Leave Trump Alone!
And TikTok starts to fight back against Washington.
Good afternoon, Press Pass readers. If you haven’t already upgraded to Bulwark+, you have just four days left to take advantage of the free 30-day trial for access to paywalled editions of this newsletter and lots of other exclusive content from The Bulwark, including tonight’s episode of Thursday Night Bulwark on Indictmentpalooza, featuring JVL, Amanda, and Bill. The show starts at 8:00 pm ET.
Today’s newsletter examines two of the biggest stories on Capitol Hill this week: the potential indictment of Donald Trump and the effort to ban TikTok, which has recently ramped up significantly, with a big House hearing today.
Congress is on edge over the looming indictment of former President Donald Trump. Generally, Republicans have responded to news of the anticipated indictment (it has now reportedly been pushed back to next Monday at the earliest) by either insisting Trump committed no crime or, as I reported on Tuesday, attacking Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as a rabid partisan. But at least some are withholding judgment until they see actual charges.
In his Triad newsletter on Wednesday, JVL touched on the different types of responses Republicans can give in response to the potential Trump indictment:
Trump’s alleged actions are deeply concerning.
Let the legal process play out; I have faith in our justice system.
Yes, Trump’s alleged actions are concerning; but because of various externalities, the wiser course of action would have been to not indict.
Democrats and this Soros-backed prosecutor are out of control. We will fight this to the bitter end.
Donald Trump is innocent of all charges; this is a miscarriage of justice.
It’s widely speculated that the specific charges facing Trump would involve campaign finance law violations arising from secret hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, a story Amanda Carpenter analyzed in today’s Bulwark. After surveying the halls of Congress this week, I can confirm JVL’s assessment is spot on.
Marco Rubio told me a prosecution of Trump “would shred the country, rip it at its seams” before he laid into both Bragg’s case and his mental fitness.