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VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Two sets of laws for two Americas

Two sets of laws now operate in an increasingly unrecognizable America.

Consider the matter of unlawfully removing and storing classified papers. Donald Trump may go to prison for removing contested White House files to his home. So far, Joe Biden seems exempt from just such legal jeopardy.

But as a senator and vice president with no right, as does a president, to declassify files, Biden removed and, as a private citizen, kept for years classified files in unsecured locations. Biden’s team strangely revealed the unlawful removals after years of silence. It did so because the Biden administration found itself in the untenable position of prosecuting the former president for “crimes” that the current president committed as well — albeit far earlier and longer.

Impeachable phone calls?

Donald Trump was impeached by a Democratic House for delaying foreign aid until the Ukrainian government guaranteed that Hunter Biden and his family were no longer engaged in corrupt influence peddling in Kyiv. In addition, the left charged that Trump was targeting Joe Biden, his possible 2020 rival.

Yet Biden, with impunity, bragged that he had fired a Ukrainian prosecutor looking into his own son’s schemes by promising to cancel outright American foreign aid. And the Biden administration’s Justice Department is now targeting Trump, currently the front-running challenger to Biden in 2024.

Election denialism?

Trump was indicted by special counsel Jack Smith, in part for supposedly conspiratorially “unlawfully discounting legitimate votes.” Will Smith then also indict Stacey Abrams? For years Abrams falsely claimed that she was the real governor of Georgia. She toured the country in hopes of “discounting” the state vote count.

Or maybe Smith was referring to the conspiracist and former President Jimmy Carter. He alleged that Trump in 2016 “lost the election, and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf.”

Will Smith charge Hillary Clinton? She serially libeled Trump as an “illegitimate” president. Clinton hatched the Russian collusion hoax, and bragged she joined the “Resistance” to continue her attacks on an elected president.

Or maybe Smith meant the Hollywood crowd. Lots of actors cut commercials after the 2016 election — begging viewers to pressure the electors to ignore their constitutional duties to honor their states’ popular vote and instead swing their ballots to Hillary Clinton? Was not that “insurrectionary?”

Or was Smith thinking of January 2005? Then 32 Democratic House members and Sen. Barbara Boxer tried to nullify the legally certified vote in Ohio — to thereby elect the loser John Kerry.

How about destroying evidence?

Trump was also indicted on charges of attempting toerase video material from his own security cameras in his own house. Yet Hillary Clinton with impunity eliminated subpoenaed communication devices and thousands of emails.

Violations of security? Trump was indicted for supposedly loosely talking about classified material to visitors at his home. So will prosecutor Smith’s indictments also extend to Hillary Clinton?

She sent classified documents illegally over her unsecured private server.

FBI Director James Comey memorialized a confidential president conversation. Then he leaked what properly was a classified document to the media. It was all part of Comey’s Machiavellian gambit to prompt the appointment of a favorable special prosecutor.

What about subversion of the electoral process?

Donald Trump was indicted for supposedly undermining the election of 2020 by questioning the integrity of the balloting. In 2016, Hillary Clinton’s campaign illegally hired two foreign nationals, Christopher Steele and Igor Danchenko, to compile falsehoods about her opponent Trump.

Clinton hid her payments behind three paywalls. Her team, with the FBI, helped leak the counterfeit dossier to the media and high officials to undermine her opponent — and thus subvert the election itself.

Lying and perjury?

Two Trump aides and Trump himself are indicted for supposedly stonewalling federal investigators by claiming either amnesia or ignorance. That tact is exactly what Comey did 245 times while under oath before Congress.

What do former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former interim FBI Director Andrew McCabe all have in common? All three admitted they flagrantly lied either under oath to Congress or to federal investigators. The three were never indicted for their false and perjurious testimonies.

We have now serially devolved from the 2016 election “Russian collusion” hoax, to the 2020 election “Russian disinformation” laptop hoax and down to the 2024 election weaponized indictments.

Out of pathological hatred or fear of Donald Trump, the left has crafted one set of laws for themselves, and another for all other Americans. They smugly believe their own moral superiority grants them such a right to apply laws unequally — or to ignore them altogether.

To retain power at all cost, and to destroy a political rival, left-wing Democrats are systematically dismantling the constitutional foundations of the United States as we once knew them.

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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