Indict One—And All?

Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness

As we await the publication of all the impending indictments of former President Donald Trump by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Americans are trying to figure out what constitutes an indictable offense for current and retired public officials.

Most legal experts, Left and Right, have noted:

1) Bragg promised in advance that he would try to find a way to indict Trump. His prior boasts are reminiscent of Stalin’s secret police enforcer Lavrentiy Beria’s quip, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” Nancy Pelosi gave the game away, when in her dotage, she muttered that Trump had a right to prove his innocence as if he is presumed guilty.

2) No former president has ever been indicted—and for good reason. Such prosecutions would be viewed as persecutions and render all former presidents veritable targets of every publicity-hungry and politically hostile local, state, or federal prosecutor. They would reduce the presidency to Third World norms. Gratuitously prosecuting former presidents would become a political tool to harm the opposing political party or to tarnish the legacy of a former president.

3) Trump is currently ahead in the polls for the Republican nomination to face Democratic incumbent Biden. And in head-to-head matchups, he outpolls Biden. For a prosecutor of the same party as the current president facing reelection to seek to destroy the viability of a likely opponent is a first in U.S. history. But again, it is now in accordance with Third World norms.

4) At least two left-leaning federal and state prosecutors previously have passed on the same evidence Bragg is now using for his indictments. They have explained that such a prosecution is infeasible because of statutes of limitations, because of a state attorney improperly appropriating the role of a federal prosecutor, and because non-disclosures agreements are a fact of life and not strictly illegal.

5) Bragg’s chief witness Michael Cohen is a felon and confessed liar, with a deep personal hatred of Donald Trump—a fact well known to all potential prosecutors.

6) The current indictment follows a long line of historic harassment of Trump, including the first incidence of two impeachments of a sitting president, the first impeachment trial of a president as a private citizen, and the first FBI armed raid of a retired president’s home, the first instance of an FBI director leaking confidential presidential conversations to the media for the purpose of appointing a special counsel to remove a president.

Such asymmetry also raises questions about the equal application of our laws as they apply to all our other officials, current and out-of-office.

Or, to put it another way: what crime did Trump not do that others did with either impunity or without being arrested? Here is a sample of 20.

1) Trump did not violate federal law, as did Hillary Clinton, by destroying federally subpoenaed emails and devices in order to hide evidence.

2) Trump did not violate federal law, as did Hillary Clinton, by sending classified government communications on her own, through an unsecured home-brewed server.

3) Trump did not violate federal law, as did Hillary Clinton, by hiring—through three paywalls—a foreign national, who is prohibited from working on presidential campaigns, to compile a dossier to smear her presidential opponent.

4) Trump did not violate federal campaign laws, as did Hillary Clinton, by hiding her payments (as “legal services”) to Christopher Steele through bookkeeping deceptions.

5) Trump did not, as did Bill Clinton, use a crony to search out a high-paying New York job for a paramour in order to influence her testimony before a special counsel.

6) Trump did not, as did Bill Clinton, receive a $500,000 “honorarium” for speaking in Moscow while his wife, our secretary of state, approved a longstanding and lucrative desire of the Kremlin for North American uranium to be sold to a Russian consortium.

7) Trump did not, as did Barack Obama, promise Vladimir Putin that he would be “flexible” on “missile defense” if during his own reelection bid Putin in return would give him “space”. That quid pro quo arrangement led to the U.S. abandonment of key joint missile defense systems with Poland and the Czech Republic, and, reciprocally, less than two years later a Russia invasion, mostly unopposed by the United States, of eastern Ukraine and the Crimea.

8) Trump did not boast publicly, as did Joe Biden, that he used U.S. foreign aid monies as leverage to have the Ukrainian government fire a prosecutor who may have been looking into the Biden family’s efforts to sell influence to corrupt Ukrainian interests.

9) Trump did not, as the Bidens did, set up a family consortium to leverage monies from Ukraine, Russia, and China, on their shared expectations that he might soon run for and be elected president and become compromised. Trump is not mentioned, as is Joe Biden, in family business communications as a recipient of a 10 percent commission on such payoffs.

