Alvin Bragg’s case against Donald Trump is absurd, as many have pointed out. The Manhattan District Attorney is attempting to spin a misdemeanor on which the statute of limitations has expired into a felony; Bragg wants to play alchemist but really he is just a progressive hack looking to make headlines.
That’s what he has: headlines, but headlines that are worth their weight in gold and may explain why Bragg has pursued a case that even many Democrats consider flawed and politically motivated.
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For several days, the media has fixated on the indictment of Donald Trump. The former president, as is his wont, has sucked the air not only out of the room, but out of the universe. Will he be cuffed? How does this impact the 2024 race? Can Trump still run? The breathless coverage has sidelined every other major news story.
What a gift for Joe Biden. The president, who was supposed to announce his candidacy for a second term shortly after the New Year, and then immediately following the State of the Union address and then possibly…sometime in April. And now, maybe not until the fall, according to insiders.
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Why the hold-up? Because Biden cannot possibly launch his reelection campaign while battling endless disasters and the scandals that are engulfing him, his family, and the White House. The initial plan to announce after the holidays was hijacked by the stunning revelation the first week of January that classified documents had been found among Biden’s papers at his Penn Center offices. And that the discovery, which occurred in early November, had been kept secret from the public until after the midterm elections.
The documents scandal is not going away. Just recently, Democrat Mark Warner, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, blasted Biden for withholding information about the secret materials found in his possession, saying the White House’s response “does not pass the smell test” and implying that Congress could issue subpoenas to get what they want.
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Revelations about Biden’s mishandling of classified materials and subsequent drop in his approval ratings forced him to retreat; it was especially embarrassing to the president since he had blasted Trump on his document problem.
But that is only one of many hiccups in Biden’s campaign plans. Here’s a short list of what Trump’s indictment has helpfully bumped off Page One:
1. OPEC just announced it would cut oil production by more than one million barrels per day, driving prices higher
The jump in price will reignite voters’ fury over Biden’s ongoing efforts to squash U.S. oil and gas production, and will also extend rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. Rising gasoline prices and a slowing economy will drive Biden’s approval ratings even lower.
Meanwhile, the Inflation Reduction Act, a green energy bill that passed with Democrat-only votes last year, was recently projected by Goldman Sachs to cost $1.2 trillion, more than three times the estimate given out by the White House or the Congressional Budget Office.
The bill was meant to spur traditional fossil fuel and clean energy investment, but West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin says the White House is “subvert[ing] the law to advance a partisan agenda that ignores both energy and fiscal security” by “redefining “domestic energy” to increase “clean-energy spending to potentially deficit-breaking levels.”
Manchin says “unelected ideologues” are funneling billions into clogged clean energy arteries – the permitting process for wind and solar projects takes ten years or more – instead of also ramping up oil and gas production, which would save Americans money.
2. The GOP House continues to dig into bank records showing a steady stream of dollars flowing to members of the Biden family from China
So far, the Oversight Committee has revealed more than one million dollars received from a CCP-linked company by Hunter Biden, James Biden, the president’s brother, and Hallie Biden, the widow of Beau Biden who died in 2015. There are also payments to an as-yet unknown “other” Biden, who may prove to be the president himself; the president has denied any knowledge of his son’s business activities. Republicans involved in the inquiry say the money transfers suggest influence peddling, as no other services appear to have been rendered.
3. Censorship orchestrated by Democrats
Thanks to Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, and his release of company communications, we now know that the Biden White House, the DNC, the FBI and others colluded to censor U.S. communications.
In early December, journalist Matt Taibbi began releasing tweets and internal emails that show Democrat-leaning groups used Twitter to suppress dissent and help elect Joe Biden. One typical exchange went as follows: “One executive would write to another: “More to review from the Biden team.” The reply would come back: “Handled.” Of course, censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story became the most infamous example of social media’s willingness to interfere with our elections. But censoring nonconforming opinion about COVID might have cost lives. The House is also investigating social media censorship.
4. The Silicon Valley Bank catastrophe
A banking crisis resulted in one of the largest-ever failures of a U.S. bank – all because reckless Democrat spending ushered in dangerously high inflation, the Federal Reserve dragged its feet in responding for political reasons and then had to jack up interest rates at a dangerous pace.
The fallout, which regulators and supervisors should have anticipated, was a weakening of bank balance sheets, the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and a bail-out of Democrat-friendly tech firms.
5. Russia jails a journalist
A Wall Street Journal reporter has been jailed in Russia and accused of spying, the first instance of an American journalist being detained for such allegations since the end of the Cold War. While other nations’ leaders have denounced the move, Joe Biden has been close to mum about holding Russia accountable.
These are just a few of the stories that Trump’s indictment has bumped to the sidelines and that have prevented Biden from jumping into the 2024 race.
The president should be sending Bragg flowers or offering to make him the next Attorney General. Maybe he already has.
Liz Peek is a former partner of major bracket Wall Street firm Wertheim & Company. Follow her on Twitter @lizpeek.