Op-ed by Elad Hakim | Photo: Alamy
Joe Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Special Counsel Jack Smith, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, other left-wing prosecutors, and/or a weaponized Department of Justice have opened a door they should have never opened.
Collectively, they have indicted President Donald Trump and various others simply out of hatred and political or personal animus. In doing so, they have pursued novel (and on many occasions absurd) legal theories that they would have never brought against anyone else not named or affiliated with Trump.
The indictments attempt to criminalize such things as a president’s retention of various documents, making certain telephone calls or sending text messages, rightfully challenging the results of an election, engaging in various types of protected speech, allegedly falsifying business records to conceal damaging information in New York, and other conduct that, as many legal scholars have noted, is either not criminal in nature, not a felony, and should not have been pursued whatsoever.
The danger of these indictments cannot be overstated. If successful, these indictments have opened the door to criminalizing conduct that is presumably legal and oftentimes constitutionally or legally protected by “creating” crimes and pursuing criminal charges in jurisdictions where a favorable result is most likely.
If successful, the shockwaves will be felt by all Americans. Americans will be forced to keep quiet and to accept certain things as gospel. For example, voters will not dare speak out if the results of a future election seem dubious for fear of prosecution.
More broadly, Americans will have to carefully tiptoe when it comes to what they may or may not do or say. For example, after these indictments, what type of conduct and speech is appropriate to challenge the result of an election? What can state legislatures do to challenge such results? What can lawyers say or do to represent their clients in such cases, and will the attorney-client relationship still mean anything if left-wing prosecutors seek to destroy it when it fits their narrative?
By now, most objective Americans understand the motivation behind these indictments, which is to keep Trump busy during the election season, deplete him of funds, convict and imprison him, and/or try to prevent him from taking office by way of the Fourteenth Amendment. This is the sinister and obvious plot.
Those promoting the indictments need to think long-term
Those standing behind these efforts solely because they dislike Trump need to take a step back and truly understand what they are promoting. The indictments in this case reek of vengeance, weaponry, and politicization of the justice system. Pursuing criminal charges against someone because you do not like that person or want to prevent him from becoming president creates a very dangerous precedent.
There are many examples where Democrats engaged in the very type of conduct (or worse) that forms the basis of one or more of the indictments against Trump. These individuals were not prosecuted for a variety of reasons, including the fact that their conduct was likely not criminal in nature (like Trump’s was not!) and that pursuing criminal charges would create a dangerous precedent.
The tide will eventually turn
Those cheering on these indictments should recognize that, eventually, the tide will turn. At some point, a Republican will win the presidency, appoint a new attorney general, and have many strongly conservative prosecutors at their disposal in various deeply red jurisdictions. If any of these indictments succeed, they will also create a precedent that will likely be utilized by the opposing party.
This is not the purpose of the justice system. The system is not to be utilized as a weapon against political opponents or to maim/cripple someone due to personal animus or a desire for revenge.
Tragically, Americans are seeing this play out in front of their very eyes. If Democrats succeed, the resulting precedent will have opened a dangerous door that should never have been opened and that could negatively impact all Americans.
Mr. Hakim is an attorney and columnist. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Thinker, and other online publications. He is also a guest on OANN’s Tipping Point, and has appeared on Newsmax, Steadfast and Loyal Podcast with Allen West, The Dave Weinbaum Show, and Real America’s Voice. The views expressed herein are the author’s own and do not constitute legal advice.