Why indicting Donald Trump could backfire

By: Rachel Marsden

PARIS — Having repeatedly failed to remove former President Donald Trump from the political chessboard for the upcoming 2024 presidential election, his detractors are now counting on a former porn star to do the heavy lifting.

"Illegal leaks from a corrupt & highly political Manhattan district attorney’s office … indicate that, with no crime being able to be proven … the far & away leading Republican candidate & former president of the United States of America, will be arrested on Tuesday of next week," Trump wrote last week on his online platform, Truth Social. At issue is an alleged $130,000 payment to former mistress Stormy Daniels amid the 2016 presidential election campaign, which may or may not have involved some creative accounting on the part of Trump or his company.

Pretty lame, considering all the other pearl-clutching accusations leveled against Trump over the past several years.

The former president’s entire term was plagued by insinuation that he was only elected as a result of “Russian collusion” — although Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report found, after 22 months of investigation, that there was none.

Trump was then impeached in a vote by the Democratic House majority for tying $400 million in military aid for Ukraine (previously approved by Congress) to requests that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky look into activities of Joe Biden’s family in Ukraine.

But in light of Washington’s interest in drawing down the conflict against Russia in Ukraine in favor of negotiations, it’s now worth revisiting Trump’s prior actions.

“The Vice President has been leading the administration’s effort to support a sovereign, democratic Ukraine, visiting the country three times in 2014,” reads the Obama administration’s archives about Biden’s role in Ukraine at that time. And the fact that his son, Hunter Biden, ended up on the board of a Ukrainian company at a time when the country was flooding with U.S. business interests looking to get their hands on assets and resources, indeed does now seem worth investigating, given the events that have since transpired in and around Ukraine.

Trump’s recent remarks only reinforce any skepticism he may have had in allowing Ukraine to be loaded up with weapons and NATO personnel as president. “For decades, we’ve had the very same people such as [Assistant Secretary of State] Victoria Nuland and many others just like her, obsessed with pushing Ukraine toward NATO. Not to mention, the State Department’s support for uprisings in Ukraine,” Trump said in a video message last month. It marks perhaps the first time that an American president has acknowledged the role of the State Department and its neoconservative war hawks in spearheading a color revolution. In this this case, Trump was referring to the Western-backed uprisings and regime change in 2013 in Kyiv in the wake of then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign a cooperation agreement with the European Union, in favor of maintaining a more balanced position between the West and Russia.

If Trump was back in power, the U.S. would likely be out of Ukraine. And how many establishment figures on both sides are desperate to avoid that?

The second House impeachment — and Senate acquittal — of Trump for “incitement of insurrection” over the events on Capitol Hill on January 6th in the wake of his election loss to Biden, was nonetheless followed by a months-long congressional inquiry that seemed intent on trying Trump once again in the court of public opinion. Neocon Republican Liz Cheney (R-WY), vice-chair of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, admitted as much, telling NBC’s “Meet the Press” last October that Trump running again would “shatter” the party.

Now, Democrats on the US House Oversight Committee want Trump investigated yet again for foreign gifts given to him during his time in office, to determine if they may have influenced his decisions in office.

All this seems aimed at removing Trump as a potential future contender or kingmaker — and something that they probably figure a photo of Trump in handcuffs would help achieve. But instead, it could very well just provoke popular anger toward the same establishment seen as responsible for the woes of increasingly struggling and pessimistic Americans.

As Americans grow weary amid yet another seemingly never-ending US-backed military conflict — this time in Ukraine — with just 58 percent of Americans last month backing the same kind of military aid that Trump withheld from Ukraine (down from 73 percent a year ago), many may not take kindly to the establishment’s perpetual efforts to find a flimsy pretext to sideline the only political figure on the American political scene who has proven that he has the courage to do whatever it takes to derail their perpetually disastrous plans.