We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Why are the Democrats suddenly so keen for Trump to get his say?

“Donald Trump indictment: Why these charges are most serious ones yet”, writes Sarah Smith, the BBC’s North America editor.

How will these people react when they hear detailed evidence that Donald Trump knew there was no evidence of electoral fraud? That he was told again and again, by his trusted inner circle, that he had lost the election?

Can their faith withstand the weight of the evidence the prosecution will bring to court?

I don’t know. But Ms Smith seems to be forgetting that in a trial it is not only the prosecution who bring evidence to court. Trump, too, will have the right to call witnesses and demand hidden things be brought forth. Faith can be tested in more than one direction.

After the 2020 election, the US establishment and media made Herculean efforts to silence anyone arguing that election fraud had occurred. They may not have succeeded with the deplorables, but they succeeded with the respectables. There is scarcely a member of the American upper middle class without the protection of a private income or tenure who would dare to talk about the events in Maricopa County even to say that they were satisfied that no irregularity occurred. Doing that would imply that they had given Trump’s views on the 2020 election enough consideration to reject them. The censors got Trump himself and many of his most prominent supporters thrown off Twitter. They had Facebook groups with hundreds of thousands of members deleted. They deleted his videos from Facebook. Facebook also demoted posts from private individuals that contained “election misinformation”. The social media companies instituted regular meetings where government officials told them who to censor and shadowban next – and the companies asked what more they could do.

And now, after doing all that, they have decided to demand that Trump explains in detail why he believes the 2020 election was stolen. They are going to demand he does it in the one place where even they dare not keep the public from hearing him speak. “In all criminal prosecutions,” says the Sixth Amendment, “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

Is there some factor obvious to Americans but missed by my British eyes that explains why this reversal of policy is not as rash as it seems? True, it might work out well for the Democrats. Trump is irritating. He has an irritating voice. His speech from the dock will not echo those of Robert Emmet or Nelson Mandela in anyone’s ears but his. All the same, I would bet on him rather than them coming out ahead. He does not have to prove the election was stolen from him. He does not even have to prove that he believes the election was stolen from him. (Which of course he does believe. He’s Trump, for goodness sake. One doesn’t have to take a view on whether or not he truly has been wronged to see that Donald Trump is the last man on Earth to ponder whether the bad guy might be him.)

It is for the prosecution to prove that Trump does not believe the election was stolen.

Unless I am misunderstanding something, that seems a formidable task.

31 comments to Why are the Democrats suddenly so keen for Trump to get his say?

  • GregWA


    You seem to assume that the court, the prosecutor and everyone else who matters in this trial believes in the rule of law, in the fair application of the law and in the Constitution. That is really sweet! I too have a fond memory of such times.

    But whatever happens in this trial, I will not know about it firsthand. I’m not invited. I will rely on media reports which means every single word said about this trial will be a lie…including “the” and “and”.

    Or am I too pessimistic?

  • Myno

    Trump can say whatever he wants in his own defense, but if the MSM doesn’t cover it, or only covers it with spin analysis, it won’t do the wokies much harm. Sure, the court transcript might be fodder for right wing and libertarian media, but the great unwashed won’t be much affected. The PTB can still mostly keep a lid on it, while pushing their own slant on the way Trump said it.

  • Steven R

    It was stolen fair and square. It wasn’t the first time in American politics that the ballot box was stuffed and it won’t be the last. I don’t know how it works on your side of the pond, but on this side politics is a bloodsport. There were simply too many irregularities and swing states being allowed to ignore their own voting laws to say otherwise and that’s even before we get into the sheer number of mailed in ballots. We The People did nothing after the fact (e.g. drag election officials out of their homes and string them up right then and there), so there’s no reason for them to not do it again in the future. We won’t see another legitimate presidential election. The Left didn’t get the Reichstag moment they wanted, but they still managed to get the Enabling Act after all.

    He was right to call them on it, he was even right to tell his supporters to let their voices be heard (like it would have mattered). But he was completely wrong to let those J6 idiots swing in the wind for him. He should have pardoned the lot of them as soon as it happened. The Left would still make political hay out of it, but at least we wouldn’t have American citizens in prison over it.

  • Snorri Godhi


    We The People did nothing after the fact (e.g. drag election officials out of their homes and string them up right then and there)

    Stringing them up is too good for them.

    We won’t see another legitimate presidential election.

    By WEIRD* standards, you have never seen one.

    * Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic.

    It is not enough that the winner would have won without fraud: an election is only legitimate if all party representatives agree on every single vote.

    Further, it is necessary to have an established procedure in the case of a disputed election. 20 years after 2000, nobody has done anything about it.

