He’s “Innocent,” Send Money

As Damon Linker writes, there is always some degree of taint when a politician of one side is proscuted by the other. As David French writes, no politician, no matter how high or mighty, should be treated better than or worse than any other citizen. What’s Trump got to say? Send money!!!.

His political advisers had been preparing for weeks to exploit the federal indictment for full effect. His team has come to view federal law enforcement actions against him as a core part of its fund-raising strategy. Online fund-raising — which has long been the lifeblood of Mr. Trump’s political operation because high-end Republican donors largely shun him — has dried up for all Republican candidates over the past several years, including Mr. Trump.

G.O.P. donors are exhausted by constant hysterical appeals to give money to Mr. Trump to stop Democrats from destroying the nation. It takes a lot these days to grab the attention of such contributors; indictments are among the few events that enliven the grass roots enough to dip into their pockets.

For a “rich” guy, he begs for money a lot. Surrounded by some of his political advisors (Curley could not be found in time), proclaiming his innocence, Trump issued his carefully parsed statement in defense of his honor and integrity.

The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax, even though Joe Biden has 1850 Boxes at the University of Delaware, additional Boxes in Chinatown, D.C., with even more Boxes at the University of Pennsylvania, and documents strewn all over his garage floor where he parks his Corvette, and which is “secured” by only a garage door that is paper thin, and open much of the time.

Putting aside the three constants of Trump’s expression, the inanity of his effort to deflect attention from his own malfeasance by pointing elsewhere, the shamelessness of his baseless accusations and his inability to say anything that doesn’t smack of an admission of guilt, the legitimacy of this indictment and prosecution are beyond question, not because of anything the government has alleged but because of Trump’s inability to remain silent. Even when Hannity tried to gloss over his conduct and steer him away from the rocky shoals of lunacy, Trump could not stop himself from insisting he was guilty.

No, the Presidential Records Act does not allow him to take and do any damn thing he pleases. No, you can’t secretly declassify documents by thinking it, and you surely can’t claim after you got caught that you magically did it back when you were president. But mostly, what the Presidential Records Act does is state that all those top secret documents that you insist you knew about and tried hard to conceal from the National Archives and the FBI, time and time again, were the property of the United States and you couldn’t keep them no matter how cool you thought it would be to flash them to impress potential donors.

The only serious question is whether Trump was so fundamentally ignorant as to not realize, or at least grasp the seriousness of, what he did, or he was so arrogant as to believe that he could do anything he wanted to do because he was the king. Sure, he ran the White House like a mom and pop shop, clueless as to the law and basics of governance, surrounding himself with sycophants and greedy nuts when the few competent people he managed to engage fled his administration with the parting explanation of “he’s a moron.” Did he learn nothing from his four years of being a loser?

This isn’t about what anyone else did or didn’t do The logical fallacy of tu quoque is irrelevant. Forget Biden. Forget Hillary. This is about one thing only, what Trump did, and unlike the New York County indictment, this prosecution is no stretch.

The last time Mr. Trump was charged, in New York, his campaign said it had raised more than $12 million in the week after the indictment — a huge bump in his previously anemic fund-raising. Since then, Mr. Trump’s fund-raising has fallen back to a disappointing level, according to people briefed on the situation.

It would be a shame for Trump to waste his second indictment. At least he can milk the poor fools for some cash for the commissary as he cries about how he’s innocent and this isn’t the obvious product of his actions, but a witch hunt. Trump is no martyr to the working folks. He doesn’t love you. He never did. Hell, he didn’t even love junior enough to take his texts on January 6th. He just wanted to be adored and for random fools to send him money. That’s all he ever wanted. Indictments are a small price to pay if it gets him more loot.

21 thoughts on “He’s “Innocent,” Send Money

  1. jfjoyner3

    The case is about having custody of interesting documents. Not custody of the information within those documents, but the paper and ink. These documents aren’t intrinsically illegal to possess, especially for the US president. Someone, somewhere, unknown to the president, classifies the documents with a secret status (a process that can be abused, according to some experts). And someone, somewhere decides how they should be handled, a protocol binding even for the highest office in the land, we are told. Not all offenders are prosecuted. Someone, somewhere decides which of the offenders are prosecuted (a process that can be abused, according to some experts). Maybe it’s reasonable to assume that this violation is important to the elitists who classify and control the documents. While it’s not as serious as theft or murder, we should appreciate that it’s more serious than a speeding ticket.