10) Trump did not, unlike Joe Biden, remove presidential papers—without any authority to declassify them—and leave them scattered and unsecured in a garage and various residences and offices.

11) Trump did not, as did the FBI, wipe clean subpoenaed mobile phone records.

12) Trump did not, as did interim FBI head Andrew McCabe, admittedly lie under oath on four occasions to federal investigators.

13) Trump did not, as did CIA Director John Brennan, admittedly lie on two occasions while under oath to the U.S. Congress.

14) Trump did not, as did Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, admittedly lie on one occasion to the U.S. Congress.

15) Trump did not, as did James Comey, claim amnesia or ignorance 245 times while under oath before the U.S. Congress.

16) Trump did not, as did FBI Director James Comey, summarize a confidential private conversation with a president and then deliberately leak that classified memo to the media for his own agenda of appointing a special counsel to investigate the president—which turned out to be his friend Robert Mueller.

17) Trump did not, as did Robert Mueller, claim ignorance while under oath when asked about the Steele dossier and Fusion GPS, the catalysts for Mueller’s own investigation.

18) Trump did not, as did private citizen and former secretary of state John Kerry, meet clandestinely while out of office with Iranian officials to help them resist  current U.S. policy toward Iran—or what the Boston Globe characterized as “unusual shadow diplomacy” to “apply pressure on the Trump administration from the outside.”

19) Trump did not, as did the FBI and CIA, pay clandestine money to Twitter to monitor and smother news stories deemed unhelpful to their agendas.

20) Trump did not, as did then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, whip up a mob at the doors of the Supreme Court by threatening two sitting justices by name to intimidate them concerning an impending judicial ruling: “I want to tell you Gorsuch, I want to tell you Kavanaugh: You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you.”

In subsequent months, mobs of protestors swarmed the private homes of these two named justices to influence their decisions, a federal crime that was ignored by Attorney General Merrick Garland, but not by a self-confessed, potential assassin of Justice Brett Kavanaugh who later turned up in the neighborhood.

What are we to make of these radical disparate applications of laws and protocols? The Left repeatedly breaks laws and long-held customs with impunity by weaponizing federal offices and bureaus, whether defined in the legal sphere by mostly exempting 120 days of mass rioting, looting, arson, mayhem, and lethal violence in the summer of 2020, or procedurally by denying the House minority leader the right to nominate his party members to committees, or ceremonially having the speaker of the House tear up the presidential State-of-the-Union Address on national television.

By any fair application of past tradition and the law, Joe Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas should be impeached for their deliberate efforts to subvert U.S. immigration law for political purposes. By any just measure, Joe Biden should be the target of a special counsel’s investigation to ascertain how and why the Biden family received hidden funds from foreign governments and whether Biden himself paid taxes on such large sums.

It is the revolutionary Left that attacks institutions deemed unhelpful for its current political agenda—one that rarely warrants 50 percent public approval—whether that effort is defined by threats of ending the filibuster, scrapping the Electoral College, adding two more states, packing the court, or radically changing balloting laws and customs to turn elections into a 70 percent no-show of voters on Election Day.

All of the above is predicated on a simple premise: Were the opposition to match tit-for-tat these Democratic means, then the republic would quickly descend into a spiral of illegality and chaos analogous to what ended the late Roman Republic. That fact is well known to the new hard-left Democratic Party. So it has assumed the role of the spoiled teen who feels he has a blank check of lawless behavior that his parents would not dare emulate, given that for adults to do so would destroy the family.

In other words, the Left is saying to America something along the following lines, “We are so morally superior to you that we can and must employ any means necessary to achieve our unpopular political ends. But you cannot respond in kind or deter us by mimicking our own tactics, because should both parties do so, the resulting disorder would undermine the republic. And that is something you won’t dare do.”

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59 thoughts on “Indict One—And All?”

