Trump’s Most Recent Indictment: ‘Two-Tiered’ Justice Indeed

On the anniversary of D-Day, June 6, the nation’s 45th president and Commander-in-Chief Donald J. Trump was charged by federal prosecutors with 37 felonies, including 31 counts under the Espionage Act of “willful retention” of highly classified national defense information – nuclear war-related documents in the mix – “obstruction of justice,” “withholding or concealing documents from a federal investigation,” and “making false statements and representations” to law enforcement.

The 49-page charging document unsealed by federal prosecutor Jack Smith, details – with accompanying photographs, ample witness testimonies, and transcripts of recordings – allegations of Trump’s efforts to conceal at his resort home at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, and at other locations, troves of loosely secured Top-Secret (TS) and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) documents requested repeatedly by the FBI and federal authorities, but only seized after issuance of a warrant. Moreover, the indictment alleges incidents in which Trump shared top-secret information with others without security clearances.

Boxes seized from Mar-a-Lago allegedly containing Top-Secret documents. DOJ photo.

News of Trump’s “not guilty” plea in Miami on Tuesday, June 13, was not a surprise. Nor was his outsourcing of the task to his lawyer Todd Blanche who told the judge, “We most certainly enter a plea of not guilty.” Nor were the heavy security precautions taken outside Miami’s Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. courthouse to prevent protester clashes and violent incidents, especially after the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

Even news of leading Republican challengers to Trump’s 2024 presidential ambitions complaining of a “two-tiered justice system,” the “weaponization of the Justice Department under Biden,” and pledging presidential pardons if Trump is found guilty – is not so surprising. After all, Trump is still the Republican frontrunner in the 2024 presidential race.

What truly shocks is the excessive deference Trump has received throughout his latest dealings with the law. There is indeed a “two-tiered” justice system, but Trump has been its beneficiary, not its victim.

Consider what took place as Trump was arraigned on felony charges in Miami. Yes, he’s a former president with security concerns, but we are “a nation of laws and not of men.” The whole booking process appeared to be an exercise in protecting Trump’s vaulted status and privilege. After all, a normal citizen charged with multiple felony counts and spilling national security secrets would likely have been handcuffed, frog-marched before the crowds and press, subjected to a humiliating mugshot — forever preserved in history — and forced to endure embarrassing arguments before the court about how much he constitutes a flight risk and excruciating and lengthy questions for the public record about jail or bail.

But Trump hardly had to endure any of this. According to the Washington Post, his booking – to which he was escorted through a tunnel affording him shelter from public scrutiny — lasted only 15 minutes. The usual embarrassments meted out to normal citizens were not meant for him.

Normal people also don’t get to engage in threatening behaviors towards judges, prosecutors or law enforcement personnel. But Trump wasn’t admonished by the judge for his inciting language in campaign rallies and on his social media account, referring to his prosecutors as “evil” and calling lead prosecutor Jack Smith a “thug” and a “lunatic” and referring to Smith’s wife as an “uncontrolled Trump hater” prior to his hearing.

As Smith is also serving as Special Counsel to investigate Trump’s efforts to overturn his Electoral College loss in the 2020 presidential election and remain in the White House – fake “electors” and all the rest – putting a target on the Smiths’ backs brazenly obstructs justice yet again.

Now we are to understand that the Department of Justice was ready to turn a blind eye if Trump had simply turned over the top-secret documents when originally requested.

Is this the sort of consideration your average felony target would face? And have we forgotten that the second half of the Mueller Report, almost 200 pages worth – laid bare so many instances of Trump’s obstruction of justice, from threatening witness, to dangling pardons, to intimidating public officials, that few actually read the report. It was too long. And in Trump’s “tow-tiered” system, he managed to get away with all of that.

The law also never seems to catch up with Trump’s blatantly fraudulent fundraising efforts to secure legal defense for all the tangled swirl of cases putting him in peril before the justice system – a curious penchant for a “billionaire,” to constantly plead for small donations from “ordinary Americans” and not be held to account for the petty arrogance and impropriety.

Following his booking and court appearance in Miami, Trump was whisked away by limousine to fly by private jet to his golf club at Bedminster, New Jersey. Once inside and hamming it up for his sycophants, he incited: “If the communists get away with this, it won’t stop with me. They will not hesitate to ramp up their persecution of Christians, pro-life activists, parents attending school board meetings, and even future Republican candidates… I am the only one that can save this nation.”

Thanks, Mussolini.




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