Burning Down America—to Get Trump?

Anti-Trump demonstrators protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on February 8 as the court considers whether President Trump is eligible to run for president in the 2024 election.

Burning Down America—to Get Trump?

Why the fight to bring down President Trump endangers you

Donald Trump and Joe Biden both took home classified documents. At the time, Trump was president and had the authority to declassify anything he wanted. Joe Biden was not. Yet President Trump is prosecuted and Biden is not.

Donald Trump was accused of rape. His alleged victim could not remember what year it happened, said nothing about it for decades, and some of the few details she did provide were quickly proved false. A court found there is not enough evidence to convict Trump of rape. Yet a civil suit went ahead, thanks to a law passed by a left-wing state senator with a history of passing laws to target Trump. Trump maintained his innocence—and the court ruled he was guilty of defamation and must pay $80 million.

Donald Trump took out a business loan, giving banks details of his property and how much he thinks it’s worth. The banks did their own evaluation, loaned him the money, were paid back, and are eager to keep doing business with him. An accounting professor told the court, “My main finding is that there is no evidence whatsoever of any accounting fraud.” Yet a New York judge cited absurdly low figures on the property’s worth and decided Trump was guilty of fraud. He must pay $350 million, plus another $100 million in interest. Even the New York Times admitted it couldn’t find an example of this law being used where there were no victims.

Even if overturned on appeal, Trump will lose tens of millions of dollars. Before he can appeal, he must pay the fine, which will mean a fire sale to generate the cash or putting up a deposit to get a loan. If he wins the appeal, he still loses the deposit—usually around 10 percent of the amount owed. By setting the damages so high, the judge guaranteed that even if Trump wins, he loses.

New York Attorney General Letitia James campaigned on the platform of getting Trump. “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime”—the maxim attributed to Lavrentiy Beria, Joseph Stalin’s chief of secret police—has come to America.

It’s clear that the implications of this lawfare go far beyond President Trump. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul was asked if businessmen should worry that if “they can do that to the former president, they can do that to anybody.”

“I think that this is really an extraordinary, unusual circumstance that the law-abiding and rule-following New Yorkers who are business people have nothing to worry about,” she said, “because they’re very different than Donald Trump and his behavior.” New York businessmen don’t need to worry about being fined half a billion dollars because a judge disagrees with their property valuation—that’s only for President Trump. But if the law is bent to go after individuals, who can predict who will be next in the firing line?

This is about far more than businesses leaving New York and the subsequent loss of income and employment in that state.

In his book Civilization, historian Niall Ferguson lists the rule of law as one of the six pillars not just of prosperity, but of civilization itself. Why is America rich and Latin America poor? Resources, geography and democracy are only part of the answer. Ferguson writes that “democracy was the capstone of an edifice that had as its foundation the rule of law—to be precise, the sanctity of individual freedom and the security of private property rights, ensured by representative, constitutional government.”

Winston Churchill defined it in basic terms: “The central principle of civilization is the subordination of the ruling class to the settled customs of the people and to their will as expressed in the Constitution.”

Ferguson’s mentor, David Landes, made the same point in his book The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor. Landes traced the origins of this principle to the Bible. As early as the Exodus, when Moses’s authority was challenged, he responded: “I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them” (Numbers 16:15). Any other ruler at that time could have taken your donkey if he wanted it.

Moses instructed judges to be scrupulously equal so as not to tilt the law to favor rich or poor (Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17). Like all of the Bible’s laws, it is a law of cause and effect. Nations that obey will prosper. For those that break it, a fate far worse than poverty awaits.

The weakening of the rule of law goes hand in hand with the end of civilization—or at least freedom. In the last days of the Roman Republic, the law became a weapon against political enemies. The only way to avoid a sentence of death or exile was to remain in office. When Julius Caesar marched on Rome, his only other choice was to flee: The minute he was out of office, the courts would have devoured him.

In Weimar Germany, authoritarian judges gave light sentences to those they approved. When Count Anton von Arco-Valley assassinated the socialist prime minister of Bavaria, even the state prosecutor praised him, saying, “If the whole German youth were imbued with such a glowing enthusiasm, we could face the future with confidence.” His initial sentence of death was changed to imprisonment. He was released after five years and pardoned two years later.

Arco-Valley had a cushy prison cell until he was forced to give it up to a more favored prisoner in 1923. The young man had launched a coup d’etat in which 20 people were killed. Yet because they shared his ideology, most of the judges trying him wanted to acquit him. The presiding judge persuaded them to hand down a five-year sentence in the mildest form of imprisonment available. After just nine months, Adolf Hitler was released.

This kind of judicial imbalance is now routine.

In Britain, climate protests are approved by the establishment. “If any of you are in any discomfort or need anything, just let me know and we will try to sort it out in a nice way,” a senior police officer told those blocking a freeway.

In February, a senior district judge let three women charged with terrorism offenses off with a slap on the wrist. They had attended pro-Hamas demonstrations immediately after October 7, sporting pictures of paragliders. They may have called for the murder of Jews, but their judge had liked a pro-Hamas social media post. He supported their cause, so he let them off.

Police constable James Watts was not so lucky. He shared a joke about a parrot in a private group chat, which the same judge considered racist. He got 20 weeks in jail.

American courts are quick to free Black Lives Matters protesters. After months of nightly, violent demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, in 2020, officials only brought forward 100 cases. A year later, 60 had been dismissed. In many cases, prosecutors simply drop charges as long as the defendant stays off the police radar for a certain length of time. Those arrested for protesting on Jan. 6, 2021, were not given the same option.

America has always had violent political disagreements. Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel after all. The big difference about our time is that the rule of law is no longer more precious than these rivalries.

For many, eliminating the rule of law is not an unfortunate by-product of the larger goal of getting Trump. It’s the reason they want to get him in the first place.

Barack Obama famously said he wanted to “fundamentally change America.” Once out of office, he complained, “The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it.”

Could such a fundamental transformation mean jettisoning the rule of law?

Critical race theory, championed by the radical left, explicitly calls for this. Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, in their landmark book Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, state that “critical race scholars are discontent with liberalism as a framework for addressing America’s racial problems. Many liberals believe in color blindness and neutral principles of constitutional law” (emphasis added). Critical race scholars disagree. These critical race theorists “are also highly suspicious of another liberal mainstay, namely, rights,” they write.

Laws and rights simply hold back social justice. Therefore they must go. Instead, the powerful must be punished. The law must become a weapon against the status quo. And if an individual is treated unfairly, that’s fine if it serves the greater good of social progress.

If the rule of law flows out of the Bible, then we must also look to the Bible to understand its enemies.

The rule of law works because God is a lawgiver. He established laws of nature and gave mankind a law based on principles of love. Obedience automatically causes blessings. Disobedience causes curses. There is no cheating or getting around it.

God’s great adversary is fundamentally against law. Even in Christian circles, people are uncomfortable with discussions of the devil. But digging into the Bible is the only way to really understand the subject of law.

Discussing the origin of Satan the devil, Ezekiel 28:15 says, “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity [or lawlessness] was found in thee.” Hatred of law is a fundamental part of Satan’s personality. The rising tide of lawlessness is tied to a spiritual reality.

For this movement, destruction of the rule of law is not collateral damage. It is part of the end goal.

Our free book America Under Attack is the guide you need to understand this movement, its goals and the spirit behind it.