    1. Bragg, Bragg the Humpty-Dumbty D.A. of New York City, is a paid slug of a foreigner and Nazi collaborator, George Soros. Who financed Bragg’s election with over a million dollars to get his target, President 45 Trump, arrested and disqualified to run again for the U.S. Presidency. That fact makes D.A. Bragg a foreign operative agent! Who can be taken in and detained on sight with his yoke and woke body at large?
      And begs the question, why is Bragg not criminally charged, by indictment himself, for Federal Election interference in his espionage acts of illegal maleficence as a paid agent for his vindictive, willful, criminal acts as a State D. A. prosecutor? When Bragg indicted and sabotaged U.S. President 45 Donald J. Trump’s election run only after he announced his U.S. Presidential run for 2024, Bragg and the MSM democrats decided to eliminate Trump at any cost.

      1. There is only one end that the democrats want and that is to see Trump dead and his supporters encamped.
        It is my estimation that Biden will use military force against the MAGA citizens and any that oppose the communistdemocrat coup against the American people. That force either ours or another will be used to complete the insurrection imprisonment. Biden will call for the death warrant on Trump…Something to the akin to….Bring me his head.
        Hence, the reason why the disarmament of the American populace must be done by force.
        There were four specific amendments of the Constitution that were called out by Hillary Clinton, 1st, 2cd, 4th, and 14th which she said must be abolished, she then elaborated that the govt oversee’s all aspects of these Rights.

  1. If one wanted to determine the cause of a terrible writhing fever that has sickened America, we have only to read this essay in order find it. The blatant hypocrisy of those who control the levers of power in today’s America is beyond frustrating. It is maddening. Those on the left routinely cross ethical boundaries and violate the spirit if not the letter of the law only to have cronies in power look the other way or perform astounding feats of mental gymnastics that nourish a blindness to the act, all the while pretending outrage at ordered inquiries and reactionary civil protest. Reliable lackeys in the minority party dutifully harumph or “bravely” sponsor dead on arrival legislation, participate in open ended hearings where bureaucrats slow walk tepid actions, openly defy budget law and ignore subpoenas with impunity. How is this possible? Because everyone in Washington DC knows full well that at the end of the day, the President won’t sign the legislation, the Senate won’t impeach or pass the imprudent legislation, the lackeys will cave, and, in the end the resistance is really nothing more than a very thinly veiled fundraising gambit anyway. All the while, intelligence agencies are illegally participating by running information operations on the American People and their government, the DOJ will bury “friendly fire” both within and supporting the Democrat party, and the compromised free press will only focus on the Republican reaction, ignoring the actual outrage.

  2. Republicans are in a “Solomon Situation”. They are “resigned in protest” – thinking it’s better to save the ‘baby’ (Republic) than compromise and take half. Progressives act like the mother that stole the baby. They could care less if the ‘baby’ dies – they’ll just go steal another one.

  3. “This is a coordinated effort to destroy this nation as a constitutional republic.” – Stephen K. Bannon, 4/3/23, 10:16 am ET

    Is this still a civil society? Here laws are meaningless except as tools plied by woke Dem bullies. Swaths of polite citizens are being picked off publicly. Or their votes are rendered null & void by the woke Dem machine.

    Who/what is left of America to stand up for the majority who demand sane governance?

    1. It’s Barack Hussein Obama’s Fundamental Change To America, What Most Don’t Understand Is That Obama Is and Always Has Been America’s Enemy, That’s Why He Picked A Dumb Corrupt Lying Fraud As His VP (Biden), Obama Is The Leader Of The Muslim Brother Hood, and They Are EVERYWHERE In Our Government, You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet, There Is A Reason It’s Young Military Age Men Coming Across Our Border, and a Reason The First Thing Obama & Now Biden Did Is Destroy Our Military.

  4. Thomas C. Hodgson, II

    Congratulations on this piece. It’s about time that thinkers/writers of your eminence take the time to elaborate upon the sad, current state of affairs that, on an ever increasing basis, beguile and seemingly confound our electorate. Comparative examinations such as this one must be poured forth such that there is no doubt about what has been happening… thus furthering the notions of what could happen unless an unadulterated rule of law prevails.

