August 03, 2023
Latest Trump indictment will likely backfire on Democrats
Back Print Commentary By Scott Walker - - Thursday, August 3, 2023 OPINION: The latest indictments of former President Donald Trump are likely to backfire on liberals. The ridiculous charges turn off primary and general election voters, and many see them as politicizing our judicial system. People want to move forward with the next election. Primary voters are upset, and the latest round of attacks is likely to give former Mr. Trump another bump in the polls. Even Republican voters who are not settled on Mr. Trump as the nominee for 2024 see the latest actions as a massive political overreach by liberal prosecutors. In many ways, they see it as attacking a member of their family. Similarly, general election voters are tired of talking about the 2020 election. As stated before, I believe one of the reasons that Republicans did not perform as well as expected in the 2022 midterms was that many GOP candidates were identified as spending too much time talking about past elections instead of what they were going to do looking forward. Winning campaigns are always about the future. Looking at the details, the latest indictment reads more like someone trying to win a case in the court of public opinion rather than in a court of law. Not only is the former president protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution when it comes to free speech, but he also has a right to petition the government for redress of grievances. In case anyone has forgotten, here is the direct language from the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Seems clear to me. Furthermore, there are plenty of legitimate areas of concern about the 2020 presidential election. I started talking about them in the weeks after the election that year. In Pennsylvania, members of the General Assembly passed legislation that was signed into law requiring absentee ballots had to be received prior to the day of the election to be included in the final vote count. A liberal majority on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that they could come in after the day of the election. It is worth noting that Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution states: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.” The fact that the state court determined the rules and not the legislature is contrary to the language in the Constitution. In Wisconsin, there were clearly issues with the 2020 election. On Dec. 3, 2020, I wrote that we must “ensure that every jurisdiction follows the election laws in each state. The president’s legal team offers legitimate claims about the lack of election officials following every part of the law in states like mine.” I went on to write: “It is clear that some voters failed to fill in their addresses on the envelopes for absentee ballots in Wisconsin. State law clearly states that each voter must fill in their address on the envelope for the ballot to be valid. There is evidence that some of the envelopes received at local voting locations did not include addresses filled in by the voter.” And concluded that “state law also requires people requesting absentee ballots to do so in written form. Again, there is evidence that some voters did not request their absentee ballot in the proper form under the law. There are also serious questions about the clerks in Milwaukee and Dane counties telling voters to claim that they were ‘indefinitely confined’ because of Coronavirus so they could cast an absentee ballot without providing photo identification. Under state law, ‘indefinitely confined’ is supposed to be for voters in places like nursing homes.” These are just a few of the problems raised in my state and in Pennsylvania. A case may be made that there was no practical legal remedy for the problems identified in several key battleground states. That still does not mean that the former president does not have a legitimate right to present information about election integrity issues and argue for a specific remedy. If Mr. Trump is guilty of inciting the actions of a few, then Sen. Bernie Sanders is responsible for inciting the shooting of Majority Leader Steve Scalise and other Republicans on a baseball field. And Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer is guilty of inciting those who are violating federal law by seeking to intimidate Supreme Court justices outside their homes. Of course, these are ridiculous arguments, as any rational person can see. This is why they will backfire against Mr. Trump’s foes. • Scott Walker is president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019. Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission . Please read our comment policy before commenting. Click to Read More and View Comments Click to Hide
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