If you’re indicted, you’re invited! Journalism Is Dead

As with every political party, there exists a broad spectrum in terms of extremity among Democrats, whose members range from the sane, such as Bill Maher and George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, to the rabid, such as Fox News’ token liberal Juan Williams and the New York Times’ Frank Bruni. 

Obviously, I am a creature of the Right, and perhaps I’ve become intolerant with age, but I can barely get through a Williams or Bruni piece without my head exploding. Case in point: Williams’ latest op-ed at The Hill, titled “The new GOP: If you’re indicted, you’re invited!” 

The title originates from a joke comedian Joey Adams told guests at an elaborate birthday party his wife, New York Post columnist Cindy Adams, had thrown for him at the New York Helmsley Hotel in 1991. Leona Helmsley, who was under indictment for tax fraud at the time, Bess Myerson, the New York City cultural affairs commissioner “who was once engulfed in an influence-peddling scandal,” and Imelda Marcos, whose legal issues were well-known, attended the party. Making light of his guests’ legal woes, Joey hilariously told the crowd, “If you’re indicted, you’re invited!”

Williams notes that former President Donald Trump’s one-time attorney, Roy Cohn, had thrown a party in New York City following one of his indictments. 

He makes two major assumptions in his analysis: that the four indictments against Trump are legitimate and that he deserves to be convicted. But simply wanting the indictments to be legitimate and hoping that Trump will be convicted are not enough. A writer must present arguments to substantiate his opinions. Instead, Juan points to the alleged crimes/indiscretions of other Republicans, reaching as far back as Richard Nixon, to support his claims.

He writes:

As of last week, more than a thousand of former President Donald Trump’s supporters have now faced charges for violently attacking the U.S. Capitol to overturn the 2020 election.

More than 397 of them have gone to jail. Add in another 500 who were released under supervision or probation.

Trump himself has been indicted for trying to rig the 2020 presidential race in Georgia. But don’t forget to count the 18 other people indicted with him on charges of taking part in the same crime.

I could go on, but the bottom line adds up to this: Breaking the law is no longer a political liability in Trump’s party. In fact, Trump’s supporters seem to delight in it.

But Williams does “go on.” He cites former Trump aide Peter Navarro, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Rep. George Santos (R-NY), and even Richard Nixon! And he condemns Trump’s promise to pardon the Capitol rioters if he takes back the White House next year. 

After telling readers that “it wasn’t that long ago [actually, it was almost 20 years ago] that the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal forced Tom Delay‘s resignation from the House and brought down a bevy of disgraced Republican members of Congress,” he concludes:

[I]t adds up to criminal indictments being treated as a political asset inside the party of Trump.

Essentially, as Williams sees it, Trump’s rise in the Republican primary polls following each indictment proves that the GOP is corrupt.

Then, his madness reaches a fever pitch:

Members of Trump’s party spin every criminal charge into a story about the justice system being “weaponized” against them.

Far-right members of the House, Trump loyalists, even attacked a Trump nominated FBI director for pursuing his illegal handling of classified documents.

Williams ignores the fact that a report produced by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz documented the FBI’s abuse of the FISA Court’s surveillance system to spy on candidate and then President Donald Trump. He also forgets the conclusions of Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation: that Crossfire Hurricane was begun for purely political reasons.

Williams’s portrayal of FBI Director Christopher Wray as an ally who has been under attack by Trump loyalists is completely disingenuous. At the time he nominated Wray to replace James Comey as FBI Director, Trump either had little or no awareness of the vast administrative state that ran Washington or simply didn’t know that Wray was part of it.

Currently, right-wingers in the House of Representatives are using their power to harass, intimidate and embarrass Trump’s prosecutors in the Justice Department, in New York and in Georgia.

How dare those evil Republicans point out the glaring bastardization of the U.S. criminal justice system by respected DOJ, New York and Georgia prosecutors.

Books could be filled with the nefariousness of the indictments against Trump. The only one of the four that shows any potential wrongdoing on Trump’s part is the documents case. And considering that President Joe Biden also had classified documents in his possession from his time in the Senate and his vice presidency, Trump, as president, actually has a stronger defense.

Moreover, Williams fails to explain why the DOJ ignores the far more serious allegations against Biden: his family’s alleged foreign influence peddling business. Why have the DOJ and the FBI been stonewalling virtually every document request made by House GOP investigators?

Why did the DOJ offer a sweetheart plea deal to the president’s son for crimes that would land any other American behind bars? And why were IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley Jr. and Joseph Ziegler removed from the Hunter Biden case?

Williams doesn’t say.

Before concluding, he asks, “Is it only a matter of time before the Trump party begins excusing crimes of physical violence?”

Like the violence that swept across the U.S. following the death of George Floyd in the summer of 2020 that caused an estimated $2 billion in property damage, injured numerous police officers, and led to the deaths of several dozen Americans?

By the end of Williams’ cleverly titled article, he’s made a lot of accusations, but offered us zero substance. He’s wasted our time.

Still, this piece is getting a lot of attention, appearing near the top of the list of RealClearPolitics most widely read articles this morning. Sadly, this is the type of rubbish that passes for analysis among the Left these days.

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