  5. Incredible. An impartial news media would certainly help get our country out of this mores, I’m amazed by how many people think “the news” is news, and not purely propaganda.
    The Republicans tend to play be the rules. The Democrats play to win at any cost.

    1. News that is not the news, yes.
      It is stunning the amount of people who get their “news” from fakebook, Twiddle, or any social media.
      Trying to read news responses on Musk’s new social media is so depressing that it is difficult to impossible to read beyond a page. If the responses on social media do represent the values of the 17 to 37 set, it would be better to hasten the decline.

  6. I never thought, in my nearly 80 years on this earth, that I would witness the nightmare that has overtaken my country. This is no longer America – thanks to the left it has become a third world banana “republic” where if you agree with the prevailing political/social agenda you are exempt from answering for the most egregious offenses and crimes, while if you happen to disagree and have the temerity to say so, you are subject to persecution, prosecution, censure, violent threats and even imprisonment. It is doubtful that we will ever recover from this madness.

  7. Automated summary:

    Legal experts are grappling with the implications of the forthcoming indictments of former US President Donald Trump by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Experts argue that indicting a former president would be viewed as persecution and would harm the office of the presidency, reduce it to Third World norms, and become a tool to harm the opposing political party. Furthermore, critics argue left-leaning prosecutors have ignored the same evidence used by Bragg in his investigation, and his chief witness Michael Cohen is a felon and a confessed liar with a deep personal hatred of Trump. The Left has repeatedly broken laws, and long-held customs have given them impunity by weaponizing federal offices, such as the speaker of the House tearing up the presidential State-of-the-Union Address on national television. Legal experts argue that if the opposition matches the tactics employed by the Left, it would undermine the republic.

    1. Thomas O'Brien

      The left must be held responsible to the full extent as allowed by our constitution. If this were to actually happen, I believe they would be discouraged from continuing their insanity.

      For example with Bragg: There must be statutes against the politicalization of his DA discretionary authority. They should be enforced.

    2. The Republic has already been undermined. The Left did that. If the Right does nothing, the ship will certainly sink.

  8. So depressing and exactly why we righties will even vote for a very sting but very flawed nominee. I loved his policies but he’d do us the biggest honor by retiring and supporting the future GOP nominee.

    1. Holy smokes, he is so hated by the left and its media. Obviously, they fear he’ll upset their gravy train.
      Think I’ll make another donation in order to fight these leftist facists.

  9. Albert L. Smith

    Great article. It is important to remind readers that one, Barack Hussein Obama, did precisely “seek to destroy the viability of a likely opponent” in Chicago and Illinois on his way up to the Senate and presidentcy. He and his political cohort delved deeply into the private, social, public and professional pasts to “dig up dirt” on his opponents. This is and has been Democrat Party modus operandi borrowed from Lenin & Stalin since the 1930s.

  10. Victor,
    The article “Indict One—And All?” is so important that I hope it is read by every citizen of this county. You are one of the few writers to have the guts to elucidate so precisely the duplicity of our elected and unelected liberal elites. Thank you for your honesty and integrity.

  11. Dare not do?
    I spend too much time contemplating a response I have never, ever contemplated before.
    As usual – very well written even if depressing, maddening and enraging.

  12. I believe but of course, could not prove, it was Schumer who leaked the decision on ROE V Wade being overturned. Another part of the “whirlwind” he threatened the Supreme Court of America with. The audacity is beyond anything.

  13. William McKee

    “the republic would quickly descend into a spiral of illegality and chaos analogous to what ended the late Roman Republic“

    It took two-and-a-half painfully slow centuries over multiple rulers for Rome to fall: It only took Joe Biden and his merry band of Green New Bolsheviks two-and-a-half years to accomplish the same feat and push the US into free-fall!

