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WSJ: The High Price of Democrats’ Anti-Trump Lawfare Most believe the rule of law is better than the law of the jungle. That could change.

  |   By Polling+ Staff

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The High Price of Democrats’ Anti-Trump Lawfare

Most believe the rule of law is better than the law of the jungle. That could change.

The rule of law-or the law of the jungle? That’s the question raised by the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Henninger. He writes:

“The newest buzzword in our politics is lawfare, or using the legal system as a weapon against a political opponent. It sits before us now as a spectacle of political gluttony. How many lawsuits, court motions and judgments against Donald Trump can the Democratic Party chow down? More disturbing is the high price the American system may pay for this excess.

Consider the groaning table.

A Manhattan jury awarded author E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million in a defamation suit against Mr. Trump, who posted a $91.6 million bond, including interest.

New York Judge Arthur Engoron has ordered Mr. Trump to pay a total of $450 million in a civil fraud trial over valuations of his net worth. New York State Attorney General Letitia James says if the massive bond isn’t posted, she’ll seize Mr. Trump’s New York buildings.

In Georgia, notwithstanding the mess Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis made of herself and her case, the fact remains she indicted Mr. Trump and 18 other defendants for violating the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in connection with the 2020 presidential election. The presiding judge dismissed six of the 41 counts Wednesday.

Colorado, Maine and Illinois took various legal actions to ban Mr. Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot, efforts recently blocked by a unanimous Supreme Court decision.

Special counsel Jack Smith is attempting to bring Mr. Trump to trial on separate sets of federal charges, one over possession of classified documents, another for the former president’s actions the day of the 2021 Capitol riot. The issue of presidential immunity in the latter case goes before the Supreme Court next month.

And of course a trial will begin March 25 in Manhattan, brought by local prosecutor Alvin Bragg, in which Mr. Trump is accused of disguising hush-money payments during the 2016 presidential campaign to porn star Stormy Daniels.

The argument on behalf of this really quite unprecedented legal offensive boils down to one idea: No one is above the law. True. That view is sometimes known as ensuring respect for the law. My single-sentence reply is that the Democrats’ use of lawfare on this scale makes it likely that respect for the law will decline, and dangerously so, among much of the American public.

If Democrats had limited their legal offensive to Mr. Smith’s two federal initiatives, conservatives would have absorbed it as politics as usual, however degraded that benchmark. But the American left never knows when to stop, so it is waging the get-Trump legal assault on every imaginable front.

Biden classified-document special counsel Robert Hur, exercising prosecutorial discretion, said the current president isn’t exonerated but won’t be prosecuted, leaving Joe Biden to the court of public opinion, which is where both of 2024’s presidential candidates belong. Instead, the Republican nominee stands in dock after endless dock.

That the lawsuits have backfired politically, boosting Mr. Trump into an easy victory in the primaries, is incontestable. The media lately has been writing that the Trump legal team’s strategy of “delay” is working, implying that Mr. Trump was supposed to take it all passively in the neck.

At least half the country is coming to believe that the legal system is being swallowed by rank political partisanship. Worth it?

It’s been some 400 years since Shakespeare wrote, “The first thing we do is, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Most people in the centuries since came to believe—and established—that the rule of law was better than the law of the jungle. But that could change. Future Republican lawfare is inevitable. In an interview last fall, Mr. Trump said “it could certainly happen in reverse.”

Another new word in our politics is “rigged.” The excesses of lawfare have contributed to that systemic loss of faith as well. The 2020 election wasn’t rigged, but a lot else looks like it is, most notably calls by the left to pack the Supreme Court, rigging its decisions. Eventually, respect for the law starts to look like a mug’s game.

To my knowledge, Shakespeare never wrote, “kill all the scientists.” Science also spent the past 400 years establishing its credibility with the public. That’s eroding as science has been enlisted, by scientists no less, to serve political goals.

Appeals to “science” were used during the Covid pandemic to reorder society—with school closings, store shutdowns and social distancing. Dissenters within the science community were suppressed and ostracized, as has happened for years to scientists who disagree with the climate “consensus.”

Like lawfare, the results of sciencefare were predictable. Pew Research reported in November that public trust in scientists was in decline. Nearly 40% of Republicans or Republican-leaning independents have little or no confidence in scientists. How can that be good?

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The hyperpoliticization of these important professions is being carried out by people once known as the best and the brightest. It reflects a steady moral corruption of crucial institutions. It normalizes the hypocrisy of standing on the moral high ground to deploy the lowest political means.

The American public needed a presidential election this year on the merits, such as they are. Instead, legal opportunism may cast the biggest vote.”

Whatever else is now evident it is the lengths that a corrupted political and legal establishment will go to in order to stop an outsider candidate from being elected by a population that has had enough of the corrupt insider system.