    [Trump] was right to call them on it, he was even right to tell his supporters to let their voices be heard (like it would have mattered).

    Where he was wrong was in not having a serious investigation of election fraud, by both parties, after the 2016 election. That would have set the tone for 2020.

  • Paul Marks.

    The 2020 Presidential Election was rigged – but it will, now, be very hard to prove it was rigged. If the courts had not thrown out the challenges, on technicalities (often absurd technicalities) in 2020 then it would have been much less hard to prove fraud, than it is now when so much of the evidence no longer exists.

    However, as the 2022 election in Arizona showed, even when the election fraud is blatant, obvious, the courts (and so on) can just decide to ignore it – and what can the people do then?

    Most people are not prepared to risk their lives in a bitter Civil War against an establishment that has overwhelming military and paramilitary power – and the emerging Corporate State knows this very well.

  • george m weinberg

    Well, you can’t see into other peoples’ hearts and minds, and it’s usually a waste of time to try. I very much doubt anyone in Trump’s inner circle actually told him he lost the election fair and square, since even if that were true, how could they possibly know? I can believe they told him there’s no hope of legally proving there was ballot box stuffing, but that’s not really the same thing.

    Anyway, I see no reason to believe that the people bringing charges against Trump have any deeper reason than they think it’ll be fun. And I think they will have fun.

  • bobby b

    This court will likely allow Trump to discuss “ballot fraud”, but not “election fraud.”

    Was Trump cheated by actual ballot fraud? Because of the laws that were passed by certain states just prior to the election, we will never have any way to prove this. Faced with a barrel of unlabeled ballots, there is no way to tell who cast which ballot. So, Trump will make no headway with the court with this argument.

    There is a much stronger argument that he lost via basic election fraud. What with the press censoring many of his election arguments and platforms, it is commonly accepted that he would have won absent this. Merely having allowed discussion pre-vote of Hunter’s mystery laptop would have seemingly caused enough vote-switching to make the difference (per post-election polling.)

    So the judge will allow evidence of ballot fraud, but will stop Trump from arguing anything not directly related to illegal ballots and counting irregularities. They will leave to him all of the unwinnable positions.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Was Trump cheated by actual ballot fraud? Because of the laws that were passed by certain states just prior to the election, we will never have any way to prove this.

    In a WEIRD country (see above) the burden of the proof would be on those who claim that there was no ballot fraud.

  • Phil B

    This twitter video reckons that the Democrats are making a mistake:


    In 2024 they will cheat just enough to make the result seem plausible. Thy overplayed their hand the last time. Any electoral constituency that has 130% turnout is ever so slightly suspect, which happened in quite a few districts. It is VERY democratic when even dead people can and do vote.

  • Jkhn

    30 Oct 2022
    21.04 GMT
    How are votes counted?
    Despite the fact that Brazil is the world’s fourth-largest democracy, results from more than 150 million eligible voters are presented mere hours after polls close, thanks to the country’s electronic voting system. And no significant fraud has ever been detected.

    Electronic machines were first used in 1996 and the first nationwide, electronic-only vote took place four years later.

    Brazilian authorities adopted electronic voting machines to tackle longstanding fraud. In earlier elections, ballot boxes arrived at voting stations already stuffed with votes. Others were stolen and individual votes were routinely falsified, according to Brazil’s electoral authority.

    Ahead of the first round of voting, President Jair Bolsonaro was feeding concern about the nation’s electronic voting system. He has long insisted that the machines, used for a quarter-century, are prone to fraud, though he acknowledged last year that hasn’t been proved.

    Brazil’s top electoral authority maintain the system has been tested rigorously.

    The Guardian commenting on the Brazilian runoff last October which was down and dusted within a couple of hours of the polls closing.

    Remind me, which is the backward corrupt banana republic (with particulate reference to the “in earlier elections” paragraph).

  • llamas

    Back when dirt was just a slight stain, and dinosaurs roamed the earth, and YHS was reading for the law, one lecturer observed that a courtroom can be either the best, or the worst, place for finding out the truth. I rather suspect that those so frantic to prosecute President Trump for (whatever it is today) will shortly learn which of the two it is to be.



  • Stonyground

    This story reminds me of Climate change obsessive Michael Mann of Hockey Stick fame. When other scientists criticised his work, instead of presenting his data and defending his position, you know like a scientist, he though that taking them to court would be a better ploy. I seem to remember him finding himself in contempt of court for refusing to present said data as well as losing his case.

  • John



    It us now more than 12 years since Mark Steyn, who hopefully will recover from his serious health issues, counter-sued Michael Mann. Since then the US legal system operating in a way that puts Jarndyce v Jarndyce to shame has done its damned best to ensure that the case will never be heard.

