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David Wiswell

David Wiswell: Trump Scores a Hat Trick!

His third criminal indictment makes him either the Pelé of crooked political figures or the Kim Jong-un of soccer

As scoring three goals in soccer is called a hat trick, Donald Trump’s third criminal indictment makes him either the Pelé of crooked political figures… or the Kim Jong-un of soccer.

Trump’s recent four-count indictment alleges his role in attempting to overturn the 2020 US election to say in power. It charges him with conspiring to defraud the United States, disenfranchise voters, disrupt an official proceeding, and attempt to disrupt that proceeding.

Former US President Donald Trump attends an event in Des Moines, Iowa - Stefani Reynolds/AFP

Of the many charges he faces, the precedent of the outcome of this case may have the greatest impact on the US and global democracies. So let’s dive into the charges, evidence, and his defense. Hint: it’s never a good sign when the title of a case is "Your Name Vs. The United States." Although, "Trump Vs. The United States" would make a highly accurate 2024 Trump campaign slogan. Either that or "Making America Defrauded Again."

The indictment claims that Trump knowingly pushed false fraud claims, pressured officials to alter election results, and incited the January 6th insurrection attempt. A key component of the allegations is that Trump knew that what he was saying was a lie. Some Trump supporters argue this invalidates the case as it is impossible to see into Trump’s mind and know what’s in his heart. But we would not be able to try him for anything if we were basing Trump’s culpability for crimes on the assumption that there is something in his mind. And obviously, there’s nothing in his heart other than a dangerous amount of cholesterol.

While even the most powerful brain scans cannot prove Trump has thoughts, the indictment asserts that his own Department of Justice, Attorney General, and top advisors had all told him there was no legitimacy to his election fraud claims. Even more compelling is that he allegedly admitted to advisors that election fraud lawsuits he filed against voting machine companies and publicly promoted to rile his followers were baseless, and his co-conspirator in one such case "sounded crazy."

There are also witnesses and evidence to substantiate claims that after failing to coerce many state legislators to vote against the votes of their people, thus nullifying the popular vote, Trump and his allies then assembled their own false legislators to do so and used that to try to certify himself instead of Biden. Which both work as an argument for the indictment and that Trump is incapable of thought and thus innocent.

With so much damning evidence, Trump and his legal team seem to be attempting to try this case in the court of public opinion. Using his typical bombastic methods, Trump has attacked the courts, the government, and witnesses, painting himself as a political victim fighting for the rights of ordinary people.

Trump hilariously lambasted the indictment by saying that he cannot get a fair trial in Washington because he is, and this is a quote, "calling for a federal takeover." This is an amazing choice of words to defend yourself against the charge of leading an insurrection. It’s much like the time I was innocent of murder, but the jury was biased against me because I killed all their families.

Meanwhile, his lawyers have attempted to paint the indictment as an attack on free speech, as many legal experts have suggested that with facts seemingly so stacked against him, his best defense is to lean on free speech and claim ignorance. Of all their bad luck, his lawyers are fortunate that ignorance is the one defense all evidence proves… he has plenty of it.