During a brief arraignment in New York City on Tuesday, the former president pled not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records – charges that stem from a nondisclosure agreement payment made to an adult film actress during Trump's 2016 campaign.
Tom Zawistowski, president of the tea party-affiliated We the People Convention, points out that a conviction would not prevent Trump from running for reelection in 2024.
"They know they're not going to convict Donald Trump on this. This is a nothing burger," he asserts. "But they don't have to convict Donald Trump; what they have to do is keep you from talking about Joe Biden. What they have to do is keep Congress from investigating Joe Biden and the rest of these commies in our government."
Zawistowski expects the trial to be a complete sham.
"This jury is completely bogus. The judge should be thrown off the case," he contends. "They're going to find him guilty. It doesn't matter what he says, does, or what the law says. They're going to find him guilty. That's going to take until middle of summer, then Trump's going to appeal, and that's going to take all the way through the 2024 election. And that's what this is all about: Keep you focused on Donald Trump as a criminal, and don't look at Joe Biden. He can hide in his basement. It's purely an election strategy."
A media watchdog says liberal news outlets are lapping up Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's case against Trump – who so far remains the frontrunner for the GOP nomination – when not too long ago, they considered similar charges against a Democrat to be no big deal.
In 2011, former presidential candidate John Edwards (D) was charged with misusing campaign funds to pay off a woman with whom he was accused of having an affair. Though the charges are similar to those Trump is facing, the coverage of the Democrat's case could not have been more different.
"It's just like revenge against somebody that lost an election," said MSNBC's Chris Matthews in 2011.
"Leave him alone," pundit Joe Klein urged. "Why waste our effort on that when we haven't indicted a single banker after the crash of 2008?"
As for Trump, George Conway has advised "extended psychological denial" to "shield yourself from the reality of who this man is and all the things that he has done."
Nicholas Fondacaro of Media Research Center says the double standard is extensive.
"We are seeing opposite takes from other mainstream media institutions," he observes. "The Washington Post was calling the Edwards case a very questionable case, and The New York Times was calling it a possible embarrassment to the Department of Justice."
But now, they cannot seem to get enough of Trump's indictment, even covering the former president's drive to the airport.
"You would think he was leading people on a high-speed police chase with all the helicopters following him," Fondacaro submits.
At this point, Zawistowski says the Left has done a pretty good job of convincing much of the public that Trump is a criminal.