A Eulogy to the Rule of Law: The Political Prosecution of President Trump

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

(The opinions expressed in guest op-eds are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.)

Leftists in the United States are increasingly weaponizing investigations to persecute and prosecute their opponents for politics and policy differences. The left’s conduct is similar to the conduct you find in a banana republic where the authoritarian state punishes its political enemies with criminal prosecutions in search of crimes. It’s antithetical to America’s founding which rejected the idea and practice of those in power punishing political opponents for vague and ambiguous “crimes against the state.”  Instead, the Founders chose to create a country of laws, not of men.

Now, in one of those former colonies that rose up against the Crown’s abuses, New York Attorney General Letitia James is pursuing a contemptible criminal probe of President Donald J. Trump.  Without any knowledge or facts, James campaigned for attorney general in 2018 on a promise to target President Trump, his family and his businesses.  In her campaign, James claimed, without evidence, that the president conspired with foreign governments, obstructed justice, and committed money laundering.  Promising to criminally prosecute political opponents with no evidence of wrongdoing is about as dangerous to the Republic and rule of law as you can find in the United States.

As recently highlighted by Donald Trump Jr. on Tucker Carlson’s show, AG James is now making good on her campaign promise to not only prosecute President Trump but also members of his family.  This is an affront to justice.  As the state’s chief law enforcement official, she is keeping her promise in an unprecedented political prosecution in search of a crime, with taxpayers footing the bill even as New York deals with a violent crime crisis.

If this same behavior occurred in an authoritarian state, our own U.S. State Department would condemn it.  In liberal New York, it’s politics as usual.

Notwithstanding New York, in America, justice is supposed to be blind – there is a reason Lady Justice wears a blindfold instead of a political jersey.  Attorneys general, and anyone with law enforcement power, have a special responsibility to adhere to the rule of law as a general principle.  And Trump Derangement Syndrome does not provide legal cover.  The public rightfully expects prosecutors to carry out our responsibilities without political prejudice.  Threatening political enemies with indictments, criminal investigations and incarceration to settle political scores shows a deep contempt for the rule of law.

For five years, with no evidence, and failure after failure, the Left has been in search of crime to get President Trump and his family.  Rather than debating policy differences like taxes, energy prices, immigration, rising violent crime, and more, the Left is focused on indictments and even incarceration for those who dare not conform to their liberal views. We must have the courage to call out this insanity before it becomes normalized. We must fight to save this Republic and the rule of law.  If we don’t, or if we choose to remain silent, we will become just another junk banana republic slip-sliding down that Shining City on a Hill.

Eric Schmitt is Missouri’s attorney general.