All the excitement at the possibility of seeing Donald Trump “briefly” handcuffed in the coming days has triggered a “collective loss of judgement”, says Edward Luce in the FT. Arresting the former president on a technicality – that he tried to cover up the payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels – is more likely to help him in the long run. For one thing, his hardcore supporters think it’s pretty cool that he had a “fling with an adult actress”. And given the magnitude of the other accusations against him, the current case is almost certainly Trump’s “indictment of choice”.
The other allegations really are “in a different league”. A grand jury in Georgia is investigating whether he tried to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Another charge is that he incited protestors to “violence and even sedition” in the January 6 riots at the Capitol. A third claims his business “serially defrauded the taxpayer”, while yet another concerns lying to the FBI about hoarding classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Yes, the law is the law, and he may have broken it over the hush money to Daniels. “But the law is also an ass.” The Make America Great Again diehards will inevitably take this case as evidence of a deep-state plot to derail their hero’s 2024 election bid, undermining any subsequent legal action against him. “The law might be better served by walking away.”