Commentary: It’s unwise to get Trump on a technicality

Republicans who would rather walk over hot coals than once again see Trump become their nominee feel obliged to endorse his narrative. The Manhattan prosecutor, Alvin Bragg, is thus a corrupt partisan who is weaponising the legal system with fake charges.

It is easier to sustain a critique of the rule of law this reckless on an indictment that potentially minor.


The grander question is whether Trump’s ultimate goal – to be returned to the White House – would be furthered. That is a much finer call.

It is almost too apt to be a coincidence that Trump’s first big election rally will be held in Waco, Texas, this weekend. Waco was the site of a notorious millenarian cult that ended in a bloody 1993 shootout with the FBI.

The Branch Davidians were the late 20th-century equivalent to QAnon – a conspiracy cult to which Trump often tips his hat. Extremist support for Trump is both his weakness and his strength; it alerts the wider public to Trump’s recklessness yet is also a source of fanatical loyalty.

In the wake of a Trump indictment there would be few more fitting venues than Waco to test his appeal. That moment may never arrive, of course, or it could be delayed. While weighing the pros and cons, Bragg would be better off ignoring the Al Capone example and focus on the larger context of the red line he may be about to cross.

In addition to the strictly legal decision, other factors include the public’s likely reaction and the standing of the multiple other investigations into Trump.

Then there is the question of what Trump would want Bragg to do. The law might be better served by walking away. There is an old joke about the masochist and the sadist. When the masochist asks the sadist to hurt him, the obvious answer is: “No.”

Related Articles

Back to top button