Donald Trump, fist raised
Donald Trump with fist raised at a campaign rally in Phoenix, AZ. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Republicans and the talking heads of the right-wing echo chamber went back to the classics as they rallied behind former President Donald Trump after he was indicted for the third time this year.

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While Republicans and the talking heads of the right-wing echo chamber rallied behind former President Donald Trump after he was indicted for the third time this year, their justifications for his behavior are sounding increasingly ridiculous. 

Many of them went back to the classics: There are “two systems of justice” in the country, one that specifically applies to the Bidens (only one of whom has been charged with minor crimes and whose plea deal may be falling apart) and one for regular people like Trump, who has been evading serious consequences for his lawless actions most of his life. 

The other one we heard a lot was, “Isn’t it curious that the third indictment came right after the Hunter Biden case was blown wide open?” That’s just stupid on so many levels. 

First of all, nothing was blown wide open on Monday. It was just the same old routine that House Republicans keep using in the hopes that it might work one day. They pretend that their investigations of the president’s son have yielded a smoking gun that will directly implicate Joe Biden in some nebulous, influence-peddling scheme for which they fail to provide any actual evidence that goes beyond innuendo and unsubstantiated allegations. 

You want to know what it looks like when someone has collected actionable evidence of criminal activity? Just read the indictment charging Trump with trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election. 

In addition, it’s not as though Americans aren’t aware of what happened back then. Maybe it’s tough for them to wrap their heads around financial crimes related to the hush money payment to a porn star to influence the 2016 election, or it might seem weird to them that a president has to leave his records behind and can’t just hoard classified documents in his bathroom.

But everybody remembers the craziness after the election: the constant lies, the ridiculousness of Trump’s increasingly insane and desperate conspiracy theories, all of the lawsuits he lost, and then the images of his supporters attacking Congress. 

This isn’t some obscure crime that Americans can’t understand; they watched it unfold over two months. 

Finally, there are the completely disingenuous arguments the likes of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) are offering. 

“Apparently it is now a crime to make statements challenging election results if a prosecutor decides those statements aren’t true,” he tweeted. “So when should we expect indictments of the democrat politicians who falsely claimed Russia hacked the 2016 election?”

That’s just dumb. Trump isn’t being charged with lying about the election. In fact, the indictment is quite specific about this. 

“The Defendant has a right, like every American, to speak publicly about the election and even to claim, falsely, that there had been outcome-determinative fraud during the election and that he had won,” it stated

The second part of the argument is equally dumb because it is very clear that Russia did help Trump. The only question is whether the Russians did this on their own or in coordination. 

But, apparently, Rubio wants people to be indicted who made statements like this: “We found irrefutable evidence of Russian meddling.”

Well, guess what, Rubio can lock himself up because he is the one who said it

As the senator should know, this indictment is not about lying or making true (Russia helped Trump in 2016) or false (Trump won the 2020 election) claims; it’s about actually trying to overturn the results by illegal means. 

It remains to be seen whether voters are buying any of this nonsense. Most conservatives surely will, but what about the rest?

The reaction of everybody else will help determine for how long Republicans can keep making these phony excuses for Trump’s crimes. 


  • 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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