    As Steyn himself said “The process is the punishment”. Myriad cases against Donald Trump, while others enjoy Teflon- style immunity from allegedly more egregious wrongdoing, would appear to back that up.

  • Steven R

    Lawfare is a thing and the winner is far too often the side with deeper pockets. It’s a system designed by lawyers to provide billable hours for lawyers and wear one side down financially and it is practiced by the government as well as in civil suits by mere citizens. It has nothing to do with who is right or wrong, only who has the bigger warchest.

    It’s a hell of a system they’ve built for themselves.

  • Jacob

    Where he [Trump] was wrong was in not having a serious investigation of election fraud.

    Well, no. Where he was wrong was that he relied to much on rallies and speeches, and failed to do any significant ballot stuffing. Or mail ballots harvesting.
    He was not a very organized or practical or able President.

  • Jacob

    It has nothing to do with who is right or wrong” — agreed. only who has the bigger warchest.

    Not sure. The outcome is rather random.

  • lucklucky

    I don’t expect Trump be capable and have creativeness to do that looking how incompetent he run his campaign.
    I am not sure even matter. The BBC text shows they will censor any contrary example to the narrative.

  • Bruce

    Something from G. K. Chesterton:

    “The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered (as Christianity was shattered at the Reformation), it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful.”

    See also:

    “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.”

  • Paul Marks

    The mail-in ballots were a massive fraud – I have been working in elections since 1979 and if an opposing party produced lots of “postal votes” (as they are called here) without clear proof that they were from the claimed individuals – I would have them arrested, there-and-then.

    The “legal” excuse in some American States was that there were two many “mail-in ballots” to check individually by representatives of the candidates – this was in direct violation of the laws of those States. The judges were basically saying that a magic word “Covid” made the law no longer relevant.

    And the judges did the same thing in Arizona quite recently, without even bothering to use the magic word “Covid” – Election Law no longer matters in some American States. But the judges still hold that the law on murder is valid – so it is wrong, quite wrong, to shoot them in the face for helping rig elections.

    Corrupt Corporate State – and many establishment Corporate “Republicans” are up to their necks in this, it is not just Democrats.

  • Paul Marks

    Part of the objective of corrupt court decisions is to provoke violence – they want a violent response, as that gives them an excuse for a full-on Police State.

    In Arizona in 2022 there was no effort to hide the election fraud (too many mail-in ballots to check, computer voting machines that “accidentally” did not work, and all the rest of it) – it was very much like spitting in the faces of people, repeatedly, in the hope, yes in the hope, that it would provoke violence.

    The election fraud could have been subtle – it was done blatantly, done “in-your-face”, on purpose.

    Ditto the media coverage – the media coverage (including by the Wall Street Journal) was designed to provoke – it was done to create a violent response, as an excuse for a “Crack Down”.

    So far people are just praying (there is no justice in this world – let us hope there is justice in the next world) a lot – how long they will keep their tempers, I do not know.

  • Lee Moore

    The trial about the election is to be in DC. The prosecution need do no more than turn up.

  • Bruce

    @Paul M:

    Finally, someone else can see what has been obvious for several years.

    Do not forget the “wind-up-toys” who are carefully primed to be part of the electoral fraud and / or “random” violent atrocities.

    “Provocation” is exactly the term for all of this, as is the motive you have outlined.

    DO NOT TAKE THE BAIT! Lay some of your own, instead.

  • Paul Marks

    Bruce – correct.

    Just recently a man in Utah said something dumb on-line (because he had been provoked for years) – and the FBI came and killed him in his home, and they will say it is legit as the man “threatened the President”.

    That is what they want – an excuse to kill dissenters, do-not-give-them-the-excuse.

    And if someone suggests illegal acts – they are indeed working for the government, it does not matter if you have known them for years, they are working for the government. Anyone can be blackmailed – for example by threats to put their children in prison (where they will be raped and abused), the Federal “Justice” system is a Conviction Machine, they can put anyone in prison (for some “process crime” or whatever).

    “Unless you want your son sent to prison, where he will not survive, you now work for us – and we want you to suggest to your fellow dissenters that they carry out the following illegal acts…..”

    It is an old trick – but it works.

    The “Administrative State” (so beloved by the despicable Economist magazine and-so-on) should not be “fought” it should be defunded – as should the Federal “Justice” system, the Federal Government is not meant to have the “Police Power” – outside Washington D.C. and military bases.

    Do whatever it takes to gain Congress and the Presidency – and cut-off-the-money.

