What's the real case against Trump
All the state and local level gains made during the Obama administration are going to fade away in Trump’s garbage wake.
In the New York Times today, there are two legal analyses of Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg’s case against former President Donald J. Trump. Charles Savage calls it “risky and novel” and focuses on Trump’s deception of tax authorities, that could make the prosecution “simpler” to prove. David French remains skeptical. Erick Erickson picked up the tax angle, making fun with the headline “One of Trump's Crimes: He Overpaid Taxes 🙄.” I’m not going to weigh in here on the legal merits.
My thought is that Trump is not sophisticated enough to play a nuanced game with tax authorities in overpaying some taxes to cover up other indiscretions in bookkeeping. Keeping books is what a silver spoon dealmaking New York property developer pays other people to do. Paying taxes and keeping the IRS out of Trump’s pants (so he can use those pants do to other stuff) is why he hires accountants. Trump is no more heavily involved in those schemes than he was involved in running the government as president.
That being said, of course Trump was fine paying hush money to porn stars to keep stories out of the press. And of course he didn’t want to advertise he paid them; and he didn’t care how the entries looked in his ledger other than “don’t write ‘hush payments’ in the memo line.” So, it’s very possible that Bragg’s team can get several felony convictions. It’s very unlikely that those would result in more than a fine, or an extended appeal process.
The real case against Trump is that Democrats are doing the work that Republicans refuse to do.
Trump lost the 2020 election with Republicans in office in Georgia and Arizona, but lost both states, despite claims of massive fraud, which had zero proof. Trump candidates for governor in both states failed to make headway. Trump-aligned candidates in the 2022 midterms failed. A massive conspiracy of Republicans who met at the State Capitol in Atlanta to sign a fake slate of electors (this also happened in Arizona), which was fraudulently transmitted to the Archivist of the United States in advance of the January 6th plot to overthrow the election, was investigated not by the Republican administration in Georgia, but by a Democrat D.A. in Fulton County.
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A small south Georgia county election official allowed Trump lawyers access to voting machines, a crime. While the GBI showed interest, it was Fani Willis’ special grand jury that did most of the digging here.
Republicans, almost to the individual level, have abrogated their responsibility to uphold the law and any semblance of civil standards when dealing with Trump. Whether it’s fear of Trump’s trolls, losing their position (many have indeed quit), or simply a desire not to admit losing and owning up to horrible decisions in the past, even Republicans who stood up to Trump are letting Democrats make their case.
If Republicans refuse to throw Trump out, and let Alvin Bragg bring a shaky case against him, or defer to Fani Willis (who is accused of political bias, and has been barred from investigating some Trump associated politicians), the political narrative that Trump’s legal troubles are politically motivated gain traction. But in fact, if Trump committed the crimes he’s accused of (especially in Georgia), those crimes are as much against Republicans as Democrats.
Allowing Trump and his associates to continue to claim that 2020 was stolen, while trying to run in 2024 with almost no difference in the people running the elections his candidates lost in 2022 is a recipe for insulting voters’ intelligence. Voters are going to kill Republican chances at the polls in response, especially in races with two relative unknowns, or a strong contender challenges a GOP incumbent.
All the state and local level gains made during the Obama administration are going to fade away in Trump’s garbage wake. All to maintain a narrative that prosecuting Trump is a political persecution. Republicans should be prosecuting Trump, but they are too weak, or scared, or calculating, to do it.
So we’re left with Alvin Bragg and Fani Willis, and possibly FBI Director Christopher Wray (a Trump appointee) and Attorney General Merrick Garland, operating under a Democrat-run administration, to do the needed “dirty work.”
If that fails, it’s up to the voters. And I’m not really impressed with the voters’ decision-making ability.
Building a case based on paying hush money to floozies seems to be a poor vehicle for finally getting Trump. If I were a very wealthy politician, businessman and philanderer, I could think of dozens of reasons that have no criminal intent to pay hush money. An election clerk violating the rules in a small Georgia county will not get him either. Nor will Mr. Trump urging the Georgia Secretary of State to investigate the possibility of voter fraud. Nor will coercing the Ukraine president in the same fashion as Joe Biden did - it's just foreign policy - Obama's or Trump's. He might be guilty as hell but more proof than Trump's inarticulate statements and delusional thoughts will be required.
For sure the Republican party has wasted effort, public good will and winnable elections by continuing to promote Trump as a leader. He cannot be elected unless the current democrat administration screws things up unbelievably worse. Even then the abortionists might save the election for Biden or whoever is nominated.
I did not have to read very far into your piece to reveal your Trump Derangement. Your first paragraph makes an assertion that the miscategorizeing of the expense was a deception. There is no evidence of a deception, it may have been an error or maybe it was an interpretation issue. Maybe an error or interpretation issue made by his tax accountant and not even the President. I can't imagine how the President did his own tax preparation. Hell, I don;'t and my return is only a dozen pages. His return is a hundred pages.
If it was an error or interpretation issue, he remains responsible and would likely have no problem with penalties levied. Unlike the Bidens who have received money and not reported it on his taxes, President Trump's deduction was for a legal expense which he actually paid out.