While the majority of Republicans are lying to the American public by claiming that former president Donald Trump is being unfairly targeted by the DOJ, Republican Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) said Trump brought these charges upon himself and was given opportunities to avoid the charges that isn’t given to others.
“By all appearances, the Justice Department and special counsel have exercised due care, affording Mr. Trump the time and opportunity to avoid charges that would not generally have been afforded to others,” Romney wrote in a statement.
“Mr. Trump brought these charges upon himself by not only taking classified documents, but by refusing to simply return them when given numerous opportunities to do so.”
A pause while Reality Winner enters the chat. As a reminder, Reality Winner was sentenced on August 23, 2018 to five years and three months in prison for violating the Espionage Act, the longest ever imposed in federal court for unauthorized leaking of a government document to the press.
A major difference in motives between Reality Winner and Donald Trump is that Ms. Winner leaked a document about the Russians hacking 2016 voter data in an effort to stop the gaslighting about Russian interference. By all appearances, her leak was meant as an act of whistleblowing, although technically that isn’t allowed as a defense for leaking documents to the press.
She was the first person prosecuted by the Trump administration for leaking to the press, with a sentence that surely served as a chilling effect on anyone else considering warning the public about the Russians trying to help their now president get elected.
Romney wasn’t done yet. Romney, like many of us, sees the common thread in Trump’s actions in that his actions are offensive to our national interest.
“These allegations are serious and if proven, would be consistent with his other actions offensive to the national interest, such as withholding defensive weapons from Ukraine for political reasons and failing to defend the Capitol from violent attack and insurrection.”
Last night, I shared my thoughts on video for our newsletter subscribers, saying that the seven charges against Trump, including one for violating the Espionage Act, continue the narrative that started on this very day in 2016, when his team met with the Russians at Trump Tower to get dirt on Hillary Clinton: Trump as a political candidate and president has always been a threat to our national security and national interests. He simply has never indicated that he places his loyalty to this country ahead of his loyalty to his own self-enrichment or ego.
Mitt Romney as a presidential candidate became known for flip flopping and a general lack of spine, but through the Trump years he has shown up for his country often when it was necessary. Romney has shown integrity and patriotism at a time when both are missing in action from his party.
The Republican Senator is correct: Trump was shown special treatment, Trump refused to cooperate, Trump lied and hid and obfuscated and then bragged about his misdeeds claiming a right to do as he pleased. He brought these charges upon himself. He practically had to publicly taunt the DOJ into finally doing something.
Trump is innocent until proven guilty and he has repeatedly claimed that he is innocent of all charges.
Listen to Sarah on the PoliticusUSA Pod on The Daily newsletter podcast here.
Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.