Al Mohler: “Make no mistake, America is now on trial”

“This is not a witch hunt. On the other hand, there are other dimensions we also must remember. Here are the optics…” - Mohler

Discussion

But wait … there’s more. That same president (Mr. Biden) was also found to have retained classified materials after leaving office as vice president, some infamously found near the president’s prized Corvette. A separate investigation is looking into the Biden documents, but with no hint as of yet of any charges.

Mohler’s use of “optics” is accurate. The question here is to what degree will conservatives let themselves be distracted by optics?

Conservatives—real ones—have always believed in the rule of law and in due process. Investigate everybody who needs investigating. Prosecute everybody who needs prosecuting. Failure to properly prosecute person A is not a reason to refrain from prosecuting person B.

So “But Biden did it too!!” and “But Hillary’s emails!!” and all that are not relevant to Trump’s conduct and prosecution (read about tu quoque fallacy or maybe secundium quid). Defeated U.S. Presidents don’t get to cling to fantasies that they are still really president and stash protected documents about national defense as if they were their personal property. They don’t get to relocate them to avoid investigation.

“Allegedly” of course… but it looks pretty clear.

Regardless of what any other politician has done and gotten away with, Trump, if he is guilty, must not get away with this. That would be the worst case scenario for rule of law and the continued viability of our republic.

A close second, though, would be to drag the process out any longer than necessary. Let’s get him to trial ASAP, and if he’s got it coming, jail him… and move on.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

...But the evidence put before the public (including matters known before the charges were filed) presents a damning portrait of malfeasance, recklessness, bizarre showmanship, and likely obstruction of justice—all of which endangered the nation’s defense and risked international consequences. The evidence now known to the public, taken by itself, reveals the former president’s failure to guard the nation’s safety and security. It also reveals Donald Trump’s unwillingness to separate his personal interest from the nation’s interest.

I'm still waiting for the majority of republicans (and Christians?) to wake up from their Trump delusion. If Republicans think sticking with Trump is going to win back the presidency, they are delusional at this point. Swing voters and moderates will not vote for Trump.

They won't vote for Mike Pence either. So, you're left with DeSantis, Christie, or Halie as your best options. I'd vote for Tim Scott, but by the time Ohio's primary comes around I think he'll be eliminated.

Aaron Blumer wrote: Regardless of what any other politician has done and gotten away with, Trump, if he is guilty, must not get away with this. That would be the worst case scenario for rule of law and the continued viability of our republic.

It’s language like this that always makes me suspicious, particularly of those who say glibly “the law applies to everyone, but regardless of what anyone else has done, Party A must not be allowed to get away with this.” This is analogous to “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

Yes, if Trump has broken the law (and is not covered by other laws like the Presidential Records Act, etc.), prosecution is warranted, but I still don’t hear those crying for this in the name of “rule of law” also clamoring just as strongly for the prosecution of Biden, Clinton, or even Pence (who also had classified documents found). As long as I don’t hear that, I reserve the right to be suspicious of the motives of those crying so hard for the prosecution of Trump. Even if the other situations are different, all should be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Certainly, refusal to prosecute anyone for clear violations of the law is a threat to the rule of law, but I’d argue it’s no greater a threat than selective prosecution is. When others are ignored in favor of prosecuting only those who are disfavored, I believe it’s a greater threat to the rule of law than not prosecuting anyone, as it additionally violates equal treatment under the law, and frankly, makes the U.S. look like a banana republic.

You want people to support the prosecution of Trump? Fine, show them prosecution of all violators and you’ll get a lot more people on board. As long as other, “in favor with public sentiment” violators are not prosecuted (which doesn’t make Trump innocent of course), don’t be surprised if people are convinced this is a political persecution rather than a valid exercise of the law.

I’m going to vote for someone other than Trump in the primaries. That’s as “dumped” as I can personally do. I still don’t support selective prosecution, nor will I consider Trump worse than all the other cases as long as none of them are investigated and possibly prosecuted and the facts allowed to come out.

Dave Barnhart

Aaron Blumer wrote: So “But Biden did it too!!” and “But Hillary’s emails!!” and all that are not relevant to Trump’s conduct and prosecution

Andy McCarthy said in a recent article that you don't fix miscarriages of justice by continuing to miscarry justice.

Also you should check out Bill Barr's comments, quoted here:

Bill Barr: This Trump Indictment Isn’t a Witch Hunt — It’s ‘Very, Very Damning’ | National Review

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

dcbii wrote: Certainly, refusal to prosecute anyone for clear violations of the law is a threat to the rule of law, but I’d argue it’s no greater a threat than selective prosecution is.

