Eli Lake on the Trump indictment: They’ve lost their minds | Ben Domenech Podcast

Eli Lake on the Trump indictment: They've lost their minds | Ben Domenech Podcast

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Eli Lake thank you for joining me for This emergency episode of the Ben Dominic podcast uh because the former President of the United States has been Indicted how do you feel about that Um I could be persuaded I suppose I think Generally indicting a former president Is a bad idea and it's good in our Country that Our leaders Leave the White House and they are not Dogged by Prosecutions and lawfare And that it's bad usually in other Countries and this was by the way one of The reasons why you could say that the Roman Republic declined this is a Problem that goes back to the beginning Of Um you know Democratic or republics um So That is a general but then it's like all Right If there is a case and you can show me That it was worse than what I thought it Was then I might be able to be persuaded That it was yes a president was broken But it was in response to a terrible Presence so Just did I know there's a long answer But like I don't know if there was proof That Donald Trump had clearly given the

Instruction to I don't know Patriot Prayer proud boys to bring weapons to The capital that's sedition I don't have A problem with that I mean I feel like That a better like Pence Yeah like I supported the second Impeachment just based on Everything else that he was doing in the Lead up to that so I thought he should Have been impeached that second time Um You know so I don't want to make it seem Like I can't imagine him not doing Anything but then like you look at what This is Um this is like you know Alvin Bragg and This is what listen Alvin Bragg is an Elected official in New York city so he Has these political interests so you Know to a certain extent he's he's Following his incentives what I think is Wrong is worse is that it's it's the It's the you know legal Elites like uh You know Harvard Law School Emeritus Professor Lawrence tribe or Andrew Weissman the number two for the Mueller Investigation or Barbara McQuade or all Of these people who have now said oh my God what a solid case this is I'm I'm Sorry but you just didn't for you just Broke a precedent you just crossed a Rubicon uh you know and you've accused The former president because he's like Picking his toes picking his feet in

Poughkeepsie it's like we got him on Criminal jaywalking and no jaywalker is Above the law and including Donald Trump And I'm like you guys have lost your Mind even if you wanted a nail Trump Even if you want to if you think he's The devil Gonna Fly and that's why it's I'm Someone heartened that people who I have Come to sort of disagree with in the Trump era sometimes before on things Like russiagate like David from and even Jonathan cheat they're like this is weak Sauce bro like what are we doing and so Like the the line for me was when Andrew McCabe you know is is on CNN going Yeah this is really unimpressive you Know when Ian milhiser you know a guy Who yeah I know right You know like I have not yet been Arrested by the Trump Administration you Know for the first year or whatever to Be honest with you when I saw Ian Millhosser come out against it I was Like well maybe I'm wrong Yeah you're right I mean like so that's Like hopeful but like there still is a Praetorian guard of these real legal Elites people who Um like Mary McCord like people yeah had Senior positions at the justice Department people who still have Enormous influence within the Justice I Mean James Comey this is a good day you

Know and it's like that's that's I mean Look I'm disgusted by you know sort of Everything about tell me because I don't Like people who played Boy Scout nature That was maybe one of the best things That Donald Trump ever did was fire Teams the only mistake he made was not Firing him on the first day he deserved To be first day yeah right I Would have done it just out of you know Vengeance for Martha Stewart but it's One of these things where I I think you You come into something like this and You say okay on the one hand This is this momentous legal event Going after a former president of the United States The former commander-in-chief You really want it to stick But aren't the political incentives kind Of adjusted in such a way that it Doesn't matter for Alvin Bragg whether They stick or not That's what I think is going on I think That you know he would suffer more of a Backlash if he didn't bring a case no Matter how weak it was because They basically I I just uh did my Podcast uh it's out today and I call it The um the Democrats Stan valshak Problem and I'm basing this on The Wire Season two where police major powerful Guy gets a unit to investigate

His rival going back to high school this Guy uh Frank sabotka who runs the local Stevedore's union And then there's this great scene where He finally is getting the update from The prosecutor and the police guys and Everything like that and they're Explaining this you know incredible you Know criminal conspiracy that involve You know importing drugs and like Bringing women for an illegal Prostitution and like it's it's like you Know it's interesting stuff and so and And Stan batik says I'm not hearing the Name Frank's this is an investigation About Frank sabotka I'm not hearing his Name where is Frank sabotka and that's The point it's like that's not that's an Abuse of the law we do not just Investigate the man we investigate the Crime and it's not the first time Bobby Kennedy did this when it came to Jimmy Hoffa uh there's all kinds of examples Of this kind of abusive thing but for Some reason in the era of trump this Vice which generally was looked down Upon as an abusive prosecutorial became A virtue so Andrew Weissman could not be More open about the fact that like oh my God so he did this by the way in Mueller He nobody ever was threatened with jail Time for violating the foreign agents Registration act Um he he came up with a brand new

