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Biden:Trump::Putin:Navalny

Alexei Navalny's untimely death shines a light on the Left's lawfare on Trump.

Television has a fantastic way of capturing split-screen moments. In the last few days, two news stories dominated the small screen.

The first was the lawfare against former President Trump playing out in Fulton County, GA, and in the courtroom of New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron. 

For the first time in months, it was not Trump defending his conduct but the district attorney, Fani Willis, who was put on the stand to defend hers. The Left seethed at the live coverage when Willis destroyed her own reputation through a series of misstatements and an arrogant "how-dare-you-question-a-Black-person" attitude. Meanwhile, Judge Engoron handed down his expected decision on Friday, announcing a massive $350 million fine on Trump and a ban on him from conducting business in New York City for three years, a penalty that even the New York Times deemed "harsh." 

The second half of the split-screen was the reported death of Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition leader, who, in President Putin's tight 20-year grip over the vast state, had become his worst bête noire. Even before Navalny's death was confirmed, President Biden held a press conference at the White House in which he held Putin personally accountable. 

You know, like millions of people around the world, I am literally both not surprised and outraged by the news — the reported death of Aleksey Navalny. He bravely stood up to the corruption, the violence, and all the bad things that the Putin government was doing. 
In response, Putin had him poisoned. He had him arrested. He had him prosecuted for fabricated crimes. He sentenced him to prison. He was held in isolation. Even all that didn't stop him from calling out Putin's lies. Even in prison, he was a powerful voice of the truth, which is kind of amazing when you think about it.

It was a surreal moment when the leader of the Free World, from the perch of the bastion of democracy and free elections, was criticizing a ruthless, authoritarian dictator 6,000 miles away for doing the very same things that his administration and allies have been relentlessly doing to his political enemy Trump for the last three years. All one had to do was switch screens to the Ergoron verdict to see how utterly Putin-like New York has treated President Trump. And expectedly, President Biden, who has never held a private sector job, contributed to the private economy or hired employees, did not utter a word of criticism about how New York State's verdicts make America a laughing stock in Russia and other authoritarian countries worldwide.

Of course, we recall President Biden expressly saying that he would use the full power of the United States government to ensure that former President Trump would not become the next president again.

Biden: "We just have to demonstrate that he will not take power if he does run, making sure he — under legitimate efforts of our Constitution — does not become the next president again."

And here is the President calling for action via The New York Times, which reported in an April 2, 2022 article:

The attorney general’s deliberative approach has come to frustrate Democratic allies of the White House and, at times, President Biden himself. As recently as late last year, Mr. Biden confided to his inner circle that he believed former President Donald J. Trump was a threat to democracy and should be prosecuted, according to two people familiar with his comments. And while the president has never communicated his frustrations directly to Mr. Garland, he has said privately that he wanted Mr. Garland to act less like a ponderous judge and more like a prosecutor willing to take decisive action over the events of Jan. 6.

Here are some parallels between how the Biden administration is targeting the former president of the United States and how President Putin went after his arch-nemesis.

E. Jean Carroll Case. In the E. Jean Carroll case, New York State changed the statute of limitations for just one year so that Carroll could bring a case against Trump. Although Carroll could not even remember the year in which the supposed assault happened, a jury found Trump guilty. The jury wouldn't find that Trump raped Carroll, so the charge was lowered to sexual assault, awarding $5 million in damages. 

When Trump denied ever knowing her, and claimed that Carroll was lying to sell a memoir and perhaps to hurt him politically, she sued for defamation. Another jury found Trump guilty of defaming her and approved an $83.3 million award. Both penalties reminded viewers that the Putin-Navalny scene was playing out in America.

New York Civil Fraud Case. Judge Engoran's verdict was New York's most significant corporate sanction in history. Using an arcane New York law from over 70 years ago, the state's Attorney General, Letitia James, who ran on a platform of targeting Trump, charged the former president with defrauding New York's big banks by inflating his assets when applying for loans. Trump had repaid all of his loans with interest, and the banks, the so-called victims, lined up to testify on Trump's behalf. But the law does not require that any harm be proved, but only that Trump exaggerated, something that every business person does to portray their business positively. Nor does the law require a jury, leaving the judgment to two biased people, James and Engoran. 

It was another example of a Putin-Navalny scene in a courtroom in the city that Trump had helped build and make famous - through his real estate empire, casino holdings nearby, employing tens of thousands of employees, and paying billions in taxes over his sixty-year career. 

Classified Documents Case. While both Biden and Trump were the targets of special counsel investigations regarding the handling of classified documents, the Hur report concluded that Biden did terrible things storing documents which he shouldn't even have had in the first place, given that he had no authority as Vice President, but would not be charged because he was too mentally unfit to stand trial. Meanwhile, Jack Smith is aggressively pursuing his classified documents case against Trump, who, as president, was the ultimate authority to decide which documents merited classification. Putin-Navalny again. 

Trump is no Navalny. While the Left continues to treat Trump as Putin treated Navalny, the differences are stark. Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States and served in that capacity as the leader of the Free World, engaging in no new wars and presiding over a robust economy. 

Navalny was an opposition leader who had repeated problems with Russian law, including being charged multiple times with embezzling state funds. He had been a thorn in Putin's reign for nearly ten years, accusing various members of Putin's administration of corruption and fraud, including Putin himself. Navalny organized protest rallies throughout Russia, with tens of thousands of people denouncing the Russian autocrat’s rule. Like Biden is doing to Trump, Putin returned the favor, employing the levers of government to make Navalny ineligible to run for presidential elections until 2028.

As a practical matter, Navalny's claim to fame was that, like Ukraine's Zelensky, he was willing to work with the West to help dilute Putin's power. Rumors arose that he even served as an agent of British intelligence. 

In 2021, Navalny, who was imprisoned after he returned to Russia after medical treatment in Berlin, complained about poor medical treatment and announced that he would go on a hunger strike; for 22 days, Navalny refused all food, losing over 30 lbs. His attending physician warned that he was close to death. The U.S., the UK, and France collectively panicked and threatened Putin that he would be held responsible for Navalny's death. 

Sadly, Navalny succumbed this week at the young age of 47. Biden's insistence that Putin caused his death was predictable and reflects the West's frustration that despite all the sanctions and the $200 billion in weapons support to Ukraine to bring Russia down, Putin is still in power.

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