    I read this blog with gratitude because it daily humbles or humiliates me. But today you have inspired me to disagree. To my (non-attorney) mind, indicting Trump looks more like a biased political act masquerading as law enforcement.

    I stopped reading at “[t]he only serious question is whether Trump…” I have no question that Trump is the trash you describe him to be. I understand that his own actions are the basis of the indictment. I understand that flawed law enforcement is our only option for law enforcement. But for me the most serious question is whether the Department of Justice is objectively pursuing justice in this case. The DOJ is an institution that will outlast this moron. Its personnel can do more damage than Trump can and arguably they’ve already done more.

    I’d like to assert that Darth Cheeto does not terrorize people like DOJ and FBI thugs do. Whatever good they do to uphold a facade of legitimacy, the most serious question is whether the DOJ (and FBI) is acting properly against a former president. Invoking the concept of prosecutorial discretion to disguise political bias is dangerous. In my opinion, political bias is oozing from every federal orifice. So for me the answer is no, their pursuit of Trump and his cronies is nothing more than political thuggery.

    If the DOJ is not acting for justice — and I believe they are acting from perverse political motives, not any universal sense of justice — it seems to me that the other instances of document mishandling that you ruled out are relevant. If those other instances are actually relevant, the inconsistencies are obvious and the DOJ should be treated by the courts with a high degree of suspicion. And that is my hope.

    1. Miles

      On the one hand, had Trump returned the docs to the National Archives, come clean rather than lie about what he had and not concealed them while lying so as to require a search to find the docs, would there still be a prosecution? Unlikely, but if there was, then it would be political.

      On the other hand, if Trump actually (though wrongly) believe he was entitled to keep any government or classified docs he wanted, why did he give some back to the National Archives at all, rather than tell them to get lost as his possession was legal?

      On the third hand, former CIA Directors Deutch and General Petreaus were both prosecuted for the disclosing national secrets, so it’s not just Trump.

  2. Hal

    IIUC, a full two minutes elapsed between the time Il Douche “truthed” msg decrying indictment/ proclaiming “I’M AN INNOCENT MAN!” and the first fundraising appeal being sent.

    One has to admire his restraint…

  3. Ray

    No fan of Trump, but this prosecution is a bad optic for the Justice Department. Prosecutorial discretion is an important check on power. This just has the look, feel and smell of a political prosecution. He will be able to juxtapose this against the conduct of his political rival who has plenty of skeletons in his own closet. Isn’t it better to just ignore Trump, and let him ride into the sunset? Even if he doesn’t want to go away on his own, cant you beat him in an election?

    1. C. Dove

      I think you’re missing the point. Any federal prosecution of Trump, even if he won and completed a second term, would be deemed a political prosecution. The issue is not beating him in an election but holding him accountable for his ill-begotten gains and misdeeds.

      Bear in mind that few people have, through their words and conduct, so openly begged to be indicted as Trump has. If I were a cynic, and I’m not, I’d think Trump did this for the “likes”–that is, favors and cash, in that order. I’m not suggesting he stole forbidden records in hopes of using them to sell sidewalk lemonade to his adoring fans. But once he was caught red-handed, which was only a matter of time, he openly refused to comply because he could only see a show pony to milk.

      1. Ray

        Yes, but where does it end? Biden apparently took documents while in the Senate and kept them unsecured for years if not decades. I don’t think he should be prosecuted. Hillary Clinton destroyed thousands of emails and had sensitive records on a server in her home. I didtn’t think she should have been prosecuted. This is not the right case to go after Donald Trump.
        I completely agree with you that he asked for it by his boorish behavior and loud mouth. No doubt about it. I think he kept documents because he’s that kind of narcissist. I doubt he even knew all that he had. I don’t know enough about whether he flatly refused to return documents, or was negotiatoing with the National Archives on some executive privilege ground. I suspect he was simply playing a game and to your point brought this on himself. But sending in a SWAT team to collect these documents? I don’t see the efficacy of such a reaction. We live in troubling times.

        1. C. Dove

          As a lawyer, I am duty bound to zealously represent my client, which includes protecting their secrets at peril to myself. (No, this is not hyperbole.) Sometimes, I have to take client files home to continue working on their cases. Of course, the fact that I took the files from Point A to Point B does not suddenly mean the files have less or no attorney-client privilege. And since the file, with limited exception, belongs to the client, there is no basis for me to either refuse to turn it over it “negotiate” its return to the client. Any lawyer who used a client’s secrets for the lawyer’s own enrichment or personal advantage would have hell to pay. I see no significant in terms of Trump’s obligation to disgorge what is not his. To the contrary, his outrageous behavior is perhaps more egregious because it involves not just the secrets of one person, but an entire country.

