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Douglas Andrews / July 2, 2021

Democrats, Donald Trump, and the Criminalization of Politics

By charging another Trump associate, his political enemies continue to abide their rotten obsession.

When, many years ago, the Democrats began to criminalize politics, their logic was simple. If ya can’t beat ‘em, charge 'em.

That’s certainly the case with their Ahabian quest to get Donald Trump. The Democrats have become downright monomaniacal about it, and we can only hope that it’ll be their undoing, just as it was for the ill-fated captain in Melville’s Moby Dick.

How can we tell that the Democrats and their fellow leftists are obsessed with Trump? Because they’ve been after him ever since he and Melania came down that escalator. And because, in their frustration at not yet having perp-walked him, they’ve been targeting his associates.

Take former U.S. attorney, New York City mayor, and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, for example. First, the FBI raided his home, then a leftist court suspended his law license. And the mainstream media, for its part, peddled falsehoods about it.

Before Rudy, it was Paul Manafort and Roger Stone and General Michael Flynn. And yesterday, it was Donald Trump’s business enterprise and its 73-year-old CFO. As Fox News reports:

The Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan court after being charged with fraud and tax crimes Thursday. The longtime CFO pleaded not guilty to grand larceny, which in the state of New York is the unlawful taking of funds or property valued at $50,000 or more and is punishable for up to 15 years in prison. The former president’s family business also pleaded not guilty to tax-related crimes, which included a scheme to defraud.

The Trump Organization was quick to respond:

Allen Weisselberg is a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather who has worked at the Trump Organization for 48 years. He is now being used by the Manhattan District Attorney as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former President. The District Attorney is bringing a criminal prosecution involving employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other District Attorney would ever think of bringing. This is not justice; this is politics.

It is politics. Or, as Donald Trump Jr. put it: “This is what Vladimir Putin does. … 3 million documents, countless witnesses, and hours of grand jury testimony, outside forensic auditors, this is what they come up with. They’re going to charge a guy who’s [73] years old on crimes of avoiding paying taxes on a fringe benefit.”

“This is banana republic stuff,” Trump Jr. continued, “and if our press was even a little bit intellectually honest, they’d be calling it that.”

Again, though, Donald Trump is the white whale, and everyone knows it. This includes National Review’s Andy McCarthy, who’s not impressed with the charges, and who wonders whether Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. and his fellow harpoon-chuckers are trying to get Trump reelected.

McCarthy calls the charges against Weisselberg “puny,” noting that they amount to little more than a failure to pay taxes on corporate perks such as cars and apartments. “If that’s all prosecutors have,” he says, “then they have nothing. Donald Trump is not being charged, nor are his adult children who are the business’s top executives.”

McCarthy also hits on the bigger point — the point that bears more directly on the long-term health of our republic: “[Trump’s assailants] are angering fair-minded people who can’t help but see a two-tiered society, with its two-tiered justice system, in which Democrats and the radicals with whom they sympathize have immunity, while no infraction by a Republican — and especially, a Trump supporter — is too trivial for a good drawing and quartering.”

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