Interpretation of it that overturned Like 50 years of precedent and he Bragged about it in his book he's like Yeah I was rolling up the conspiracy which by By the way they never did get the Conspiracy yeah and Andrew Weissman is Such I think he's really Um metaphorically such a cancer on our Republic that this is somebody who was Part of the team that did not find a Conspiracy between Trump And Russia and still corrects people on Twitter saying no no no no no no no we Did find collusion we just didn't try I'm sorry I don't wanna But it's so frustrating because it's Like somebody like that has a lot of Influence And it's uh it's it's just really we got A clean it's like this is where I we I Think Barr kind of uh you know uh William Parr gonna had it he had it Right The justice department really does need To be cleaned out and it's like bigger Than the justice department the legal Elites like I I know this is going to Sound somewhat crazy but I kind of feel Like we should um shut down Harvard Law School until we find figure out what the Hell is going on there you know what I Mean it's like I'm just like you're

Right I mean I know and I'm just like I Know you guys are smart I I couldn't Have gotten into Harvard Law School I'm Not but like we've have a kind of we Haven't trusted these institutions with You know doing Justice And something has happened in the last Generation or maybe before and it's Produced people like Andrew Weissman who Are just so abusive of their I mean this Is a I mean another big thing that he Did is he he destroyed Arthur Anderson Consulting and then he was rebuked Unanimously by the Supreme Court yeah Uh we would hope that that would be an Outlier that this is a guy can I ask you Is this is this kind of the is this the Chickens coming home to roost when it Comes to the credentialing of our Elites That we've we've given them all these Stamps that say this is an elite thinker This is an elite person uh but in Reality you know they turn out to Basically be You know machine party members Essentially I don't know Um I mean that's an interesting I've Thought about that I don't know I don't Know whether I mean listen once you Start going down that road it can be Pretty bad too you get the cultural Revolution yeah and we don't want that I I and so I'm not I'm I'm just what I'm

Saying is that it's a specific problem As I said with our legal Elites I mean uh there is there's a very Revealing tweet from uh Jennifer Rubin Of the Washington Post Which is like she's describing like the Status of the debate over like whether This is a good prosecution or solid law Or not She says you know on one side are people Who have experience with sdny that's the Southern district of New York and New York state prosecutions but all and law And Brookings The Brookings institution And just security which is a I guess a Website affiliated with the Brennan Center at New York University And she's right that there are those who If you go to Brookings and you go to Justin if you go to like the law fair Blog you will find lots of people Defending this Alvin Brockman I haven't Checked that but I know just security Has been like laying the thing and these Are like law professors these are people Who went to the best law schools And Is the job in these cases To give the best legal analysis or is The job to put lipstick on a pig and to Basically rationalize What has uh rationalized what is a Totally abusive prosecution of trump Which I think should be summarily

Dismissed and you know Listen My Hope Is That Alvin Bragg will suffer Grave reputational damage for pulling This done I doubt it well I doubt that Will happen but that will at least be a Kind of disincentive for let's be honest There's going to be Republic ambitious Republican DA's who are now going to Look at Bringing in you know Hunter Biden or Jim Biden for picking his toe feeding Poughkeepsie you know I mean like that's What it is they're just gonna figure out Some other uh you know pretext to and And the and the process will be the Penalty and it's the indictment it's the Fingerprinting and all that stuff and uh You know we and how are we gonna get out Of this this is the thing that really Concerns me the most because you know we We have resisted uh largely in America The the impulse to engage in these types Of of aggressive uh uh prosecutor Pursuit of people who are their partisan Enemies And I think that we're now going to move Into a new stage in all likelihood but That retribution that that Tit for Tat Kind of approach Is the kind of thing that just Completely wrecks our ability to Function as a republic I don't know though what the incentive Is going to be in the opposite direction

To say I'm not going to do this thing Because instead I think they're going to Be a lot of people who you know have Donors and voters and other people in Their ears basically saying you know why Aren't you standing up To this kind of persecution from the Left you know you should be indicting so And so he deserves to be in jail and and You know they're saying that obviously For partisan reasons ideological reasons But the point is to sort of say Look if you follow around somebody day After day you're eventually going to Find when they you know are speeding or Parking illegally or you know doing Whatever it is uh and You're going to find something to book Them on and that to me is just a really I mean it makes bipartisanship Impossible in terms of the way that our Government is designed to function Well it's listen sometimes Bipartisanship can be overrated Potentially that peaceful transfer of Power Very more difficult now listen Trump is A norm violator what Trump did after the 2020 election is inexcusable I'm never Going to defend that Um So and as I said if this had been a Really solid case that dealt with Serious