The old saying is true: two wrongs don’t make a right.

Selective prosecution is one problem, an individual who needs to be prosecuted is another problem. One way we will absolutely never fix the first problem is by refusing to solve the second problem.

The situation has lots of parallels. As a school teacher, I often ran in to situations where I realized I’d neglected enforcing a particular class rule. (It was a bigger problem the first year before I learned to not have so many class rules!). A common scenario would be when Frank broke the rule in a particularly egregious way. I dealt with it, he pointed out “but Wendy did it an you didn’t punish her!”

I failed to deal with her. There is no way I can fix that by also failing to deal with Frank. 100% impossible to fix it that way. In fact, if I also don’t punish Frank, I have made the situation worse, because when Ralph breaks the rule even worse than Wend or Frank did, I’ll have double the history of failure encouraging me to let even more offenses occur.

This resulted in the need for a “reset” more than once. It was a tough first year. But I learned not to let Wendy sized failures result in Frank sized failures because they lead to Ralph sized failures.

Same thing happens in parenting.

So, yes selective prosecution is a problem. No, we aren’t ever going to fix it by continuing to let people get away with things. That can only make it worse.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Let's compare, as far as we know, Trump's crimes vs. Hilliary's and Biden's.

Trump's; held fairly securely at Mar-a-Lago. No easy access by foreign governments.

Hilliary's: held on unsecured server with 60,000 other documents, many of which might be very interesting to foreign governments that might like to blackmail a President.

Biden's: stored behind his Corvette, and then you've got the interesting reality of the business arrangements his son got after Dad's junkets to various countries.

It's telling that the FBI/etc., gave Trump the whole nine yards, but for Biden and Hilliary, no subpoenas for evidence were issued. Why is that? It appears to me that the national security issues for Biden and Hilliary are much greater.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Aaron Blumer wrote: So, yes selective prosecution is a problem. No, we aren’t ever going to fix it by continuing to let people get away with things. That can only make it worse.

I don’t have much of an argument with this. I agree that letting “people get away with things” won’t fix the problem. This means that if the statute of limitations hasn’t run out on Clinton, Biden, or Pence having classified documents, fixing this problem not only means following through on Trump, it includes investigations and prosecutions of those same crimes from others as well. Anyone who won’t call for this as well has suspect motives when calling for the prosecution of Trump specifically, and clearly isn’t doing so because of the “rule of law.”

And as regards the Twitter comic above, I’d consider it a “devastating takedown” if the crime were “complaining when the documents were returned” vs. doing so nicely. Since the crime includes possession of such documents when not permitted to do so (and the other 3 cases don’t even include the possible defense of the Presidential Records Act), it makes no difference if two happily return the documents, one complains about it, and one smashes up some of the evidence. It’s the possession that matters. We still prosecute drug possession in high enough amounts, and it really doesn’t matter if one tried to flush the evidence and one said “here, take it.” Prosecution takes place in either case.

You want to fix the problem — apply the law to everyone, not just your favorite target.

Dave Barnhart

dcbii wrote: You want to fix the problem — apply the law to everyone, not just your favorite target.

Sure, but there is no point in defending Trump by saying "others didn't get prosecuted." Yes, they all should be prosecuted, and if guilty, convicted and punished.

But "everyone else is doing it" is NO defense.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Don Johnson wrote: But “everyone else is doing it” is NO defense.

And you haven’t heard me make that argument here.

Dave Barnhart

As someone who used to handle highly classified information early on in my career, it really irks me to see national leaders of both parties treat this information so cavalierly. They should be setting the example. These leaders should be held to a higher standard, and I think anyone who has mishandled classified information in such a brazen and illegal way should be prosecuted and barred from any office or position that requires access to this type of data.

AndyE wrote: As someone who used to handle highly classified information early on in my career, it really irks me to see national leaders of both parties treat this information so cavalierly. They should be setting the example. These leaders should be held to a higher standard, and I think anyone who has mishandled classified information in such a brazen and illegal way should be prosecuted and barred from any

I agree, it's ridiculous that we have leaders who are so careless with classified information. They should have been held to a higher standard long ago, and regardless of political party. My guess is that Trump's situation is so egregious that there was no way to avoid prosecution. But it's pretty bad to have any leaders handle information so carelessly, and an example should have been set with prior incidents so that we never got to this point.

WallyMorris wrote: Fast Forward: Trump convicted, Clinton and Biden never indicted. Conclusion?

If you knowingly have classified documents in your possession, don't lie about it, don't tell others to lie about it, don't obstruct federal agencies in their efforts to retrieve the documents, don't claim you're a victim when you're caught red handed, don't incite your followers to protect you, etc. etc.