The cases against Trump aren’t criminalizing politics. He and his allies are politicizing crime

The cases against Trump aren’t criminalizing politics. He and his allies are politicizing crime

Quinta Jurecic writes:

Following each new indictment of Donald Trump, the former president and his allies have wasted no time in attacking the case. Their complaints have gravitated toward one idea in particular: the notion that prosecutors have charged Trump for engaging in the normal work of politics.

The latest indictment, in Fulton County, Georgia, is “an example of this criminalization of politics,” commented Florida Governor Ron DeSantis—who’d made a similar comment last month about Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment of Trump on charges related to January 6. Jenna Ellis, who was charged alongside Trump in Fulton County, tweeted on Tuesday, “The Democrats and the Fulton County DA are criminalizing the practice of law”—a reference, presumably, to the indictment’s focus on her role as a member of Trump’s legal team working to overturn the 2020 presidential election. On Truth Social, Trump himself posted, “These monsters … are Criminalizing Political Speech, a total SHUTDOWN OF DEMOCRACY!”

These claims of criminalizing politics are themselves nothing but spin. They imply that Trump and his associates took no action beyond typical political maneuvering. Nevertheless, there’s something telling about this phrasing. Politics, it suggests, is a dirty game, where the players jockey viciously for advantage—and if the game becomes rough, well, nothing can be done about that.

But that actually is not the case: Attempting to overturn an election and hold on to power despite the will of the voters is far from typical politics. Regardless of what Trump and other Republicans are arguing, somewhere a line does exist separating the ugly but acceptable from the potentially criminal. And prosecutors allege that Trump crossed it. [Continue reading…]

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