The thing that is most telling about the many reactions by Trump and other republicans: none of them are stating that Trump didn’t do what he is being charged with.
However, they are saying lots of other stuff.
Here is a blow-by-blow dismantling of the defenses used by Trump and other republicans against his indictment:
The first and foremost of the objections:
This is the weaponization of federal law enforcement and government.
If you are “weaponizing government,” it means that you are using government powers to attack your political enemies for things they did not do, or for things they would normally not be punished for.
An excellent example of the weaponization of federal law enforcement and government would be what happened to Hillary Clinton regarding both Benghazi and the email issue. There were six different republican House committee investigations (and four others in government as well) on Benghazi, one after another after another.
What’s more, Kevin McCarthy himself admitted that their goal was weaponization—that the purpose of the investigations were to erode public trust in Hillary Clinton so as to make her unelectable:
Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought.
The same can be said of Hillary Clinton’s emails; several officials in the Bush 43 and Trump administrations did the exact same things with email accounts as Clinton did, but it was Clinton who was endlessly investigated, not just by republicans in Congress, but the FBI, culminating in republican FBI head James Comey violating the Hatch Act and making a completely unnecessary but completely damning-sounding announcement 11 days before the election in a manner that clearly changed the election’s outcome.
Hillary committed no crimes and was cleared of all accusations of criminal activity. And it was not just the FBI which said that, it was the republican investigations as well. But they never cared about that, as their true goal was to make Hillary unelectable, and they succeeded.
On the other hand, what has happened with Trump is completely different. The investigations did not spring from spurious political claims without evidence; all come from direct evidence of Trump committing a number of crimes. The Biden Department of Justice showed great reluctance to move forth with any investigations, and it was not until nearly two years after Trump left office that a special prosecutor was named, and it took him eight months to bring charges.
That’s not weaponization. It’s an overcautious slow-walk in reaction to blatant illegal actions resulting in an indictment based on manifestly blatant crimes with an unmistakably powerful foundation of facts and evidence proving the indictment just.
Donald Trump is being prosecuted for the same crimes committed by Joe Biden
No, he’s not. Had Trump done what Biden did—immediately hand over all documents upon realizing he had them—then Trump would not have been prosecuted. In fact, Trump knew he had the documents all along, oversaw which documents he would take, and knew it was wrong to take them, but even then, had Trump responded to the request by the National Archives to return the records, he would still not have been in trouble. Even as late as the subpoena by the FBI, if Trump had complied, he still would not have been prosecuted.
Trump is not being charged for taking the documents. All of the charges are based upon the initial crime of “failing to deliver” once requested by the archives and the FBI subpoena. Biden never did that, and Trump is not being charged for simply taking the documents with him.
He is being prosecuted because he participated in a conspiracy to obstruct justice by hiding the documents and lying about them to law enforcement, as well as having disseminated some of the documents.
There is zero evidence that either Biden nor Pence willfully took documents. Neither of them withheld any documents. Both immediately reported the documents upon finding them and returned them. Neither of them schemed to hide them, nor did they defy any subpoenas, nor did they lie about them.
Had either of them done any of that, they would be in the same trouble Trump is in.
Furthermore, the emphasis is on the knowing mishandling of secret documents; there is no evidence whatsoever of Pence, Biden, or Clinton doing this; with Trump, there is copious evidence.
The Biden administration indicted Trump, and so that’s a biased, political attack
First, Biden did not order the indictment. Merrick Garland did not order the indictment. Even Jack Smith, an independent special counsel, did not order them. A Florida grand jury ordered the indictment. Biden and Garland both studiously maintained a great distance from the matter.
Second, Trump clearly committed crimes. Are republicans saying that if a republican commits crime, then a Democrat can never, ever prosecute them for that? Because I don’t think that anyone doubts that republicans would indict a Democrat in a New York minute. They tried like hell to do that to Bill Clinton, then to Hillary Clinton, and to Obama (remember Durham?), and even now they’re screaming for Biden to be investigated. So if Democrats are OK as targets for republicans, why is the reverse somehow suddenly unthinkable?
