This week, the Rubicon has been crossed. Donald Trump, the former president of the United States, and the current Republican frontrunner for the nomination as the next President, was indicted by the federal government on 37 federal felonies relating to mishandling of classified information and obstruction of justice. This has never been done before, and it is a horrifying precedent. Trump campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2016, promising to “lock her up”, but did not take any steps towards doing so after he was elected. Now, the Department of Justice under President Joe Biden has taken action. Turnabout is fair play. So, if future elections are held, the loser could find themselves in court as a result.
Indicting Trump is especially egregious, given that Clinton was not prosecuted in 2016 for a similar act. Clinton held tens and thousands of emails, including dozens that were classified, on a server. James Comey, the then-head of the FBI admitted that it was possible that foreign sources had accessed the server. The emails were destroyed by Clinton’s staff, and her hard drive was cleaned, but months later copies of these emails appeared on the laptop belonging to moral dereliction Anthony Weiner. It is enough to say that Hillary was guilty of both gross negligence and obstruction of justice in her handling of classified information. Comey refused to bring charges and rewrote the law to make this decision.
Then there’s the Biden family. There are many allegations of corruption in the Biden family, but law enforcement does not seem to be concerned. Republican Congressmen claim that a whistleblower revealed the Biden family had received millions in exchange for favors performed while Joe Biden served as vice president. Biden is still treated with a mixture of sycophantic coverage in the media and the benefit of the doubt.
Americans will remember Hillary’s precedent and Biden’s apathy when they see Trump on trial this week. Trump does.
Two things are true simultaneously: the federal indictment against Trump is damning if proven true. In the indictment, it is alleged that Trump did not only take home classified documents – something that public figures from Joe Biden to Mike Pence and Hillary Clinton have done – but also that he told his lawyers to attest he returned them while rearranging the documents to prevent his own attorneys knowing about them. It also claims that Trump boasted about having classified documents while denying that he declassified them. If Hillary had been indicted, there would have been no doubt that Trump was indicted.
She wasn’t. This means that the justice system in the United States seems to follow the Latin American saying “For my friends, I give everything, for my enemies the law”. And this double standard won’t hold. This is presumably why Trump has already pledged to prosecute Biden’s family if he is reelected.
The political history of the United States has entered a new ugly phase. Trump should have been aware that his enemies were on his trail. Only narcissism and a lack of common sense can explain Trump’s behavior with regard to the boxes containing documents that have landed him before a court. Such concerns are no longer relevant. The real question now is whether federal law enforcement will ever apply one set of guidelines again, or if the cycle of tit for tat will be in full force.