Behavior that I think you know voters Could say yeah that's a crime you can't Do that It would be a little bit different The fact that the first case is paper Thin You know bull excrements It's like are you serious this is I mean The you don't see the damage here that Uh you can't even convince David from And Jonathan chase this is a a Meritorious investigation and Prosecution and it's all the more Egregious when the when Alvin Bragg's Office is you know declining to to Prosecute violent crimes in the Subways Totally So I mean that is I can't remember who Tweeted it but somebody said the next Time that someone punches somebody out Is he going to do 34 counts based on Each punch you know well I like I like Charlie cook had this really hilarious Line it's like if Trump had actually Shot someone on Fifth Avenue he probably Would have gotten the probation you know So because Yeah I mean exactly it's like are you Kidding and so I mean there's a part of Me that's like I really hope that said you know I mean I don't know it's I could you could see A rebellion in New York or something

Like that you know but it's like listen These things can happen like they the Democrats in 2020 they ran on defunding The police and no they they can't have Hit a price so let me ask you about that Because My theory has been I actually asked my friend Emily eakins At the Cato Institute vice president There she's their head of polling to Look into this Um uh this past week I said there has to Be an actual line Like a a researchable sort of definable Line where the partisanship of a city Leads their politicians to do Incredibly crazy things that they Wouldn't do if it was just a little bit Lower and I don't know what that is but Think of it as like the Mendoza Line for Cities yeah that's a great point you Know it's like it's like is it because It's 70 Democrat you know they might not Do these things but at 80 Democrat They'll do these things you know and There's some point there that is Definable and I feel like that's what We're seeing right now and it it scares Me only in the sense that like We are not that far removed you remember Eli you know from That the point where we could actually Have people sit down in a room together And not just you know treat each other

Like villains who needed to be cast Aside into the you know pits of hell and What I think is it it's so weird because There is this alt history where in 2016 Like Chuck Schumer just decides to be Best friends with Donald Trump and they And they you know go down they do Infrastructure yeah Mary wrote together Of of uh what the realignment thought Would happen you know in terms of in Terms of that instead you get Russia Gate you get all these investigations You get the animosity the enduring Animosity over Hillary Um and that just you know extends to Today There's all these opinions out there Eli About what this does to the 2024 Republican nomination do you have an Opinion yourself It's good for Trump yeah and here's why It's good for Trump I think a lot of People don't understand There is a subset of trump supporters Who just love the guy because he's funny Or whatever I think most people though support Trump Who are like within the Republican Party Because His vices are virtues when you're up Against You know Andrew Weissman and Alvin Bragg And Russia gate and Hillary Clinton's Efforts to uh you know like sick the FBI

On the Trump campaign and you look at The terrible behavior that is never Really like there's no Reckoning in the Media like I mean I I bring this up I Wrote this we both wrote spectator Pieces on this but Last year the Federal Election Commission Find Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC for ready for it misreporting The Steele dossier expenditures as legal Fees or like legal payments which is What Trump did with this hush money so Though they're legal fees to Michael Cohen That sounds pretty similar to me and if You're gonna tell me that the public not Knowing about Stormy Daniels which by The way already like Stormy Daniels Talked about this like I don't know in 2011 or something like that That that was in that was influencing That was illegally influencing the Election then what the hell is the Steele dossier and then like pretending That the Democrats didn't have anything To do with that So it's such an obvious double standard For justice That it doesn't take much it's you're Not crazy to notice that it's a double Standard for justice Um and that they seem to be completely Unaware of it I think it was I think it

Was one of my uh I think it was uh Polymath the one of the people who I Follow he writes the marginally Compelling sub stack uh who made the Point Um uh that you know if if uh if your Standard is the George Soros didn't fund Alvin Bragg then your standard is that Trump didn't pay Stormy Daniels right Because both intermediaries Um right but but it does it seems just So ridiculous on its face at the same Time Uh you know I do think that there is This feeling Among Republican voters and you can tell Me if you think I'm wrong Where As much as they support Trump against This Onslaught and view him as being Someone unfairly victimized uh you know And and targeted There's also this feeling of exhaustion This feeling that you know it's either Way something with this guy you know and So my question to you is the final Question is does that leave a lane For someone like Ron DeSantis to stand Up and say You know look I think what they're doing Is terrible I think what they're doing Is wrong I can win and I can win in a Way that he can't And I'm going to actually change things

