Dems fearing Trump’s ‘retribution’ have themselves to blame

Democrats and their allies in the press are melting down at Donald Trump’s talk of “retribution” through the legal system.

They’re the last people in the world who should talk.

As Trump has endured a criminal conviction, three other indictments and a huge civil-fraud judgment — all prosecuted by the Biden Justice Department and elected Democrats — he has spent months threatening to retaliate in kind: “I will be your retribution.”

Some Trump allies have already started drawing up lists of Democrats to prosecute.

Joe Biden’s campaign, without a shred of self-awareness, has warned that “convicted felon Donald Trump” is “raising plans to jail his political opponents” in “just the latest proof that he will do anything to…seek revenge on anyone who opposes him.”

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told CNN he’s hearing from FBI employees who feel they may have to flee the country to avoid prosecution if Trump is elected.

In a post-conviction interview with Sean Hannity, Trump insisted, “I would have every right to go after them.”

But he also sounded a newly conciliatory note.

“When Biden goes out and everyone says, ‘Bye bye,’ and then he gets indicted two days later — the country doesn’t want that,” Trump said. “I want to bring the country together.”

He insisted that this was why he never followed through on his 2016 “lock her up” threats to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

Vindictive prosecutions on the part of a second Trump administration would be bad.

Worse would be abusing the legal system by bringing legally bogus cases, submitting false evidence, establishing secret surveillance, stretching the law in all manner of unprecedented directions and charging opponents for things that allies got away with.

All of that has already been done to Trump.

If he retaliates, Democrats will have nobody to blame but themselves.

If you’re going to break longstanding norms and indict a former president, you should have the goods to show that he committed something everybody knows is a crime.

You should be able to point to a clear record of the law being used against both sides without fear or favor.

Democratic prosecutors have done the opposite.

Trump’s New York conviction for lying to his own checkbook should never even have gone to trial.

Nobody had ever before been charged under state law for violating federal campaign laws, and prosecutors never even tried to prove the central element of the charge: that Trump created false business records with intent to use them to defraud someone.

There was no evidence that the private records were ever meant to see the light of day.

There was no victim in that case, just as there was no victim in Letitia James’s civil-fraud case that smacked Trump with almost half a billion dollars in fines.

Trump was charged with the same thing Hillary’s campaign did: taking campaign expenses and misrecording them as legal expenses.

Hillary got a modest fine, Trump got branded a felon.

Jack Smith’s indictment of Trump in Washington, DC, charges him with a “conspiracy to defraud the United States” by his out-in-the-open scheme to get Congress to throw out Biden’s electoral votes.

Never mind that the Supreme Court for a century has ruled that the conspiracy statute doesn’t apply to elections or to open resistance to government action.

Trump’s Justice Department never went after Hillary for mishandling national-security information through an insecure private email server.

Joe Biden has skated for sloppily stacking classified documents in his garage after being vice president.

But Trump got charged for the same crime.

The case in Georgia was such a political boondoggle, it’s now been indefinitely suspended by the appeals court.

This has been going on for a while.

The FBI submitted bogus evidence, some of it produced by that same Hillary Clinton campaign operation, to get secret warrants to spy on Trump’s campaign.

The Russiagate probe pursued the nonexistent crime of “collusion” even while Jim Comey was testifying under oath to Congress that Trump wasn’t under investigation. That probe went on for two years.

It didn’t start with Trump, either.

Democrats loved the independent counsel law and used it to torment the Reagan and Bush administrations — until it was turned against Bill Clinton.

Legally dubious convictions, later overturned on appeal, took down Republicans such as Rep. Tom DeLay and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (who was prosecuted by the same Jack Smith who’s now pursuing Trump).

The most ridiculous was when Texas Gov. Rick Perry was indicted for using his powers as governor to try to get rid of a corrupt Democratic prosecutor.

I hope Democrats aren’t given a taste of the medicine they’ve served to Trump.

But if they do, it’s a potion of their own making.

Dan McLaughlin is a senior writer at National Review. Twitter: @BaseballCrank

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