Democrats got one step closer this week to accomplishing the top item on their seven-year policy agenda: the criminal conviction of former President Donald Trump.
On Thursday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg handed down a breathtaking indictment of 30-plus reported counts against the ex-New York businessman. It’s the first time charges have ever been levied against a former president.
The New York Times broke the story on Thursday, citing “four people with knowledge of the matter,” that Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury over a probe of hush-money payments to a porn star in 2016.
“The felony indictment, filed under seal by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, will likely be announced in the coming days,” the New York Times reported. “By then, prosecutors working for the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, will have asked Mr. Trump to surrender and to face arraignment on charges that remain unknown for now.”
It’s no secret the charges are politically motivated. Bragg campaigned two years ago on a platform to investigate Trump, Democrats’ public enemy No. 1 who remains the leading contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. The Manhattan prosecutor ran with six-figure funding from liberal financier George Soros, even after Bragg’s own allegations of sexual misconduct that involve potential hush-money payments.
Federal prosecutors, meanwhile, declined to press charges against Trump stemming from the payments to Daniels because the case is so weak. Bragg only resurrected the case in New York as the prospect of another Trump election re-emerges a year and a half ahead of November 2024.
Federalist Legal Correspondent Margot Cleveland explained last week how “Indicting Trump Will Usher In America’s Banana-Republic Stage.”
“Persecuting Trump has no downside for Democrats chasing fame,” Cleveland wrote. “And now is as good a time as any. The historic nature of putting a former president in handcuffs as he campaigns for another term is too good for a low-rent prosecutor to pass up.”
Naturally, the press made a folk hero out of Bragg.
[READ: Politico Jumps To Make A Folk Hero Out Of Left-Wing Prosecutor Targeting Trump]
But the Trump indictment was always in the pipeline, one way or another. The former president has remained under investigation over one manufactured scandal after another ever since his White House ambitions began to take off. Once in the Oval Office, the democratically elected president was never given a chance to govern. Whether it was fabricated claims of Russian collusion or hysteria over military aid to Ukraine, Democrats pledged their commitment to impeaching him from the day of his inauguration.
“The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun,” proclaimed a headline in the Washington Post on Jan. 20, 2017.
The Democrats ultimately impeached him twice within two years after they reclaimed the House majority, cheapening an emergency lever for the removal of a president. Beyond the hush-money payments to Daniels, Trump remains under threat of another indictment by the Department of Justice surrounding the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. The Washington Post acknowledged Thursday’s indictment caps off half a century of investigations into the long-time Manhattan developer.
The never-ending prosecution warrants outrage not just among voters who will potentially be denied the opportunity to vote for their chosen candidate, but the rest of the Republican presidential field running against him.
The indictment provoked as much condemnation from Republican lawmakers as it did Trump’s rivals, for good reason: Once Trump is out of the way, they’re next.
“The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head,” Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis wrote on Twitter, calling the effort “un-American.” “Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy also criticized Trump’s prosecution as pure political vengeance.
It’s far from out of the question that Democrats might prevent Trump’s name from appearing on the 2024 ballot. But Trump is only a chapter in the left’s assault on institutions to capture political power. Any GOP contender preparing to replace Trump as the flag bearer of the Republican Party will have to be ready for the onslaught of deep-state information operations launched against them, even more so than Trump now that America has entered its Banana Republic stage. It’ll be far worse as Democrats become more sophisticated in their attacks.