The Trump Documents Case Puts the Justice System on Trial
The former presidents efforts to defend against multiple felony counts by discrediting law enforcement pose a grave challenge to democracy.
Former President Donald J. Trump has a lot at stake in the federal criminal case lodged against him. He could, in theory, go to prison for years. But if he winds up in the dock in front of a jury, it is no exaggeration to suggest that American justice will be on trial as well.
Historys first federal indictment against a former president poses one of the gravest challenges to democracy the country has ever faced. It represents either a validation of the rule-of-law principle that even the most powerful face accountability for their actions or the moment when a vast swath of the public becomes convinced that the system has been irredeemably corrupted by partisanship.
Mr. Trump, his allies and even some of his Republican rivals have embarked on a strategy to encourage the latter view, arguing that law enforcement has been hijacked by President Biden and the Democrats to take out his strongest opponent for re-election next year. Few if any of them bothered to wait to read the indictment before backing Mr. Trumps all-caps assertion that it was merely part of the GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME. It is now an article of faith, a default tactic or both.