          Yes, charging any president, past or present, with high crimes and misdemeanors is significant. And while I am aware of SWAT teams being sent to arrest others who stole national secrets, I am not aware that that was the case for Trump. Even if a SWAT team was sent in to TrumpWorld, so what? (It’s not as if a jackbooted thug kicked in Trump’s closet and grabbed him out of Melania’s arms at gunpoint.)

          The bigger issue is that we have an ex-president who has taken a certain amount of pleasure in farting flagrantly in the general direction of the constitution, all in the name of enriching himself. The times are troubling not because Trump was charged with what he calls trumped up charges, but because the sheer number of sycophants who are unwilling to recognize or care that Trump is nothing more than con man, albeit a con man sitting on a trove of ill-begotten national secrets.

          1. Ray

            Now that the indictment has been unsealed, I’m reconsidering my earlier position. If he’s been showing others in New Jersey our nation’s military plans in the event of an attack then thats a big problem.

    2. Hal

      “Even if he doesn’t want to go away on his own, cant you beat him in an election?”

      OT1H, > 60 court cases suggest the answer is “Yes”. OTOH, millions of people refuse to accept this…

      The case of LTC Birchum who, like Il Douche, had illegally/ improperly retained classified documents at his FL home is illustrative. No link, per rules, but the case of this decorated Air Force vet can be found w/o too much effort.

      1. Ray

        So what do we do about Joe Biden who apparerntly kept classified records–that he filched while in the Senate–in his garage? What about Hillary Clinton’s server? What about Michael Pence? When does this end?

        The Air Force LTC is a mid-level military officer handling very sensitive military documents, not a president who has the ability to declassify. Also, did Donald Trump personally take these documents, or did some staffer throw them in a cardboard box and have them shipped to Florida along with all the other relics of office? I don’t know why Trump didn’t just had these records over to the National Archives when requested, but I don’t think this is the same thing as a military officer mishandling classified military documents.

        I don’t think Trump can get reelected as president. Unfortunatley his political opposition is doing the best that it can to make it happen. These are the same people who made his presidency possible to begin with by their own smugness and inability to work with others in the political arena. We are in a lot of trouble as a country. How must this all look to the rest of the world?

        1. Hal

          IMO, Biden and Pence cooperated and thus are different. I’d leave it to DOJ to decide whether the offense/ evidence warranted prosecution, but have no issue w/ their not being prosecuted.

          Hillary’s offense was more akin to Il Douche’s. I see her behavior (“Will no one rid me of this turbulent hard drive”) as criminal and wish she’d been charged/ forced from the race.

          W/ rgd to the comparison you drew between Il Douche and LTC Birchum, it’s flawed in at least two respects. First, he was no longer the president, which is the crux of the matter. Second, it is exactly “the same thing as a military officer mishandling classified military documents”.

          JMO, IANAL

  4. C. Dove

    I’ll send money . . . as long as it goes to amending the indictment to include Trump’s flagrant use of non-standard capital letters.

  5. phv3773

    So, “no harm, no foul.” Well, we hear there is an espionage count. Do we know what that’s about yet?

    As to Biden, there is a special prosecutor on his case, so it’s too early to say. I do expect that cooperation will get him a pass.

    I see Adam Schiff is also fund-raising off the indictment. Pols do what pols do.

  6. B. McLeod

    If only we could keep this going, as a new requirement for all politicians. Make any acceptance of public office subject to a proviso that upon separation from service, the politicians’ lives will be searched for any and all criminal conduct, and anything found will be the subject of appropriate prosecutions.

  7. Kathleen Casey

    Our host lets no Trump crisis go to waste to pile on him, so I not only see the point of view of the hound but also that of the fox.

  8. Pedantic Grammar Police

    Trump isn’t going to jail. He is “in the club.” These people love to threaten to throw each other in jail. It never happens. Remember all of Trump’s promises to throw his good friend Hillary in jail during their pre-election comedy act? After the election, he suddenly only wanted to “help her heal.”

    It appears that the purpose of this show is to discredit all 3 branches of government. They are doing a good job of it.

    1. Skink

      As many know, I’m not a CDL. I just litigate the Constitution every day. It gets boring, so I read the indictment. It’s a remarkable document.

      I wouldn’t be so sure about your club.

Comments are closed.