getting any oxygen.  The base smells another (in this case, particularly rancid) witch hunt.  Trump's current and expected primary opponents are issuing statements against Alvin Bragg's overreach.  And that's not all.  Because Bragg went first -- with three other grand jury probes into Trump looming -- the anti-Trump legal adventure starts on its weakest possible footing.  It will now be easier for Team Trump to dismiss any future developments as "here we go again" piling on.  They could say that the weird, fame-seeking grand jury foreperson in Georgia proves how politicized that process was.  They could also reasonably question how charges could be brought against Trump on the classified documents matter, given the sitting president's problems on that front (to say nothing of the uncharged but illegal Hillary emails fiasco).  There would be at least some, if not a lot of, truth to these points.


I'll leave you with a report that perhaps Bragg's grand jury was or is sniffing around another hush money case.  'Hush money,' as part of a nondisclosure agreement, is not illegal.  Knowingly concealing the payments can be unlawful, but it only becomes a felony is someone like Alvin Bragg decides to try to dress it up as two separate crimes:

Longer term, conservative voters will need to decide if this is what will put the Republican Party in the strongest position to win a very important election late next year.  In the near term, Trump will garner more attention, more small donor dollars, and more support.  Perhaps the Left is pleased by all of that.  But one's opinions on Trump or 2024 don't change what Bragg has done here, which appears to be both bad law and bad for the country.  Maybe it'll eventually prove to be bad politics, too.  Incidentally, no, it's not misleading or anti-Semitic to accurately note that Bragg is bankrolled by George Soros:


Also, "prove innocence"?  So many of our awful elites could use remedial civics lessons:

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