Elise Stefanik, Leading for Life
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) speaking against abortion rights at an event, Leading for Life in America - One Year After Dobbs. Photo credit: Rep. Elise Stefanik / YouTube

The fourth-highest-ranking House Republican suggests those who were involved in pursuing Donald Trump's felony conviction should be prosecuted. 

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Great news for anybody who has falsified business records to hide hush money payments made to porn stars, staged a coup, obstructed justice or hoarded classified documents: Apparently, being prosecuted for or convicted of these offenses is unconstitutional… at least according to Elise Stefanik (NY), one of the highest-ranking Republicans in the House.

In a fact-challenged speech at a Faith & Freedom Coalition event on Friday, the chair of the Republican Conference suggested that the above behavior isn’t illegal, but being prosecuted for it is. 

After inventing a non-existent “catastrophic crime crisis” (unless she was referring to Donald Trump), she then ranted against the equally made-up “illegal weaponization of our courts.” 

Essentially, Stefanik told the audience that adhering to the entire legal process — from collecting evidence, presenting it to a grand jury, getting an indictment, holding a trial and getting a unanimous verdict — is in itself a punishable offense.  

“We must do everything we can as the American people to make sure that we restore equal justice under the law,” Stefanik added.

Now, one might think that this was a pitch to reelect President Joe Biden, whose son was just convicted by this “weaponized” justice system, rather than Donald Trump, a convicted felon with a long history of legal troubles ranging from shady business dealings to sexual abuse. 

After all, it is the former president who has been indulging in revenge fantasies instead of talking about “restoring equal justice.”

But no. Like so many other Republicans, she wants voters to ignore actual crimes and instead focus on fictitious ones. 

Stefanik also called on voters to stand up to the radicalization of US courts. Again, one might mistakenly think that she was referring to the Supreme Court, which seems hellbent on taking the United States back a few decades with some curious rulings, but apparently, she meant the New York prosecutor, judge, and jury involved in Trump’s felony conviction. 

As evidence of this “corruption,” she cited the jury selection process in the former president’s criminal trial, which concluded last month.

“Think about this,” Stefanik said, “it is so corrupt that, in the jury selection process, the jurors were asked ‘Do you follow any social media accounts of [former] President Donald J. Trump.’ If any of them said ‘Yes,’ they were not allowed to serve on the jury. They were not asked that about [actual President] Joe Biden.”

If you followed this trial at all, then you will recall that Biden was not actually a defendant, so it would be just as silly to weed out jurors based on who follows the president as it would be to keep people off the jury who follow Stefanik. 

However, excusing jurors who follow Trump, and therefore would have been aware of his constant rants about the prosecutor, judge, judge’s daughter, witnesses, etc., seems sensible. 

Stefanik also complained about the judge donating money to Biden. In that regard, she actually has something resembling a point. It would be great if judges engaged in no political activity, but giving $20 to a candidate seems like a lesser offense than flying “Stop the Steal” symbols above one’s house and beach house. 

In addition, neither of these activities is “illegal” or “unconstitutional,” just unfortunate in one case and odious in the other.   

Finally, Stefanik also brought up that the judge’s daughter helps Democrats fundraise, which is not only irrelevant but also hypocritical. 

After all, there is no public record of her asking Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from cases related to Trump’s attempted coup just because his wife played a role in it… but maybe she will do so in the next speech to another “law and order” crowd.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a senior editor for Politics and director of the Mentor Apprentice Program at WhoWhatWhy. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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