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Justice

Donald Trump, West Palm Beach
Former President Donald Trump speaking at the 2023 Turning Point Action Conference at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, FL. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED)

Donald Trump thinks he should have been indicted three years ago... for crimes he hadn’t even committed yet and before Joe Biden became president.

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Like clockwork, Donald Trump likes to spend his Sunday nights going on unhinged rants, which is surprising because he seems to have trouble reading calendars.

This Sunday, for example, the former president suggested that Joe Biden, the man to whom he lost the 2020 election, should have told the Department of Justice (DOJ) to indict Trump three years ago.


Let’s set aside for the moment the fact that there is no evidence Biden was in any way involved in the decision to prosecute Trump, and that two of the four indictments were brought by state prosecutors in New York and Georgia.

Even assuming that Biden did try to convince the DOJ to take action, he probably would have had a tough time convincing Trump’s Attorney General William Barr to indict his boss for trying to overturn the results of an election that had not yet taken place.

Furthermore, it might have been even more difficult to prosecute the then-president for stealing classified documents that, three years ago, he was allowed to have. Heck, back then, he could have stashed them near any toilet he wanted to and it would have been legal (though reckless and unsanitary).

It should also be noted that, if Trump would have wanted to be indicted more quickly, then maybe he and the others involved in both crimes should have spent less time obstructing justice.

Obviously, the former president doesn’t bother with details like that, and the entire point of the rant was probably to put Biden on notice that Trump is already dreaming of revenge should he be elected… even though, according to him, only banana republics act that way.

Well, let us be the first to say that, if the current president were also to plot a coup or hoard classified documents, he should also be investigated and, if warranted, indicted.

But Trump wasn’t done. He also needed to get some other things off his chest.

News broke on Sunday night that US District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan had reinstated a narrow gag order against the former president in his federal coup trial.

That order, which she had previously lifted pending the defense team’s appeal, is meant to prevent Trump from making disparaging comments and intimidating or harassing prosecutors, the court’s staff, jurors, and potential witnesses in the case.

To Trump, not being allowed to bully people is a grave violation of his First Amendment rights. But read for yourself and see if this sounds like a man who’s right to free speech has been taken away.

As per usual, Trump takes a few liberties with the truth and reality (and the rules of grammar, for that matter).

Most notably, nobody is restricting him “from campaigning in a free and open manner,” unless part of his platform is the harassment of witnesses and the obstruction of justice, which, on second thought, it may well be.

Author

  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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