Representative Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, appeared on MSNBC’s ‘Weekends with Alex Witt’ to discuss prospective charges against Trump and to criticize fellow representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.
MSNBC is dysfunctionally partisan, but let’s ‘tune in’ for a sense of how Democrats are perceiving current events.
Witt asked Lieu about new reporting, from The Independent, which holds that ‘Prosecutors are prepared to hit Trump and his allies with new charges.’ Namely, that “prosecutors could bring between 30 to 45 additional criminal charges against the former president in the coming weeks.”
Witt asked Lieu whether more charges against Trump would mean more criticism that the charges were politically motivated. Lieu didn’t exactly answer the question, but he offered insights into the liberal mindset.
“Donald Trump, like any other criminal defendant in America, is entitled to the presumption of innocence in a criminal court of law. If the prosecutors want to convict him they have to do that beyond a reasonable doubt before a jury of regular Americans. And it’s completely up to the prosecutors to put forth what charges they believe Donald Trump violated…so we’re just gonna see what these prosecutors do, their criminal process has worked for all of our defendants there should be no difference for Donald Trump.”
Right, so Lieu didn’t answer the question. And while I appreciate that Lieu leads off with an innocent until proven guilty bit, the part that jumps out is Lieu’s claim that the criminal process has worked for all of our defendants. Obviously, that’s an inaccurate overstatement, the criminal process has convicted innocents and let guilty citizens walk free. But what’s telling is that a California Democrat would commit so fully to endorsing the criminal justice process, which until recently, Democrats were openly categorizing as a flawed and racially biased process. Yet, now that Trump is in the defendant’s hot seat, Democrats are onboard with the criminal justice process, fully aligned with law and order. The Trump-inspired about-face on criminal justice reminds me of the aftermath of January 6th – when Democrats beatified the Capitol police for standing so valiantly against the onslaught of insurrectionists. The beatification wouldn’t have been so remarkable had Democrats not spent the last several months absolutely ravaging police in the wake of the George Floyd murder and resultant protests.
Criticizing Marjorie Taylor Greene
Witt pivoted to ask Lieu about Marjorie Taylor Greene’s renewed calls to “expunge former President Trump’s two impeachments.” During a rally in South Carolina, MTG told the crowd that Trump’s two impeachments were “so egregious, that they must be erased from history.”
Now, there’s an argument to be made that Trump’s impeachments (particularly the first one) were BS, but erase them from history? I’m not sure what MTG is talking about, and neither does Lieu.
“There is no such thing known as an expungement of an impeachment in the United States Constitution. This is totally a made up process, it’s nothing more than a glorified press release with fake votes.”
If you read between the lines of Lieu’s response, you’ll find a message that I’ve been promoting for a long time now: MTG is not a serious person.
Anyways, Democrats are going to milk Trump’s indictment. I understand the instinct – the most likely GOP nominee for 2024 was indicted on federal charges, it makes sense on paper to berate Trump’s character. But Dems should be careful for fear of energizing Trump’s base and rallying sympathy support from moderate Republicans who suspect the charges may have a political taint.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.