Trump Was Treated Just Like 9,793 Other Defendants

The Supreme Court is expected to return a ruling this week that could grant Donald Trump absolute immunity for any actions he took while in office. But even if the court comes down at the most extreme end of Trump’s SEAL Team Six fantasies, it still won’t match some of the magical solutions Republicans are inventing to avoid dealing with the fact that their candidate for president is a convicted felon.

In the Senate, a group of Republicans has vowed to block all judicial appointments in protest of Trump’s conviction on 34 counts of falsifying business records. However, considering that everyone in that group wasn’t about to vote for a Biden nominee in the first place, it’s not clear how this is anything more than the weakest form of political grandstanding. It barely merits a “1” on the MAGA vs. Law and Order scale.

But while Josh Hawley and J.D. Vance can only threaten to continue to do what they’ve been doing all along, other Republicans are getting more inventive. Some of their solutions go beyond ridiculous—and straight into the impossible.

There’s no point in looking for the reasonable GOP position in reaction to Trump’s conviction. There is none. Even the Republicans whom the press generally treats as sensible and moderate are well up the ladder of fanciful answers, with solutions to the problem that are arguably far worse than the pointless foot-stomping of the no-more-judges letter.

In the House, Speaker Mike Johnson has announced Republicans will investigate Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and special counsel Jack Smith for doing their jobs. 

And the purpose of the hearing is to investigate what these prosecutors are doing at the state and federal level to use politics, you know, political retribution, in the court system to go after political opponents of federal officials like Donald Trump,” Johnson said. “That’s a really important thing for us to delve into. And we’re going to look at special counsel Jack Smith, who we believe is abusing his authority as well.”

Johnson is right about one thing: There certainly is “political retribution” going on here. But it’s not quite going in the direction he suggests.

Still, House Republicans announcing yet another investigation barely generates a 2 on the MAGA scofflaw scale (along with a yawn).

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell brings the idea at least a point higher by insisting that Bragg should never have brought the charges against Trump and the conviction won’t stick. 

“These charges never should have been brought in the first place. I expect the conviction to be overturned on appeal,” McConnell wrote in a social media post

Sen. Susan Collins, who repeated Trump’s lie that Bragg ran for office on a platform of going after Trump, joined McConnell in claiming that this prosecution only happened “precisely because of who the defendant was rather than because of any specified criminal conduct.” 

However, in addition to Trump, the state of New York has charged 9.793 others with falsifying business documents since 2015. It seems unlikely that McConnell or Collins expressed any problem with these other charges, claimed they were political payback, or encouraged a higher court to intervene.

Yes, Trump is getting special treatment. But it’s not coming from the courts.

Call that rung 3 on the MAGA lunacy ladder.

The next step on the pandering podium is occupied by a surprising participant: Sen. Mitt Romney, who earns points in two ways.

“Bragg should have settled the case against Trump, as would have been the normal procedure,” Romney insisted before Trump’s conviction. 

Yes, there’s no doubt that many of the nearly 9,800 cases involving the same charges were settled. However, prosecutors can’t make a defendant accept a plea bargain. In Trump’s case, he wasn’t about to plead guilty. The only possible outcomes were either holding a trial or exempting Trump from the law.

That flight of fancy is enough to earn Romney a 4, but he gets some bonus points. First, there was a nice dose of this-only-makes-Trump-stronger propaganda. 

“Bragg may have won the battle, for now,” Romney wrote, “but he also may have lost the political war. Democrats think they can put out the Trump fire with oxygen. It’s political malpractice.” Or, just maybe, a district attorney charging a criminal is not political at all.

In any case, Romney earned his bonus points early with a suggestion that President Joe Biden should just pardon Trump. Why would the sitting president do this? For political reasons, of course.

“Why? Well, because it makes me, President Biden, the big guy and the person I pardoned a little guy,” Romney told NBC News.

For being utterly incapable of separating the concept of politics from that of justice, Romney achieves MAGA-thetan level 5. But for the most rabid Trump supporters, finding an action grandiose enough to express their outrage over Trump being held accountable is a challenge. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene had a few false starts before hitting her stride.

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Going after a district attorney, a judge, or even a president is small potatoes compared to invoking group punishment on an entire state. But if the residents of New York could stop paying federal taxes that disproportionately go to red states, they might take that deal.

Still, even Greene only gets an 8 on the MAGA lunacy scale. To find the chart-toppers, you have to plumb the depths of the usual ultraconservative suspects—like the reliably unhinged Laura Loomer.

Why bother with trials or even prison when you can just make a list of Democrats suitable for mass execution? Perfect 10, no notes.

To justify their support for Trump, Republicans are willing to throw away the whole judicial system. While the extreme solutions suggested by Greene and Loomer may generate more outrage and ridicule, the lower-scoring names on the list—from Johnson to Romney—may be more insidious.

Because in buying into Trump’s claims that his prosecution was political, Republicans appear to have concluded that the only answer to Trump being prosecuted for his crimes is to make sure that the judicial system is as unfair and political as their dear leader claims.

Republished with permission from Daily Kos.

Every day brings a new prognostication that is making President Joe Biden’s campaign operatives worry or freak out. Is Donald Trump running away with the election? No. Not even close.

Republished with permission from Daily Kos.

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