Six theses on the Trump indictment

NRO has posted the federal indictment of President Trump and his aide Walt Nauta here (via Ryan Mills and Caroline Downey’s report here. I thought I would postulate six theses on the indictment in lieu of legal analysis of the various counts and possible defenses.

Mills and Downey summarize the charges: “According to the 49-page document, Trump is being charged with 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information, and one count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal, and making false statements and representations.”

I have a preliminary set of six theses on the indictment. Much as I would like to avoid the brain-deadening platitudes that preclude or replace analysis, I find it difficult at this point. I can only say I will not double down on clichés. I will avoid the use of the terms “weaponize” and “banana republic.” However, difficulties remain. Without further ado (see what I mean?), here are my six theses in bullet points (forgive me if I have mangled Roman history).

• Krazy-Eyes Killa Jack Smith announced the unsealing of the charges against Trump. “We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone,” he said. “Applying those laws, collecting facts, that’s what determines the outcome of an investigation, nothing more, and nothing less.” You have got to be kidding me. We weren’t born yesterday.

• The appointment of Jack Smith as Special Counsel all by itself demonstrates the…ah, the special treatment Trump has been accorded by the Biden administration and its friends in the Deep State. There is no warrant for a Special Counsel or applicable Department of Justice policy. Smith’s appointment is intended to create the illusion of independence for political purposes. Smith is nevertheless Biden’s subordinate, subject to Biden’s authority, just as Garland is. Hunter Biden — he is the guy who requires a Special Counsel under Department of Justice policy.

• Many commentators have referred to the indictment of Trump as “crossing the Rubicon” — the moment in 49 B.C. when Julius Caesar passed the point of no return with his army and essentially initiated the civil war. His triumph led to his being named dictator for life. Smith might as well have announced “the die is cast” (“alea iacta est” or “iacta alea est”) rather than the farcically inapt cliché regarding equal treatment under the law. This crossing of the Rubicon is an act of willful political destruction as well. At least if Biden is declared dictator for life in his second term, the prospect is foreshortened — but please do keep the Twenty-Firth Amendment in place.

• Augustus subsequently ended the Roman republic with the initiation of his autocratic principate in 27 B.C. In the list of his accomplishments he bragged: “I restored peace to the provinces.” Biden has something like that in mind for us in his second term.

• The indictment places Trump in substantial legal jeopardy — just as something like it would have done to Hillary Clinton, or Biden himself. See, for example, Andrew McCarthy’s NRO column “Why Trump’s ‘Witch Hunt’ Cries Ring Hollow in Face of DOJ Indictment” and the NRO editorial “The Trump indictment is damning.”

• Smith’s indictment reflects both Biden’s desire to run for reelection against Trump and the insuperable difficulties Trump’s candidacy poses for the Republican Party. When it comes to Trump’s accusation of “election-interference,” Trump is right in more ways than one.

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