A few days ago, Sam Bankman-Fried, aka SBF, the putative ringleader of the FTX fraud and collapse, was ordered to jail for violating his bail conditions for allegedly leaking some information about the star witness of the prosecution (who is also his ex-girlfriend), Caroline Ellison, to the NYTs. As everyone cheered this on, Trump who has been indicted multiple times, is still free and likely to not spend any time in jail. People who subscribe to the belief that Trump is somehow being unfairly prosecuted or persecuted have to explain this: why he is free and SBF is not. SBF was a huge donor and ‘power player’ for the left. Trump is obviously the enemy or Sauron-figure of the left.
The terribleness of SBF notwithstanding, this does show a sort of asymmetry of justice, and also how useless and ineffectual all his democratic donor ties are/were. Many smart people online in 2022 after SBF was initially arrested in the Bahamas were confident that his donor ties would save him and or that he would be above the law. I predicted correctly that he was likely fucked and would get no special treatment (given that there is nothing to gain by supporting him, so the expedient thing to do is throw him under), and also correctly predicted that Trump would serve no jail time. Yet again I keep being right even about stuff unrelated to the stock market.
So what gives? Trump is free for the same reason Hunter Biden and Hillary are free. It’s not that they didn’t break the law, but because they are above it. Any why? Because the the stakes are too high. No one wants to cross the Rubicon of arresting any of these people for two reasons: it would increase the burden of proof for what may be a weak case for the prosecution. And second, these people have a lot of supporters, and the potential unforeseen political and or societal consequences are too great, whereas arresting someone like SBF does not have such unknown unknowns given he is universally disliked. People are actually willing to die for Trump, which is a level of support typically not seen with rich or famous people.
The obvious retort is that SBF’s crimes are more serious, hence the more serious restrictions on his freedom of movement compared to Trump, but this would also be indicative of a justice system that is working as expected. But I agree that the charges leveled against Trump do seem flimsy and politically motivated, and having to actually arrest him would lead to a trial and increase the burden of proof on the prosecution, as well as visibility of the case overall. The goal rather is to make him look guilty, but without the burden of proof and press coverage of trying to convict him.
Overall, it’s easier to arrest universally disliked people or unknown people than people who have a lot of supporters and visibility. Hence also why the Jan 6th protesters were arrested without hesitation given they fell into the unknown category and not having many supporters. As of 2022, at least a couple dozen associates of Trump have been arrested or charged. It’s not so much that Trump is being persecuted but that those who associate with him are, such as his supporters or contacts, who keep getting into serious trouble as Trump somehow keeps dodging these bullets, at least for now.