As if the four previous prosecutorial cow pies that surround Donald Trump were not fetid enough, the U.S. Supreme Court soon will step into efforts to bar him from state ballots.
Assorted Trumpophobes are using the Bill of Rights to deny Americans the right to vote for or against Trump for president. Specifically, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment disqualifies from high office certain individuals who “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the [U.S. Constitution], or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
This legal theory might make sense if Trump had been imprisoned for insurrection or rebellion. It might hold water if he had been convicted of insurrection or rebellion.
This boomlet even might boast a thimble full of steam, if the Justice Department, a state attorney general, or some county prosecutor had indicted him for insurrection or rebellion. Unfortunately for Trump haters, that never happened.
In a bizarre and totally unprecedented action, Democrats waited until after Trump departed the White House to try him for “incitement of insurrection.” His second impeachment trial resembled an employer firing an employee after he left the company.
The House’s “incitement” accusation already was one step short of insurrection, akin to telling someone to torch a house rather than personally lobbing a Molotov cocktail onto its front porch.
Regardless, 43 U.S. senators found Trump not guilty, while 57 disagreed – 10 shy of conviction. So, the Senate acquitted Trump of insurrection.
Moreover, the 14th Amendment’s 1868 insurrection language is tied to the Civil War. It was designed to keep Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and other Confederates out of Congress and the White House.
Trump’s detractors cannot escape these facts: He never served the Confederacy and was born 81 years after the North defeated the South in 1865.
Trump’s persecutors also refuse to acknowledge what he told supporters at a Jan. 6, 2021, rally: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” (Emphasis mine)
That was no rebel yell.
Trump’s foes retort that he told protesters: “Fight like hell.” Alleged translation: “Smash into the U.S. Capitol, hijack the Electoral College, and make me President for Life.”
To call this argument flaccid overstates its potency.
Democrats regularly say “fight like hell.” Consider:
-Impeachment manager Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., told CNN’s then-anchor Don Lemon on March 18, 2019: “I’ll fight like hell to make sure we see this report” by then-special counsel Robert Mueller on Russiagate.
Trump’s lawyers turned the Democrats’ “fight like hell” argument into a pants-wetting laughingstock by showing at his Senate trial a nearly 10-minute-long video of top Democrats using “fighting words.” President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and a parade of Democratic senators and House members say, “fight,” “fight back,” “fight on,” and—yes—”fight like hell” at least (by my count) 281 separate times.
“Fight like hell” is routine political rhetoric. This cliché is as innocent as “Remember to vote” and “God Bless America.”
If Trump really wanted an insurrection, he would not have authorized 10,000 National Guard troops to patrol Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. Trump’s enemies want Americans to think that he ordered unarmed insurrectionists to storm the Capitol after he greenlighted 10,000 GIs with automatic rifles to crush their rebellion.
How idiotic do Democrats think Americans are?
Alas, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and D.C.’s Democratic mayor, Muriel Bowser, rebuffed the protection that Trump approved.
Trump offered to encircle the Capitol with troops. Pelosi and Bowser stopped him. And now Trump’s tormentors blame him for insurrection?
That claim is flimsier than a Kleenex in a hurricane.
This first appeared in the Daily Signal.