Op-Ed: Trump's Indictment Is Exactly What the Founders Tried to Prevent


The indictment of former President Donald Trump is evidence of the weaponization of our legal system, which is blatant government tyranny — what our Founders tried to prevent.

Left unchecked, this will destroy America.

On March 30, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a lackey of billionaire progressive George Soros, announced the indictment of Trump for allegedly misreporting a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Former Vice President Mike Pence said, “The unprecedented indictment of a former president of the United States on a campaign finance issue is an outrage. … It appears to millions of Americans to be nothing more than a political prosecution that is driven by a prosecutor who literally ran for office on a pledge to indict the former president.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis agreed in a tweet that the indictment was evidence of “the weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda” and “turns the rule of law on its head. It is un-American.”

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Trump defended himself by blasting the indictment as “political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history.” No doubt Trump is growing weary of the left’s attacks on him, which he said are a “witch hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again movement.”

It is likely that the case against Trump will, for a variety of reasons, be quickly dismissed. Harvard Law School emeritus professor Alan Dershowitz predicted a judge would dismiss the case on statute of limitations grounds.

Even Politico admitted, “Sometimes even Donald Trump has a point. This time, it’s his claim that he has been singled out by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for conduct that would probably not have been charged as a crime against anyone else.”

Also of significance is the fact that this indictment came despite the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute Trump. The Federal Election Commission declined to pursue the case as well.

Is Trump's indictment an abuse of power?

The broader issue at play is the weaponization of the law to attack a political opponent. That is a very serious precedent, and until recent years such behaviors were confined to foreign tyrants.

Nearly 2,400 years ago, Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle warned that tyranny occurs when a ruler enjoys absolute power to advance his own interests. That’s precisely what some Democratic Party “leaders” are doing today.

The many attacks on Trump — the Russia hoax, two impeachments, the Mar-a-Lago raid — are all examples of the crass abuse of government authority. More broadly, we’ve seen the Biden administration send the FBI after parents it labeled domestic terrorists for objecting to government schools pushing critical race theory and sexualized curricula on their children.

Our Democratic leaders incarcerated for years Jan. 6 Capitol rioters without due process. Meanwhile, the same “leaders” turned a blind eye to radicals attacking pro-life centers and Supreme Court justices after the leaked Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, while ignoring crimes by Black Lives Matter and antifa radicals who destroyed large swaths of American cities.

Abuse of the rule of law by the politically powerful is exactly what America’s Founders tried to prevent.

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Robert Moye wrote in 1991 that our Founders “envisioned the legal processes of any legitimate political system as limited by the rule of law ideal,” which includes due process, trial by jury and the concept of “nulla poena sin lege” — the principle that one can’t be “punished for doing something that is not prohibited by law.”

The Founders attempted to institutionalize these concepts in our Constitution “because they were convinced that [they] would serve as the most useful form of protection against the abuse of power by arbitrary government.” They arguably anticipated that political tyrants would try to weaponize our justice system.

Recently, some Democratic leaders saw their public policies fail — on the border, transgender issues, climate change, criminal justice — so they turned to the exercise of raw power to force submission.

History provides sobering lessons about similarly positioned “leaders” who abuse their authority.

Communist Chinese leader Mao Zedong weaponized the rule of law during China’s Cultural Revolution to kill tens of millions of disagreeing Chinese citizens. Much the same type of abuse gave tyrants like Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Russia’s Joseph Stalin license to destroy their political opponents.

What Democrats are doing to Trump and disagreeing parents isn’t that different from what Mao, Hitler and Stalin did in their times — it’s just a difference of degree.

Abusing the rule of law to silence political opposition should frighten us all because if it isn’t quickly checked, it will mean the loss of our liberty and the end of this republic.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Robert Maginnis is a retired U.S. Army officer with decades of experience inside the Washington, D.C., political bubble. He is the author of 10 books, the newest, "Divided We Stand," coming this summer.