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What The Trump Indictments Are Really All About (Hint: Not What You Think)

Photo: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, via Wikimedia Commons

By Bob Maistros, Issues & Insights | August 21, 2023

Let’s cut to the chase: the tsunami of anti-Trump indictments isn’t aimed to ensure that he is the 2024 GOP nominee, nor to stymie him with a tangle of competing, distracting, and wildly expensive court battles at the height of primary season. Though either could be the result.

This scribe informed you, last summer, of the purpose of the scorched-earth campaign that also encompasses the January 6th Committee farce, psychological terrorism against Capitol protesters, and harassment of former Trump officials and advisors. 

Quoting your correspondent back then: “(T)his overkill is really about inoculating Democrats regarding efforts already underway to rig elections in 2022 and beyond. The precedent is set: identifying future Democrat-favoring voting irregularities risks being labeled a promoter of Trump-variety ‘false claims’ and plagued, persecuted, or even prosecuted as an ‘insurrectionist.’”

You know the charges being brought against America’s rightful chief executive, his advisers, and his allies are as genuine as dime-store pyrite when an individual who has committed no espionage is charged with 31 counts under the rarely used Espionage Act – once hammered by the ACLU as “a fundamentally unfair and unconstitutional law.”

Or when a federal Special Counsel slams the same individual with vague charges of conspiracies to “Defraud the United States,” to “Obstruct an Official Proceeding,” and “Against Rights,” plus “Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding.” All based on allegedly asserting “knowingly false claims (of) outcome-determinative fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

And when requests for phone numbers, appearances at legislative hearings, tweets about those public hearings, press conferences, and a nationally televised presidential speech(!) are all considered “overt act(s) in furtherance of (a) conspiracy” under the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act. Allegedly committed by a “criminal enterprise” including highly respected attorneys, the White House chief of staff, elected officials acting in investigative capacities, and a PR guy. 

If governments at all levels, to maintain their hold on power, can coordinate the criminalization of:

  • hush money payments regarding a one-night stand made under a valid legal settlement
  • exercise of presidential discretion established by Congress and determined by federal courts to be nearly absolute
  • privileged legal advice to, and public or private political advocacy on behalf of, the sitting chief executive
  • lobbying state and federal officers to engage in investigations and/or consider legal or constitutional theories, no matter how novel
  • entering the Capitol during a protest on the open invitation of, and accompanied by, law enforcement officers – and in some cases, simply being nearby
  • and most of all, engaging in the constitutionally protected right of free speech …

… then who will risk representing or even speaking out on behalf of victims of stolen elections, knowing the cost could be humiliation (e.g., planned arrest and release of mug shots of the Georgia defendants), crushing expensecareer jeopardy, and potential deprivation of freedom (pre-detention solitary for January 6 defendants, all the Georgia defendants facing mandatory prison terms)?

Though there’s a high degree of ad hominem animus here, remember: the term “derangement syndrome” was coined around similar antipathy toward the White House’s prior Republican occupant – now affectionately embraced by leftists.

Whether this melodrama’s central figure was named Donald Trump or Donald Duck, the true objective is nth-degree cancellation. Not of those targeted by blatant abuses of power. But of the Constitution and consent of the governed.

Especially when the actions’ basis – alleged “false statements (Georgia)” and “knowingly false claims (of) outcome-determinative fraud” – is itself “knowingly false” and misleading

Stipulated: mountains of evidence exist of election fraud, exemplified in respected political scientist Claes Ryn’s definitive analysis shortly after the election and recently related to the Georgia charges in these pages and elsewhere

But as this contributor also previously underscored, The Donald needn’t prove fraud to cast sufficient doubt on the election outcome to bury the core charge.

He must only demonstrate that votes were cast outside of lawful processes intended to avoid fraud – the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s essential holding in declaring that illegal election changes rendered the state’s 2020 result “illegitimate.”

petition to the U.S. Supreme Court by 18 states insisted that irregularities in said Badger State and three others “cumulatively preclude knowing who legitimately won the 2020 election.” 

And that “these flaws affect an outcome-determinative number (emphasis added, Special Counsel Smith) of popular votes in a group of States that cast outcome-determinative numbers of electoral votes.”

Moreover, High Court Justice Samuel Alito asserted that a separate Pennsylvania challenge had “national importance,” citing “a strong likelihood that (a) State Supreme Court decision violates the federal Constitution.”

Let’s summarize: Wisconsin’s highest court declared its 2020 results “illegitimate.” A Supreme Court justice sniffed state constitutional violations. And eighteen state attorneys general asserted that no one could know who won in 2020 due to state electoral “flaws.” 

Yet Trump et. al. engaged in “knowingly false claims” sufficient to sustain indictments that could result in lifetimes behind bars?

Quod erat demonstrandum: these abusive legal actions aren’t intended to vindicate truth nor preserve the electoral process. But rather to ensure that, repeating Sen. Lindsey Graham’s November 2020 warning, “there’ll never be another Republican president elected again.”

Bob Maistros is a messaging and communications strategist, crisis specialist, and former political speechwriter. He can be reached at

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