- Thursday, March 28, 2024

As Easter Sunday approaches, much of the world will commemorate the arrest, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ — the holiest days on the Christian calendar.

In his time on Earth, Christ spent his public days doing good works. His efforts helped people, both collectively and individually, in a variety of ways and his general ideas made the world around him a better place.

Jesus drew crowds wherever He went. He was celebrated by a segment of the population, which in turn, instilled fear in others. Leaders in the temple chastised Him for working outside the structural norms. Political and religious leaders were concerned that His popularity posed a threat to their own hold on power.

That fear and the hunger for perpetual power led some to want to eliminate Him. They had Jesus arrested. They mocked Him publicly. They took Him before Pontius Pilate in hopes Jesus would be adjudicated guilty and sentenced to death.

But their reason for wanting His death was so unclear that Pilate asked the angry mob multiple times whether he should release Jesus, as Pilate himself could not determine a legitimate grievance. Hoping to placate the unruly crowd, Pilate tried having Jesus scourged instead. He brought the badly beaten Christ back before the audience in hopes they would feel discomfort at the sight and allow Pilate to release Him. Instead, the crowd simply chanted more, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

Fearing for his own position of power, Pilate famously washed his hands of the matter and allowed Jesus to be crucified.

Nearly 2,000 years later, it seems mankind’s darkest nature hasn’t progressed much.

Donald Trump spent four years of his life as president of the United States. During that time he enacted policies that built a solid economy, secured America’s southern border and appointed three well-qualified justices to the Supreme Court. He brought Arabs and Jews together in the Middle East.

Many would consider those good works.

Mr. Trump drew crowds wherever he went. He was, and still is, celebrated by a segment of the population. This seems to instill huge fear in some. Leaders in Washington have continually chastised Mr. Trump for working outside the structural norms of Washington’s political elite. Democratic Party leaders are concerned that his popularity poses a threat to their hold on power.

Their fear and hunger for perpetual power have led some to want to eliminate Mr. Trump as a threat. First, they floated a bogus connection between Mr. Trump and Russia. A two-year, $30 million investigation demonstrated there was no such connection and tied the entire affair back to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.

After the failed Russia effort, the opposition wasted no time in cooking up impeachment hearings based on a claim that Mr. Trump had attempted to intimidate the president of Ukraine into doing his domestic-political bidding. The claim came from a former U.S. intelligence operative who had worked at the White House but was not on the actual phone call. The Ukrainian president didn’t think there was a problem with the call, but a Democrat-led House voted to impeach Mr. Trump anyway, based on the third-hand story.

Through all of this foolishness, Mr. Trump survived. It wasn’t until after he lost his 2020 reelection bid and was prepping for a 2024 run that the insanity really began.

A federal prosecutor decided to press criminal charges against Mr. Trump in Florida for having classified information at his home. Hillary Clinton had classified information unsecured and no charges were filed. Joe Biden had classified information and no charges were filed. But Donald Trump? Throw the book at him. Why? Because, we are told, he is a danger to national security.

New York Attorney General Letitia James charged Mr. Trump, his sons and his business with conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsifying business records when obtaining loans to develop or improve real estate properties. The fact that these loans took place many years ago, that not a single payment was ever missed, that no bank ever complained and that there is no evidence of any damage to anyone made no impression on either the prosecutor or the judge.

An executive from one of the worldwide banks that issued a loan to Mr. Trump’s organization testified at trial that his bank always followed its own guidelines, including checking out the information would-be borrowers provide. They did their due diligence prior to giving Mr. Trump the loan.

But oddly, Judge Arthur Engoron decided the case himself in the absence of a jury, declaring “that the mere fact that lenders were happy doesn’t mean that the statute wasn’t violated.”

One of the basic tenets of the law is determining who the victim is. There quite literally doesn’t appear to be one in the New York case, but the judge rendered a guilty verdict anyway. The judge determined a penalty in the staggering amount of $455 million. With interest, Trump was told he had to pay $464 million within 30 days, regardless of whether he intended to appeal. If he failed to secure payment or a bond to guarantee the amount, New York would seize Trump-owned properties.

Much like Pilate tried to placate the mob by merely beating Jesus nearly to death, the judge “relented” by lowering the bond required to a paltry $175 million and gave Trump an additional 10 days to secure it.

Absolutely absurd. No complaints from banks. No missed payments. No victim. No charges or even consideration of the case for years and years, but when the man is perceived as a threat to put some Democrats out of power, AGs, judges, and federal prosecutors playing for the blue team, decide that pursuing Donald Trump with, excuse the pun, trumped-up charges, is their best bet at preserving their own grasp on power.

Just for good measure, some blue states tried to prohibit the former president from even appearing on the ballot until the Supreme Court stepped in and put a stop to such madness.

As if this wasn’t enough, more charges are pending against Mr. Trump in New York, in Washington D.C. and in Atlanta — all brought by Democrats in Democratic jurisdictions. All take time. 

All take money. All hold the potential to end Mr. Trump’s political life.

Donald Trump is no Jesus. He’s committed a sin or two along the way. He can be brash and rude. He is, however, living proof that certain elements of mankind, in a quest for power, are willing to sacrifice, are willing to crucify another human being.

One would hope that Americans, even those who despise Mr. Trump, have no interest in the courts being used as a political tool to punish political opponents. One would hope.

Pilate knew better. Letitia James and Judge Arthur Engoron know better. Fani Willis knows better. Jack Smith knows better. Yet like Pilate, their desire to maintain a grasp on political power is greater than their respect for the law.

Perhaps the biggest remaining question is regardless of how the courtroom crucifixions go, whether Mr. Trump will experience his own political resurrection this November.

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