The Criminal Indictment of Donald Trump

Image: Reynaldo Brigantty


The accusations put Trump back in the game in a country in decline, whose most glaring symptom of that decline is none other than Trump himself.

Donald Trump's 25-minute speech delivered at his Mar-a-Lago compound on April 4, following his criminal indictments in New York, marks his dramatic return to the center of American politics.

After languishing in apathy in recent years, Donald Trump is back in the game with a vengeance – thanks to New York Attorney General Alvin Bragg's decision to charge him with 34 counts of falsifying business records. Alvin Bragg's controversial decision to prosecute Donald Trump may well become one of the most consequential errors of judgment by a public official in recent American history.

Donald Trump's speech was a brilliant performance. In apocalyptic tones – “our country is going to hell” – Trump painted a picture of a corrupt, crime-ridden and weak America, mindlessly promoting a dangerous and unnecessary conflict in Ukraine, moving towards self-destruction. The US, claimed Donald Trump, is a “nation that has failed … a nation in decline”.

Donald Trump himself is at the center of this grim prognosis, proclaiming himself as the only politician who can “save our country”. To prevent this, he asserted, the elites responsible for America's current state of decline, including the Democrats, the FBI, the Justice Department, George Soros, Facebook and Twitter, have now conspired to use a corrupt legal system to prevent his re-election. “They can't beat us at the ballot box, so they try to beat us through the law,” he said.

It is not surprising that Donald Trump turns his destructive rage on the American justice system. He has always despised the rule of law. Who can forget your proud to have appointed conservative justices to the Supreme Court and his subsequent denunciation of these same names when they refused to sanction his claim that the 2020 election had been stolen? But in this speech, he went further than ever before.

As for the charges filed by Attorney General Alvin Bragg, Trump claimed that "there isn't a case" and that Bragg - who he branded "a criminal" - knew there wasn't a case. He described the judge in the case as a "Donald Trump-hating judge with a Trump-hating wife...whose daughter worked for Kamala Harris." According to the former president, the whole accusation is something “that came straight out of the old Soviet Union”.

However, Donald Trump's denunciation of the justice system did not end there. He described the FBI's seizure of Mar-a-Lago documents as "illegal" and part of a campaign of "harassment" and "harassment" against him and his family.

The former president dismissed the investigation into alleged fraudulent practices by Trump companies in New York as "a persecution and not an investigation" and accused Attorney General Leticia James of being a "reverse racist" and a tool of the Democrats.

Donald Trump went on to describe the attorney general in Atlanta who is currently investigating him regarding alleged voter fraud during the 2020 election as a “racist Democrat attorney general.”

The indictment of Alvin Bragg, the FBI operation in Mar-a-Lago and the other pending investigations are all, according to Donald Trump, aspects of a vast legal conspiracy – “our justice system has become outlawed” – designed to destroy his prospects of being re-elected president in 2024.

It is a measure of America's irreversible decline as a functioning liberal democracy that a person who publicly expresses such views could be a serious presidential candidate. Donald Trump's encouragement of the January 6 riots and his persistent attempts to overturn the 2020 election result proved that he had an absolute disregard for the democratic process. The April 04 speech proves he has a similar disregard for the legal system and the rule of law. No previous American president – ​​not even Richard Nixon in his darkest days – would have even thought of behaving in such a way.

Two other aspects of Donald Trump's speech are worth noting. He repeated his standard critique of Joe Biden and the Democrats as having destroyed America and reduced it to a global laughingstock - focusing on illegal immigration, rising crime in big cities, inflation and a weakened military. He described the Biden family as "criminals and thugs" and highlighted Hunter Biden's multiple transgressions and the fact that he was not prosecuted.

Most importantly, Donald Trump has been highly critical of America's involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. He claims that the conflict would never have occurred if he had been president, and claims that Joe Biden was in danger of provoking an "all-out nuclear war". He also blamed Biden for sparking a rapprochement between Russia and China that weakened America's position globally.

There is no doubt that Donald Trump's prospects of winning the Republican nomination and winning the 2024 presidential election were energized by Alvin Bragg's indictment.

As research showed that Trump has a dominant lead over Ron DeSantis as the preferred Republican presidential nominee, with other candidates, including Mike Pence and Nikki Haley, having failed to garner virtually any kind of support. It is now clear that the primaries will be a two-horse race.

Expect Donald Trump's lead over Ron DeSantis to increase, especially if Alvin Bragg's prosecution fails. And a disorganized indictment could very well catapult Donald Trump into the White House in 2024.

It is important to note that prosecutors must prove that Donald Trump personally falsified several documents with intent to defraud. Employees who have worked with him before say he has aversion to putting anything in writing, then proving that he was personally responsible for the falsification of documents, and that he had the necessary intent, will not be an easy task. Many legal experts, including opponents of Donald Trump, have raised doubts that Alvin Bragg's indictment will result in a conviction.

It will be interesting to see whether Donald Trump seeks to delay the indictment of Alvin Bragg or speed it up. In both cases, he will use the indictment to boost his campaigns for the Republican nomination and the presidency, and any additional charges that may be brought against him will likely be used to similar effect.

It is also relevant to note that Bragg's accusation involves essentially trivial matters. After all, has no American president ever misused campaign funds in the past? This is far less serious, for example, than the alleged election fraud in Georgia in which Donald Trump was personally involved, as his infamous telephone conversation with the Georgia secretary of state demonstrates. Donald Trump would have been in far worse trouble if he had been prosecuted over this matter or his involvement in the January 6 riots.

It is easy to dismiss Mar-a-Lago's speeches as the conspiratorial ravings of a demagogue. That, however, would be to seriously underestimate Donald Trump's appeal to a substantial and growing part of the American electorate - namely all those left behind by globalization. He also embodies many of the coarser aspects of American popular culture, and this makes his political rhetoric remarkably effective in contemporary America.

It must also be admitted that, stripped of the foundations of his conspiracy theory, much of Donald Trump's critique of Biden and contemporary America is essentially correct - and the fact that Donald Trump is clearly unable to solve the problems he calls for attention does not invalidate your criticisms.

This is especially true of Donald Trump's opposition to Joe Biden's fervent commitment to perpetuating the conflict in Ukraine. Popular support for Biden's continued aid to Ukraine is waning, and Trump's pledge to end the conflict will no doubt draw large numbers of new voters to his cause.

Donald Trump's energy, belief in his own cause, and knack for campaigning are in stark contrast to Joe Biden - who is gradually becoming more fragile and appears to be an elusive politician, dodging arguments. Anyone who doubts this should compare Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago speech to Joe Biden's unimpressive speech after the recent Nashville school shooting.

Whatever happens in the next year, the seemingly terminal decline that has plagued America for the last few decades – correctly and so graphically described by Donald Trump this week – will certainly endure.

Donald Trump's continued attacks on the basic institutions that underpin American liberal democracy will no doubt intensify in the coming months and further weaken those already fragile bodies, and his campaign for the presidency will only further divide and brutalize American politics and society. .

Donald Trump was correct in describing America as “a nation in decline” this week, but he omitted that the most obvious and glaring symptom of this irreversible decline is none other than Donald Trump himself.

*Graham Hryces is a journalist.

Translation: Fernando Lima das Neves.

Originally published on the portal RT.

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