  14. A layman’s reading of the Constitution says that the policy setting part of the government is the Congress. The executive implements what Congress passes. However, the Presidency has become almost a king like role. How often do we hear asked will Congress pass the President’s agenda? It’s as though the Congress is subordinate. How much law is passed by executive order? Will we really be harmed by taking the presidency down a peg? We don’t exactly have a long record of wise and just “philosopher kings” winning the role.

    In these strident times it seems that the more evenly we are divided the more vicious the political battles. I suppose that when it’s 55/45 the 55 can speak of the 45 as their honorable (but perhaps ineffective) opposition. At 50/50 it’s claw each others’ eyes out.

    Charging a former president is now out of the box and it’s not going back in, but it is a double edged sword. We’re going to see more of this. It’s perhaps interesting to speculate on what that will mean. It’s a bit pointless to bemoan that it has happened.

    Becoming a third world country? I’ll be in San Francisco tomorrow and we’re there. I think there’s less feces on the streets in Rio.

  15. Gordy H. on the election:
    We have an almost unique opportunity to elect someone who DOES NOT need to learn on the job.

  16. Michael Hipscher

    Interesting that you don’t list all the crimes trump has done.
    Inciting an attempted coup of a presidential election;
    attempting to manufacture around 11,00 votes to change election results in Georgia:
    Lying about just about everything every time he speaks.
    Paying Stormy Daniels hush money prior to the election.
    His complete and utter lack of any moral compass. His mistreatment of business partners and associates prior to running for the presidency and his misogyny and racist behavior throughout his entire life.
    Character matters, especially when that someone represents our nation to the rest of the world.
    I was ashamed and embarrassed to have him represent our nation for the 4 years that he did so.

    1. You have completely swallowed the Leftist media portrayal of him, without even choking. Why do you allow yourself to be so propagandized, and by the idealogues who gave us Biden?!!! I am ashamed and embarrassed for YOU.

    2. Joel Savransky

      Asinine God would you people please go back to your basements and play your videos and watch porn and get ready to eat whatever mommy’s cooking?

    3. Craig Brookins

      Interesting that everything that you have listed about former President Trump is not a crime. You, like the deplorable and irredeemable pelosi, personally assume President Trump is guilty until proven innocent. It is laughable that you bring up questionable character as an indictment of President Trump. It is anticipated that biden and many in his administration will be charged with treason.

  17. Just move the trial venue:If there is one to D.C. where our former president can be sure to get a FAIR JUDGEMENT.I am ready to bring the monstous regime we are enduring down even if it means?????

  18. You provide great examples of how justice is no longer blind, and the scales are weighted in favor of the corrupt parties that take advantage of the system. Power has been given to those that are ultimately criminal and morally bankrupt. They will neutralize any perceived threat, whether it be former President Trump or any one of us who tries to uphold the constitution and the laws of the land. I agree that chaotic times are upon us.

  19. A truly smashing piece by Professor Hanson. But, as I’m almost always compelled to add to his sharp-edged analysis: So what? I think it would be at least as useful for him to deliver a close analysis of the component parts of the Democrat majority: the Blacks, the Hispanics, the Asian-Pacific Islanders, Jews, teachers unions, public employee unions, AFL-CIO unions, Academia, most of the media–print and electronic, Hollywood, East and West Coast intellectuals, “yellow dog” Dems, and the techies. Have I left anyone out?

    1. He does that in the podcasts where there is more space. Downside: you have to listen to them all over about six months to get through all the groups. Upside: podcasts are good listening!

  20. Thank you as always, Dr. Hanson, for your clear-sighted and superb compilation of blatantly outrageous offenses by the Left. While enraged, all I can do is impotently hope for a miracle in the extinct ‘voting booth’ at the next presidential election.

  21. Talk is talk.

    Deeds are deeds.

    Does anyone think that Alvin Bragg made the call to move on this stuff without pre-approvals from on high?

