Desperate to take the focus off the FBI’s investigation into her use of a private server during her tenure as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton and her sycophants strangled reality beyond all recognition to build the case that then-candidate Donald Trump was an agent of Russia. Although Clinton lost the 2016 election, their efforts mired Trump’s campaign and then his nascent presidency in scandal for three years. And to this day, no one has been held responsible for what, up until then, had been the dirtiest political trick in modern memory.
Disappointed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s failure to deliver, Democrats latched onto Trump’s July 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he asked him to look into possible corruption during then-Vice President Joe Biden’s time as the Obama administration’s point man in Ukraine. As we know, House Democrats turned that request into Trump’s first impeachment.
When the New York Post broke the Hunter Biden laptop story in October 2020, which raised concerns that Biden had been involved in a family influence peddling scheme, Democrats teamed up with Big Tech and the media to suppress it. This was followed up by a letter signed by 51 former intelligence community leaders who wrote that the laptop story had all the hallmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign. We now know that this letter had been instigated by then-Biden campaign adviser and current Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
After FBI reports indicated the potential for violence at the Capitol ahead of Jan. 6, 2021, President Trump offered to deploy National Guard troops to protect the Capitol building that day. Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser both inexplicably declined this offer.
Following the riot that ensued, House Democrats again impeached Trump for inciting what they continue to insist was an insurrection.
Although he was acquitted by the Senate in both cases, the Democrats had set a dangerous precedent and had gotten away with it, further emboldening them.
Viewed in this context, no one should really be surprised that they’ve upped the ante ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Democrats have perverted the law to come up with 91 criminal charges in four indictments against Trump that could land him behind bars for 600 years.
The announcement of trial dates coinciding with key dates in the GOP primary schedule only adds to the political nature of the Democrats’ strategy.
Add to this toxic mix the latest idea brewing among Democratic secretaries of state: to use Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to keep Trump off the ballot. This statute prohibits individuals who have “taken an oath to support the Constitution” and “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same [U.S.], or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof,” from holding public office. This move smacks of desperation.
We’re told ad nauseam that the Democrats’ political persecution of Trump was engineered to gin up sympathy among Republican primary voters and guarantee him the nomination, since Democrats seem to think he would be easier for the octogenarian President Biden to beat than any other GOP candidate. They seem to also believe that independent voters, disgusted with Trump’s “lawless” behavior, would align with Democrats and Biden, and clobber him in the general election.
But the Democrats may have gone too far. In their zeal to “get Trump,” their malfeasance has gone well beyond election interference and has reached election rigging territory. And it’s entirely possible that by overplaying their hand, they have turned Trump into a sympathetic figure among independents.
As per Democrats’ calculations, Trump’s support has increased with each new indictment among Republicans. In the months following Trump’s Nov. 15 announcement of his 2024 run, his lead in national polls over his nearest competitor, then-undeclared candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, actually fell from the mid-30s to the 10-20 point range. An Economist/You Gov poll conducted between Nov. 26-29 showed Trump ahead of DeSantis by 6 points. A Yahoo News/You Gov poll conducted Jan. 12-16 showed Trump up by a single point.
But as the indictments began, support for Trump began to climb. He now leads the field by 40 points in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls.
Might we expect to see a similar phenomenon play out in the general election among independent voters and perhaps even a few Democrats who are fed up by the party’s targeting of the former president? Have the Democrats turned Trump into a sympathetic character?
It remains to be seen. But if Trump wins the White House in 2024, Democrats will have only themselves to blame.
A previous version of this article appeared in The Washington Examiner.