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No, the Trump Indictment Does Not Mean America Is Becoming a Banana Republic
Among all the excuses and defenses being made for the ex-president, that’s the most insidious.
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Tim Miller: The Donald has been indicted and the Denver Nuggets are your NBA champions. The party is on.
Garth Algar (Dana Carvey in Wayne’s World): Party on.
Miller: This is “Not My Party,” brought to you by The Bulwark. You gotta celebrate the wins in life. So let’s raise a toast and watch together as criminal defendant Donald J. Trump faces the music once again.
Ari Melber: Today the Justice Department arrested, booked, and arraigned Donald Trump.
Lenny Leonard (from The Simpsons): We win again.
Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks): Win, win, win, win.
Miller: DJT faces 37 felony counts over his willful mishandling of classified material, and the indictment particulars were damning.
Male voiceover: He illegally held on to military secrets, shared them with others, and schemed to mislead the FBI.
Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs in American Pie): Please God, let this be it.
Miller: But this is politics, so of course, someone’s gonna try to rain on our parade. The Trump fanatics are just not ready to see their man don a jumpsuit to match his fake tan. So they’ve concocted a bunch of excuses that I think it’s important we debunk.
Petra Solano (Yael Grobglas on Jane the Virgin): Excuses, excuses.
Tina Butler (Beth Behrs on The Neighborhood): Let’s take ’em down.
Miller: Let’s start with the most popular. Argument one: Everybody does it. Well, sure, it’s true that we classify too many docs, so naturally people in power are going to end up bringing home material that’s technically classified, but in reality, it’s kind of a nothingburger. That’s how we ended up with Biden, Pence, and others finding additional secret docs when they reviewed their files following the Mar-a-Lago raid.
Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk on Better Call Saul): Everything’s square and above-board.
Miller: But here’s how it’s actually very different for Trump. His issue wasn’t just having the docs. He was conspiring to hide them from the feds after they requested he send them back. There are literal texts and conversations about how Trump was actively trying to evade the law. The indictment alleges he asked one of his lawyers, “Wouldn’t it be better if we just told them we don’t have anything here?”
Arthur Holmwood (Cary Elwes in Bram Stoker’s Dracula): That’s brilliant. That’s absolutely brilliant.
Miller: The other difference is the documents he had wasn’t just random love notes from Kim Jong-un. They included literal war plans and other material with markings that limited their reach to only our closest allies, the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.
Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt on Parks and Recreation): That’s some secret agent stuff right there.
Miller: Argument two: But what about Hillary’s emails? For a refresher, the Hillary email saga was about a personal email server that contained classified information. She shouldn’t have done it and deserved the negative press over it, but using a private email server for sensitive government business is kind of common. Even Ivanka and Jared did it.
Ivanka Trump: I’m complicit.
Miller: What Ivanka and Jared did is more on the level of Hillary, and you’ll notice none of them are being indicted.
Wolf Tobin (from Great North): Probably just a freaky coincidence.
Miller: Argument three: Presidents can declassify whatever they want. This is true. The problem is, Trump wasn’t president anymore. A beautiful thing about America is that we are not a monarchy. Presidents are citizen leaders, and when they leave office their rights under the law are no different than any one of us. I will admit, it’s kind of funny that Trump could have declassified all this while he was in office and been A-okay, but unfortunately for him, he wasn’t exactly on top of things and he was probably distracted by his failed coup.
Seymour Skinner (from The Simpsons): You’ve failed at everything you’ve ever tried.
Miller: Argument four: America is now a banana republic and Biden is targeting his political enemies. This is the stupidest and most insidious defense of all, and it’s even being pushed by the “normal Republicans” like Mike Lee and Marco Rubio.
Ben Stone (Josh Dallas on Manifest): Is this the new normal?
Miller: Biden is not targeting Trump. The Biden Department of Justice is independent. They’ve indicted Democrats like former Congressman TJ Cox, and they’re currently investigating the president’s son, Hunter. And in both cases [leading to Trump indictments], Stormy and classified documents, it was an independent grand jury made up of citizens that approved the indictment. In New York, it was reported that the prosecution tried and failed to get rid of a juror because they said they got all their news from Tim Pool.
Tim Pool: The federal indictment by the Biden DOJ is direct election interference.
Miller: And the documents case was approved in the Sunshine State, which means the grand jury was made up of Floridians—which these days run pretty red.
Wedgie Rudlin: You make a very compelling argument.
Miller: So it’s not the Deep State that brought down Trump. It’s these grand juries made up of regular people who thought the evidence supported the indictment. That’s not how a banana republic works. That’s what happens in a country with the rule of law. If you f*** around, eventually you’re gonna find out.
Jack Smith: We have one set of laws in this country and they apply to everyone.
Cleveland Brown (from Family Guy): Oh man, I wish I could see his face!
Miller: See you next week for more “Not My Party.”