    ” A Little Rebellion Now and Then Is a Good Thing” Thomas Jefferson

  22. Philip Heisler

    Very insightful! I heard your remarks with Pete Hegseth last evening (3 April) and felt compelled to follow up. It’s amazing how effectively President Biden and his party utilize this same exact tactic against the Republicans. Mark Twain said it best, “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”

  23. Wow Victor sounds like you are throwing in the towel. According to you the Republicans cannot retailiate agains the unjust indictment of Trump because the country would go all to hell? Really? So the Red States that could find grounds to indict the Bidens or anyone else should not do so? So I guess you have resigned yourself to live in a police state. Pretty disappointed in that attitude. If you want to cave in go ahead. We will not.

  24. Mark Levin has proposed that State Republican DA’s and Attorney Generals return indictments in kind or this will never end. This would keep the Republican House in tact. Are there any brave ones?

  25. To find out that Trump hater Jack Fowler’s BFF is Joe Scarborough is not a huge suprise. Fowler is a Paul Ryan\ George Bush go along to get along RINO. He always has been.

    1. You use “Trump Hater” like it’s a slur. Do we have to bow the knee to the God Emperor to be a TRUE REPUBLICAN (TM)? George Bush was the mainstream of the Republican Party until 2016. You can say that his day (and by extension, Fowler’s) is done, but you can’t call them Republicans In Name Only. The Founders set up our whole system to stall and frustrate factions that made claims to sole legitimacy as the Founders saw them as the great threat to our form of government.

  26. Wonderful analysis and clear examples cited. However, the question is if Republicans have their hands tied because of a reluctance to engage in tit-for-tat behavior, then what can be done to stop the Left and/or reverse the damage that has been done to our country and it’s institutions on which we all rely?

  27. After Trump serves his second term as POTUS, or sooner if the democrats steal the 2024 election from him; Trump should go on speaking tours to Russia, China and every other nation charging $1+M per speech. That would reimburse him for all the financial costs while sending the leftist demoncrats into a frenzy.
    If just 20 or 30 would pay him to speak, it would be a coup on the left!

  28. V. M. Van Dyke

    Hard truths.
    Nevertheless, thank you.

    🙏 Praying on prayers…
    God Bless and protect you!
    God Bless &protect all of those
    who endeavor to preserve
    this our Constitutional Republic!
    Thank You, Jesus!

    Hard to believe that my generation learned to read and write via our founding documents (DOI, Amends, BOR). Hard to believe that our Second Grade Class Trip took us to a museum where we viewed through glass an original Declaration Of Independence… That we walked into Old Tennent Church and viewed pews that still retained blood stains from the wounded brought there during the Battle Of Monmouth… Hard to believe that there are those who would sever virtually with an axe the connection to our ancestors that brought to life this glorious experiment in self government.

    Hard to believe that I could ever deny the connection beyond time that I felt when came upon a carved headstone bearing the family name. I’m a little old and need a big surg; nevertheless, I vow to in every way possible HELP endeavors to preserve our Constitutional Republic.
    Currently listening to rerun of Tucker & Hannity & folks are INTENSE & taking this personally as it relates to ((IF I DIDN’T KNOW BETTER I’D SAY THAT IT APPEARED AS IF)): “BLATANTLY FALSE STATEMENTS…”; TWO TIER JUSTICE; B!DEN FAMILY CR!MES(?); DUE PROCESS stomped in the dirt; INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY completely ignored; & more; AND, DA’s that RUN FOR OFFICE on ‘GET TRUMP’, etc.
    God Bless America 🙏


    As I am in complete agreement with the Michael Hipschner of April 3 5:06 PM, I hereby repeat his well-thought-out presentation:
    Interesting that you don’t list all the crimes trump has done.
    Inciting an attempted coup of a presidential election;
    attempting to manufacture around 11,00 votes to change election results in Georgia:
    Lying about just about everything every time he speaks.
    Paying Stormy Daniels hush money prior to the election.
    His complete and utter lack of any moral compass. His mistreatment of business partners and associates prior to running for the presidency and his misogyny and racist behavior throughout his entire life.
    Character matters, especially when that someone represents our nation to the rest of the world.
    I was ashamed and embarrassed to have him represent our nation for the 4 years that he did so.

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