TV and radio personality and author Edward Woodson and Mitch Roschelle, media commentator and thought leader, argued that the charges against the 45th president were purely political and could even favour the presumed Republican candidate.
The latest criminal indictment of Donald Trump is a politically-driven bid to knock him out of the presidential race, two pundits say.
Special Counsel Jack Smith announced four charges against Trump on Wednesday following the decision of a grand jury. Three of those were for “conspiracy” to oppress constitutional rights, to defraud the US and obstructing official proceedings.
The charges relate to his allegations of ballot-rigging in the November 2020 general election along with his comments on January 6, when protesters occupied the Capitol Building in Washington DC and briefly delayed the certification of Joe Biden as the next president.
If convicted on all counts, given maximum sentences and forced to serve them consecutively, not concurrently, the 77-year-old property tycoon technically faces up to 561 years in jail.
The former president has vowed to continue his bid for the Republican candidacy and the presidency in the 2024 election against Biden, regardless of what charges are thrown against him.
“Why didn’t they bring this ridiculous case 2.5 years ago?” Trump asked in a social media post on Wednesday. “They wanted it right in the middle of my campaign, that’s why!”
Author Edward Woodson told Sputnik that the indictments against the former president had made the US “a joke.”
“We now live in a banana republic. We’ve now criminalized thought. This is Orwellian in nature,” Woodson said. “They’re basically saying that: ‘oh, he knew. He knew and he lied about what he knew’. It’s a joke. Basically, they’re now criminalizing speech.”
He recalled that Democrats and most of the US mainstream media were just as guilty as Trump when they denied that he has freely and fairly elected in 2016.
“Do you remember they said that it was Russian disinformation? And it was Russian collusion, and that turned out to be false. Yet they they pushed that narrative,” Woodson said
The author said the charges against Trump were “purely political” and showed the Biden administration was “now criminalizing their leading opponent and trying to put the leading opponent, the Republican front runner, in prison. This is what they do in third world countries.”
Meanwhile Biden’s Department of Justice is working to let his wayward son Hunter off the hook with a plea bargain over his shady foreign business dealings and illegally owning a handgun. Biden himself has not been indicted for taking classified White House documents during huis stint as vice-president to Barack Obama — while Trump is facing charges for the same in a Miami federal court.
“This highlights that there are two tracks of justice,” Woodson stressed.
Mitch Roschelle told Sputnik that the indictments against Trump were “more political than legal.”
“You have a three pronged attack from three different angles in three different jurisdictions against the president,” he noted. “The fact that there’s an indictment, there’s a trial, has political value on behalf of anybody running against Trump, whether it be in a primary, whether it be in a general.”
The charges appear timed to see the former president in court in the early autumn of 2024, just before the presidential election.
“This would be in September, if it got in court, right smack in the final stretch of the general election, if Trump is still the nominee. You talk about October surprises, this is a preordained September surprise,” Roschelle said.
The media commentator pointed out that the nature of the charges meant the prosecution would have to prove not only what Trump did but he was thinking — specifically that he knew his assertion that the election was stolen was false.
“I’ve been around Donald Trump in business contacts, not political ones. I believe Donald Trump believes things,” Roschelle said. “He believes his own B.S., let’s put it that way. I think it’s going to be very, very hard to prove that he believed otherwise.”
He argued that the trial would also be a perfect political platform for Trump to re-state his accusations against the Democrats.
“Donald Trump has a fulsome right to defend himself, which gives him subpoena power that he never had before,” Roschelle stressed. “He can call witnesses to prove his point about the fact that certain elements of the ballot counting in certain jurisdictions were sketchy.”
The court will not be not tasked with proving whether ballot fraud took place in Philadelphia or Arizona, but “whether or not it sticks, he now has a microphone to demonstrate the things that he’s been yelling and screaming about. And politically that could help him.”