Not to mention, republicans have made it crystal clear that they will never prosecute one of their own. they have stated this out loud for years, just as they have demonstrated with their votes for just as long.
So if a Democratic administration is not allowed to investigate a republican and republicans refuse to investigate their own, we are back to republicans being a special elite class above the law and beyond its reach.
No, this is not a political attack, and as has been pointed out on many occasions, if anyone else had done what Trump has done, they would be in jail already.
This is election tampering
No, election tampering is the head of the FBI recklessly announcing that new Hillary emails had been found, giving a distinct assumption of guilt, just 11 days before an election, sending Hillary, then the front running, into a steep and sudden dive—the classic definition of “October Surprise.”
That’s election tampering.
This indictment comes more than a year before the next election, and the timing was due to Trump’s own actions.
Joe Biden had 1,850 boxes of classified documents
No, that’s an outright fiction. The number may be the number of total documents given to the University of Delaware, which is perfectly legal for a Senator to do; Biden was a Senator when he gave the documents.
Why isn’t Biden under investigation?
He is. Special counsel Robert Hur (a Trump appointee) is handling the case. Keep in mind that Biden had maybe a few dozen classified documents at most, compared to Trump’s 300+ classified documents. Trump’s included vital information, including military plans and nuclear secrets.
Aside from that, there is no requirement that Biden be prosecuted at the same time and in the same way as Trump.
This is not about Donald Trump ultimately; this is about the United States of America. This is about whether the Constitution is still real in this country. This is about whether any American, any American can expect the due process of law.
I guess that when you got nothing, then content-free babble might be an attractive alternative.
Trump had the power to declassify those documents. He declassified them.
No he didn’t. Declassification has a process, and there is no record at all of Trump going through that process. Nor is it an actual thing for a president to be able to declassify records just by taking them. Nor would it still be OK for Trump to have the kinds of records he had at Mar-A-Lago.
The American people are exhausted by the prosecutorial overreach, double standards, and vendetta politics
Then republicans should stop doing it.
This is a witch hunt
No, a “witch hunt” is when any number of innocent people are falsely accused so as to intimidate them to accuse others, and then the process is repeated. This is what Joe McCarthy did in the 1950s.
It is not a “witch hunt” if a special prosecutor without political affiliations investigates mountains of evidence of a crime.
Trump is being prosecuted under the wrong law; instead of the Espionage Act, he should be prosecuted under the Presidential Records Act
That’s like prosecuting a bank robber for jaywalking; the Presidential Records Act is a red herring that republicans are using, pretending that everything Trump did falls under a civil crime, and not the far more powerful—and relevant—Espionage Act.
The charges are all lies.
Apparently, evidence is not a real thing. The facts speak for themselves, and often Trump is the one on record confessing out loud.
The standard reporting from right-wing outlets utilizes two techniques: outrage at anything and everything, and the firehose of lies. Mark Levin, in one small example, screamed in outrage that the indictment was made in Florida—as if that were an injustice instead of an advantage for Trump. And the talking heads’ litany of fury and disgust were packed full of false assumptions, gross exaggerations, and outright lies that not only were disgorged in vomitous volume, but each lie was itself based upon a mountain of other lies. Such rage-filled onslaughts are not a matter of fact or reason, they have the sole purpose of expressing an emotional wrath intended to create only the impression that there is anything to be outraged about.
In the end, it comes down to just a few things:
Did Trump commit crimes? The answer is clearly “Yes.” Trump has been committing crimes for years. The evidence is copious and indisputable.
Should Trump be prosecuted? Unless we want to establish a new legal standard wherein people who are in power are above the law and can commit crimes with impunity, then yes, Trump must be prosecuted.
Should we prosecute every last crime by politicians? No. If a crime is minor or irrelevant to national security or without harm to individuals, or can be excused as an accident or by lack of awareness, then such actions by presidents can and perhaps should be overlooked, for the reasons presented in the Nixon administration memo: if constantly pelted by prosecutions over minor things, a president would never be able to do their job.
The problem comes when these crimes are relevant, are a threat to national security, and are harmful to people. These cannot and must not be overlooked. And Trump has without question committed such crimes.