  • Steven R

    Like the Republicans do anything at all to defund or revamp the bureaucratic state at anytime they have ever had control. And while Trump was hampered by the swamp creatures as much as they possibly could, it wasn’t like he used his EO pen to do much or even just not replace people or direct them to do much t dismantle agencies and publicly fire them when they didn’t do what they were ordered to do. For all his bluster, Trump didn’t do much on that front.

    The GOP loves big government and only says they don’t so the rubes back home keep sending them campaign contributions.

  • bobby b

    “Like the Republicans do anything at all to defund or revamp the bureaucratic state at anytime they have ever had control.”

    The inherent contradiction in empowering libertarian-thinkers into government is always there. Government rules because it wields power. It wields that power through the making of rules, through the establishment of like-thinkers into positions within, through growing its influence over society.

    But if your ultimate goal is to reduce that governmental power and influence, and you act accordingly in your operation of government, you must by definition walk away from power and influence, which naturally leaves it open and available to the large-government forces.

    A conservative – libertarian – government will always face this contradiction. It can do nothing, and wither away, and remain true to its basic principles while allowing the large-government people to take over, or it can grow in power and impose its own principles – which is a violation of those principles at root.

    What we really desire is an empowered non-governmental sector. Sending cons and libs into government – to run government – ultimately will not accomplish this. But since government makes the rules and counts the votes, we have to engage in this farce.

    If we want to limit government power, we must first amass government power. It’s a problem.

  • SteveD

    ‘A conservative – libertarian – government will always face this contradiction.’

    If this was true, from the beginning of history there would be a continuous evolution toward more and more totalitarian governments which could never be substantially reversed.

    But somehow, the Founding Fathers managed to do it.

  • Paul Marks

    Steven R. – Republicans may love Big Government, but it does not love them. The sooner they understand Big Government is not their friend the better (defund it – or it will destroy you). And if you do not like Republican candidates – get better ones, you have Primaries.

    SteveD – yes, the America of (say) 1912 did not have higher taxes, as a proportion of the economy, than it had a century or more before – and it was more free in other important ways, end of slavery, the property rights of women and-so-on.

    Things do not automatically worse – not even Paul Marks believes that things automatically get worse.

  • bobby b

    “If this was true, from the beginning of history there would be a continuous evolution toward more and more totalitarian governments which could never be substantially reversed.”

    Without the influence of Black Swan events – revolution, uprising, substantial voter changes of attitude – isn’t that what has happened? Without drastic external pressures, governments always seem to ratchet towards more power.

    In the US, the Constitution was one such Black Swan event. Since its enactment, government has done little else than move to circumscribe its reach and take on more power. Periodically, the USSC will make some ruling that brings things slightly back to following the document, but then the government always starts probing for openings again.

    Anyway, my main point was that libertarians are not well-suited for snatching the reins of power. A true libertarian despises that power. And that places us at a disadvantage as against those who love it.

  • Snorri Godhi


    Without the influence of Black Swan events – revolution, uprising, substantial voter changes of attitude – isn’t that what has happened? Without drastic external pressures, governments always seem to ratchet towards more power.

    Quite right — but i think that it would be clearer if you had written:
    Between one Black Swan event and the next…

    AFAIK Ibn Khaldun was the first to notice this pattern. He is famous for anticipating the Laffer curve, but that is to under-estimate him: he did not write that IF tax rates increase, then tax revenues decrease; he wrote that tax rates inevitably increase, and therefore tax revenues inevitably decrease. Until a collapse caused by a barbarian invasion.

    A similar pattern can be seen in Imperial China: as tax rates increased, more peasants turned to brigantage, which resulted in both lower tax revenues AND higher expenditure on the army. Eventually, that would lead to civil war, which might or might not (but eventually would) lead to a change of dynasty.

    A similar pattern can be observed in the fall of the Roman Empire, and of the Renaissance absolute monarchies.

    One thing to note is that not all collapses of absolutist, totalitarian States led to constitutional, minarchist States. The Russian Revolution being a case in point.

  • Paul Marks

    Snorri – yes. For example, the crushing taxes and endless regulations of the post Diocletian Roman Empire did lead to collapse – but not to a return to a more civilized time, sadly the Empire was replaced by blood soaked chaos.

    “Late Antiquity” is a lie – the old name is the truth, the Dark Ages. The population crashed, most towns and cities were gone or dramatically reduced. Even farm animals were reduced in size – animals had to reach maturity quickly, raiders were always near.

  • bobby b


    “Quite right — but i think that it would be clearer if you had written:
    Between one Black Swan event and the next…”

    Point taken. That would have been closer to what I meant. Gov amasses power, Black Swan occurs and decreases it, rinse and repeat . . .