Nice precedent Joe Biden. Way to go Attorney General Merrick Garland. You guys, along with your sycophants, are transforming America from Reagan’s City of Light on a Hill into a Third World autocracy. Murderers, rapists, and pedophiles get the kid glove treatment while supporters of Donald Trump, who “trespassed” onto the grounds of the U.S. Capitol (the ironically named People’s house), are denied habeas corpus and left to rot in jail. To hell with the rule of law. The United States now is in the grasp of political partisans who use the law and the police to pursue their own special interests and to punish their political opponents.
Donald Trump’s place in history is now secure. He has been the target of a coup since the very start of his Administration. The coup plotters, which include senior officials in the FBI, the Department of Justice and the Intelligence Community, first pushed the fabrication that Trump was conspiring with Russia to steal the election. That was a lie. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller failed spectacularly to make a case against Trump. Donald Trump also faced two impeachment trials and beat them both. And now the January 6th Committee is accusing Trump of treason for raising the legitimate question about a possible fraudulent Presidential election. The Washington Establishment is terrified of Trump and is desperate to destroy him. Trump is an existential threat to the status quo.
I am not here to argue that Trump was a perfect President. He was not. But I know one intelligence officer who regularly briefed Trump. That person also had prior experience briefing Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. According to my friend, the President who was most attentive asked the best questions, and treated the “help” with respect was Donald Trump. Whatever his other faults, Trump’s treatment of the little people does say something positive about Trump’s character.
When Trump was President he had the authority to classify and declassify information. Before he left office, Trump declassified intelligence and law enforcement documents that exposed the nature of the plot to force him from office. He acted legally and within the constraints of the Constitution. When he took those documents with him he was fully entitled to do so. We will find out whether or not Trump secured those documents somewhere beyond the reach of the FBI or at least kept copies in a safe location.
The real damage from this attack on Donald Trump is that it completely destroys whatever vestige of moral standing the United States once enjoyed. The United States still enjoys lecturing and hectoring other countries, including China and Russia, for their illegal acts against their citizens. There was a time when a speech by the U.S. President about human rights and upholding the rule of law meant something. I also realize there is a legitimate argument from my foreign friends that the U.S. never deserved a benefit of the doubt because of its activities in overthrowing governments in Iran, Guatemala, Iraq and South Vietnam.
But what happened today in Mar a Lago is a watershed moment. No U.S. President, especially Joe Biden, can stand before the United Nations and demand that other countries shed themselves of corrupt leaders. Foreign leaders will be more than happy to hold up a mirror and tell the American leader, look at yourself. Whatever status the United States had as a beacon of freedom in a world rife with authoritarian regimes is in tatters.
The United States now resembles Ukraine circa 2014. The elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, was removed from office via a coup launched with the help of western intelligence agencies. A successor suitable to the United States and NATO was installed and then took actions that sparked the start of the 8 year civil war in the Donbas. Given Donald Trump’s broad support among a large segment of the American population, this attack of Trump is likely to create a dangerous rift between the public and the masters who rule Washington, DC.
I also worry that this will have some unpleasant economic consequences. The United States, even during the dark days of the Civil Rights movement in the 60s and the war in Vietnam, was still seen as a financial safehaven. In the past, wealthy foreigners could park billions of dollars in U.S. financial institutions and have some assurance that their riches were safe. If that comes into question (and some insist that is already the case in light of asset seizures of Russian oligarchs and Chinese officials), then we could enter a period of increased economic chaos.