The Biden DOJ keeps hitting Donald Trump with new indictments, including one that could possibly draw the draw the death penalty. These mounting attacks on the former president have drawn comparisons to a banana republic or third world dictatorship. A new development suggests a different dynamic is in play.
Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr was recently asked if he would be willing to testify against Trump. “Of course,” Barr responded. Special Counsel Jack Smith’s case was “challenging,” but Barr does not think it “runs afoul of the First Amendment.” That runs afoul of Bruce Thornton, who makes a strong case that quashing free speech is what Smith’s inquisition is all about.
As Robert Spencer contends, “we’re racing past” the banana republic stage and America is “heading toward becoming a new Stalinist regime in which critics of those in power are arrested by the regime itself, tried on false and fabricated charges, and executed.” Spencer evokes the Moscow Trials of the 1930s, and those sessions pack more verisimilitude than people might think.
As the late Sidney Hook recalled, “the news of the Moscow Trials burst like a bombshell. The principal defendants were all old Bolsheviks, Lenin’s comrades-in-arms who had previously been glorified as the heroes of the October Revolution. Chief among the defendants was Leon Trotsky, then in forced exile, who at one time had been acknowledged by Stalin himself as the architect of the Petrograd insurrection that brought the Bolsheviks to power. The charges were mind-boggling.”
The old Bolsheviks were accused of assassinating Sergei Kirov and planning to kill Stalin himself. They had also “allegedly conspired with the fascist powers, notably Hitler’s Germany and Imperial Japan, to dismember the Soviet Union.” Some defendants were charged with “having been agents of the British military intelligence at the very time they were storming the bastions of the Winter Palace.”
Victims included Yuri Piatakov, Karl Radek, Nikolai Bukharin, Gregory Zinoviev, and Lev Kamenev. Stalin and his secret police controlled the trials from behind the scenes and the outcome was preordained. Stalin’s prosecutor, Andrei Vyshinsky, referred to the defendants as “a foul-smelling heap of human garbage” and Bukharin as “the damnable cross of a fox and a swine.” The accused “must be shot like dirty dogs!” and they were, replaced by a corps faithful to Stalin.
As Hook recalled, the Moscow trials were also “a turning point in the history of American liberalism.” High-profile liberals such as Corliss Lamont, Theodore Dreiser, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker, Nathanael West, Newton Arvin, Malcolm Cowley, and Granville Hicks, perceived the trials as a model of justice. In some cases, praise for the trials and the USSR “went beyond anything the Kremlin itself ever claimed.”
Defenders of Trotsky organized a Commission of Inquiry Into the Truth of the Moscow Trials, but it got a chilly reception from Roger Baldwin, a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union. Joseph Davies, US ambassador to the USSR, took the trials at face value and Walter Duranty of the New York Times, who covered up Stalin’s terror famine in Ukraine, claimed it was all true.
In similar style, the establishment media was all-in with the charge that Donald Trump had colluded with Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 election. Deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe raised the possibility that Trump was a “Russian asset,” and Rep. Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee said Trump was “acting like a person who is compromised.”
As former FBI boss Robert Mueller confirmed, there was no collusion and Trump was not a Russian asset. Special Counsel John Durham has now confirmed that the Russia hoax was a product of the Hillary Clinton campaign, and fully abetted by the FBI. As this comes to light, Trump faces charges of mishandling classified information.
Biden’s DOJ alleges that Trump may have violated the Espionage Act by keeping classified documents at his residence. Hillary Clinton, and former Secretary of State Edmund Muskie have also harbored classified documents, without facing espionage charges. Joe Biden has classified documents strewn about his garage, and the papers he donated to the University of Delaware have become inaccessible, even in the face of FOIA requests.
The Espionage Act criminalized dissent against U.S. involvement in World War I. Its invocation against Trump again raises the specter of conspiracy with “foreign powers,” the “Russian asset” charge, and so forth. As Spencer notes, this comes at a time when Donald Trump is the principal opponent of Joe Biden. As with the Moscow Trials, supporters reach for their bullhorn.
Adam Schiff, prime-time promoter of the Russia hoax, hailed the “stunning” detail of the indictment, showing that Trump had “malign intent.” The indictment was “another affirmation of the rule of law” and Trump “should be treated like any other lawbreaker.”
Democrat Stacey Plaskett, delegate from the Virgin Islands, said Trump “needs to be shot,” which she quickly amended to “stopped.” That is hard to top but former Attorney General William Barr was up to the task.
“If even half of this is true, he’s toast,” Barr told reporters. Like police captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) in Casablanca, Barr claimed he was “shocked by the degree of the sensitivity of these documents, and how many there were.” The former president was peddling “big lies,” including his declassification authority, and claims that Trump is a victim are “ridiculous.” And so on.
A former U.S. Attorney General suspends the presumption of innocence and judges a case before the trial. Barr also backed the unprecedented FBI raid on Trump’s residence, proclaiming “it’s also unprecedented for a president to take all this classified information and put them in a country club, okay?” And in Barr’s view it was the government that was being “jerked around.” This is the same William Barr who in 2020 found no evidence of election fraud, without conducting any investigation or audit of the proceedings.
As he explained in One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General, Barr started his career with the CIA. The author praises Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who appointed Robert Mueller to investigate Trump.
“Few can appreciate the complexities Rod faced during that tumultuous time,” writes Barr, and even fewer will know the important contributions he made to the administration and the country.” Barr also “made it clear that neither President Obama nor vice president Biden were in [John] Durham’s crosshairs.”
Special Counsel Jack Smith may be handling the case against Trump, but in William Barr, Biden has a shrill pro-bono Vyshinsky. In the best Stalinist style, Barr pronounces Donald Trump “toast” before his trial has even started, and “of course” he will testify against the former president he allegedly served.
“The Left may not plan to murder Trump,” Robert Spencer contends, “but they’re certainly trying to execute him politically.” On the other hand, the possibility of actual murder cannot be discounted. Consider the murder cases of DNC operative Seth Rich and DHS whistleblower Philip Haney, both unsolved as the FBI withholds crucial evidence.
Don’t forget presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, murdered in 1968, and President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, murdered in 1963. JFK’s nephew, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., thinks it’s “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the CIA was involved.
Democrats have not exactly welcomed RFK Jr. to the presidential race, and the Biden Junta is denying Secret Service protection for Kennedy. As 2024 approaches, the people have plenty to ponder.
“In the end, they’re not coming after me,” Trump explains. “They’re coming after you — and I’m just standing in their way.”