William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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THE TRUMP THING:  Look, I'm not an expert on the law.  But I think I know a little bit of history.  What is happening now with Donald Trump is unprecedented in the nation's past.  Never before has the United States Government gone after a former president in the courts.  Never before has there been such a crusade to destroy him.  That doesn't make him wonderful, or a hero, or a martyr.  Trump can be grand, but he can be a man who flunked out of finishing school as well.  However, since the founding of this republic we have had a tradition, at times uneasy, of leaving former presidents alone, lest we become like a third-world country, where putting former leaders in jail is a sport. 

We say goodbye to a president, and we expect him to say goodbye to us.  George W. Bush played the part perfectly.  In the eight years of his successor, Barack Obama, we never heard a word from Mr. Bush. 

Trump is different.  He wants to run for president again.  In the American tradition, he should be given the chance.  Make your case, Mr. Trump.  Make your case.  But some wish to prevent him from running by destroying him.  It seems to me that the American people should have the final say on his future.  We will decide.  That is democracy.

Alan Dershowitz, retired Harvard law professor, and a man who has informally defended Trump, gives his view of the latest charges against the former president.  From Daily Mail: 

I can imagine the sound of champagne bottles popping from Martha's Vineyard to Washington D.C., as President Donald Trump's haters celebrate this third, historic federal indictment.

If only they were able to drop their partisan blinders and see the grave damage this legal lunacy is doing to our country!

On Tuesday, U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith revealed felony charges against the former president for allegedly subverting the will of the American people and attempting to overturn the results of an election.

Yes, Trump's behavior following his 2020 loss was wrong. But was it criminal?
Not on the basis of what I've seen thus far.

Have no doubt, corrupting the U.S. justice system to punish a former president and current candidate nudges the country ever closer to tribalism, chaos and collapse.

If the attorney general appointed by the incumbent president authorizes the prosecution of the president's chief election rival, the evidence of a serious crime should be overwhelming.
His guilt should be clear beyond doubt, so as to avoid any reasonable suspicion that the prosecution was motivated, even in part, by partisan consideration.

The paradigmatic 'gun' must indeed be 'smoking'.

I call this the 'Nixon standard,' under which the guilt is so evident that even the defendant's political allies — and certainly less sectarian independents—are satisfied that it is fair.

That admittedly daunting but entirely appropriate standard has not been met by any of the three indictments currently pending against Trump, who stands tied in recent polls against President Joe Biden.

COMMENT:  Read the rest.  Whether you love Trump, or despise him, it is a compelling argument that should be approached with reason. 

August 2, 2023