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VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Left wages war: Blue laws for red citizens

One state prosecutor and one civilian plaintiff have already won huge fines and damages from Donald Trump that may, with legal costs, exceed $500 million.

Trump awaits further civil and criminal liability in three other federal, state and local indictments.

There are eerie commonalities in all these five court cases involving plaintiff E. Jean Carroll, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, New York Attorney General Letitia James, federal special counsel Jack Smith and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

One, they are either unapologetically left wing or associated with liberal causes. They filed their legal writs in big-city, left-wing America — Atlanta, New York, Washington — where liberal judges and jury pools predominate in a manner not characteristic of the country at large.

Two, they are overtly political. Bragg, James, and Willis have either campaigned for office or raised campaign funds by promising to get or even destroy Trump.

Carroll’s suit was funded by left-wing billionaire Reid Hoffman.

Smith sued to rush his court schedule in hopes of putting Trump on trial before the November election.

Three, there would not be any of these cases had Trump not run for the presidency or not been a conservative.

Carroll’s suit bypassed statute of limitation restrictions by prompting the intervention of a left-wing New York legislator. He passed a special bill, allowing a one-year window to waive the statute of limitations for sexual assault claims from decades past.

Until Trump, no New York prosecutor such as James had ever filed a civil suit against a business for allegedly overvaluing real estate assets to obtain loans that bank auditors approved and were paid back in full, on time and with sizable interest profits to the lending institutions.

Bragg bootstrapped a Trump private nondisclosure agreement into a federal campaign violation in a desperate effort to find something on Trump.

Smith is also charging Trump with insurrectionary activity. But Trump had never been so charged with insurrection, much less convicted of it.

Willis strained to find a way to criminalize Trump’s complaints about his loss of Georgia in the 2020 national election. She finally came up with a racketeering charge, usually more applicable to mafiosi and drug cartels.

Four, in all these cases, the charges could have been equally applicable to fellow left-wing public figures and officials.

Joe Biden, like Trump, was accused of sexual assault decades earlier by former staffer Tara Reade. Yet Reade was torn apart by the media and the left for inconsistencies in her memory. By contrast, the wildly inconsistent and amnesiac Carroll won $83 million from Trump.

Smith created the precedent of charging Trump for unlawfully removing classified files to his private residence.

But the government simultaneously did not charge Biden for similar offenses. Yet Biden had removed files not for two years but for more than 30. He stored them not in one location but several.

His rickety garage was a mess, not a secure family compound such as Trump’s estate. Moreover, Biden did so while a senator and vice president, without any presidential authority to declassify almost any presidential document he wished.

Biden never came forward to report the crime for over 30 years — until Trump was charged. Indeed, he was caught on tape six years ago, admitting to his ghostwriter that he possessed classified files but never reported it.

Bragg might have noticed that both Hillary Clinton (fined $113,000) and Barack Obama (fined $350,000) broke campaign financing laws. Neither was subject to federal criminal charges by local prosecutors.

An array of left-wing celebrities, politicians, 2004 House members, former Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams have all recently challenged elections. They sought either to delay or redo ballot counting or, on the federal level, to sidetrack electors to ignore popular votes in their respective states.

These lawfare cases are part of other efforts that were highly partisan and without merit. Recall the Trump “Russian collusion” hoax and the “Russian disinformation” laptop farce.

In another first, some blue states are suing to take Trump’s name off the ballot for “insurrection,” a crime for which he has never been charged.

Total up the deaths, damage and length of the summer 2020 antifa/BLM riots. Then compare the tally to the one-day Jan. 6 riot.

The former proved far more lethal, long-lasting and destructive. Yet very few of the 14,000 arrested rioters in 2020 were ever prosecuted, much less convicted.

By contrast, the Biden administration sought to jail hundreds for crimes allegedly committed on Jan. 6, such as “illegal parading.”

We are entering a dangerous era in America.

Ideology and party affiliations increasingly determine guilt and punishment. Opponents are first targeted, and then laws are twisted and redefined to convict them.

The left is waging lawfare with the implicit message to political opponents: Either keep quiet or suffer the consequences.

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and a classicist and historian at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Contact him at authorvdh@gmail.com.

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