As opposed to just complaining about Them Um I don't know I think it's going to be Very hard to thread that needle yeah Because what is I mean listen I mean in A weird way I think The Democrats and Alvin bracket Basically trying to get Trump the Nomination for 2024 On the other hand they're trying to Disqualify him from the nomination in 2024 so I mean you know like they can make them Win it but take as many arrows as they Possibly can drive into them yeah or Base or like if this succeeds then you Know he can't run if he's convicted of a Felony so yeah I I just think I think it's very it's Going to be very interesting to see how DeSantis navigates that particularly Because I think now he's on this course Where he can't afford not to run Well I mean I I would much rather DeSantis be the nominee than Trump But This makes it a lot harder for him yeah Eli like this you're gonna attack Trump Now sorry Well if you're DeSantis you're gonna You're gonna attack Trump when when you Know what I mean he's getting slings and Allies so my theory of that case and so This is uh

Look I'll tell you what I would say yeah If I were on stage with Donald Trump and I was Ron DeSantis what I would say is You know I really respect you and I Think you did a lot of great things when You were president But Fact is that when covet came down you Boxed out you listen to angry fouchy you Listen to all the people of the CDC you Let them shut down the schools you let Them shut down the country you never Should have done that you should have Fired Anthony fauci the minute that he Said the school should be closed In Florida I did the opposite I opened Things back up and you criticized me for And guess what I was right okay and you Can say it as much as you want but I was Right and you were wrong and that tells Us something about the way that we Approach government about the way that We approach our jobs and about how much Trust we put in the people and that's The difference between you and me you Were wrong and I was right And the problem is of course that Trump Will then You know he'll lie about what actually Happened But no the problem is the problem for Trump is that he can't afford to admit Ever that he's wrong no no but I think I Think that you're right had this

Indictment not happen that would be a Very very effective attack line and I Would hope that DeSantis would do it but If you are a tribe okay and there is an Internal fight over who leaves the tribe Well it's a different fight when the Tribe is under existential attacks Exactly from another tribe which is Which is the point like it's like you Could have that discussion like hey you Kind of screwed up coven and you know What like I I don't actually think you Know your your approach on this was as Good as you think it is let's debate it Which is like what you could do if the Democrats collection we're not launching You know Totally almost unpredicated Ridiculous you know felony prosecutions Against Trump and you know is it kind of Ridiculous and he says listen if they Can do it to me they can do it to you Because how many average Americans pay 130 000 in hush payments to like porn Stars that's kind of ridiculous but the Sentiment is very real because a lot of Americans feel that they are screwed Over by a faceless largely Progressive Left-leaning bureaucracy that in their Workplace they are told that they can't Say certain things and they're Constantly wrong-footed and they could Lose their job over things that seem Like you know the new codes of behavior

That was just invented So there is something there is a sense Of of I think a lot of Republican and Conservatives are feeling somewhat Aggrieved and Trump being attacked is The way that the lashes them ever closer To him yeah so it's really hard for to Then have another conversation which I Hope which would be great let's talk About managing covet let's talk about Anthony fauci yeah absolutely that Should be our that should be our public Conversation but it won't be because of Alvin freaking brag I'm sorry but that Is just like and I don't he's really Like a I don't want to hear from Democrats again about the rule of law or How they love democracy you don't love Democracy they don't believe that when They say it just it's all like happy Talk because you just It's and and I don't even understand I Don't even think it's smart from the Perspective of the Trump resistance Right like I just think that this Muddies the water it doesn't you know What I mean like is there other Indictments then it's like you're going To compare it to this crap I mean part Of this part of this too is that they're Running on you know if you look at kind Of the the election cycles that we've Had they're running on abortion and uh And anti-election denial you know sort

Of sort of uh you know you can trust us When it comes to you know the election Side of things uh and they've weaponized That you know repeatedly they did it Again in Wisconsin this week Um and this whole like we believe in Law And Order and no one's Above the Law Stuff it's absolutely you know Transparent in terms of how ridiculous That is and how much that's a lie Amen and I just I think there's a part Of this which is because it does seem Insane it does seem Reckless right it Does seem like this is a crazy thing to Do right Um I think some of it is because there Is an elite cult-like bubble that they Have wanted since 2017 to see Trump Incarcerated and they never get it And this is like and they just that's All they care about it's because it's Like If we if we look at this as like the Politics of a great nation that's maybe The wrong thing we should look at this As You know fan fiction for like Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan fiction for Joy Behar Yeah right fan fiction for Joy I'm just Saying it's like this this is like the Final scene we need this like what You're going to deny us the season Finale for Game of Thrones give me a Break I want this and it's like it's

Their entertainment but it's also their Identity and they lecture us about how Much they care about democracy Um and you know listen I'm delighted That Democrats have finally discovered That Russia is really bad because I've Thought that for many years so I am like You know Harder Faster stronger for Ukraine but it's like You know it's amazing to me this is it's So bad for the country and they think They're doing the right thing they think They're Heroes and I the way to explain That is that they're like just basically Part of like this overzealous fan Community yeah Eli Lake thank you so much for taking Time it's always a pleasure emergency do An emergency conversation

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