Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Previous Political use of the Espionage Act

I thought that it was unprecedented for Pres. Biden to be prosecuting his political enemies, but actually it has been done before by Pres. John Adams, Abe Lincoln, and Woodrow Wilson:
Outspoken leader of the labor movement, Eugene Debs opposed Woodrow Wilson as the Socialist Party candidate in the 1912 Presidential Election. Later, he would continue to rally against President Wilson and his decision to take American into war — and be jailed for it under the Espionage Act. ...

Once the United States entered the war, Debs was arrested for violating the Espionage Act after making what the district attorney of Canton, Ohio called an anti-war speech in 1918. Debs in fact only mentioned the war once, but under this repressive new law, was sentenced to ten years in a federal penitentiary. Nominated for a fifth time as the Socialist Party's presidential candidate in 1920, Debs campaigned from his jail cell and garnered over a million votes. Despite repeated pleas from Debs' supporters, President Wilson refused to release Debs from prison. President Harding finally ordered him set free on Christmas Day 1921

The NY Times reports that the size of the effort is unprecendented:
Jack Smith, the special counsel overseeing criminal investigations into former President Donald J. Trump, employs 40 to 60 career prosecutors, paralegals and support staff, augmented by a rotating cast of F.B.I. agents and technical specialists, according to people familiar with the situation.

In his first four months on the job, starting in November, Mr. Smith’s investigation incurred expenses of $9.2 million. That included $1.9 million to pay the U.S. Marshals Service to protect Mr. Smith, his family and other investigators who have faced threats after the former president and his allies singled them out on social media.

At this rate, the special counsel is on track to spend about $25 million a year. The main driver of all these efforts and their concurrent expenses is Mr. Trump’s own behavior — ...

Even the $25 million figure only begins to capture the full scale of the resources dedicated by federal, state and local officials to address Mr. Trump’s behavior before, during and after his presidency. While no comprehensive statistics are available, Justice Department officials have long said that the effort alone to prosecute the members of the pro-Trump mob who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, is the largest investigation in its history.

All of the charges are petty and inconsequential. Meanwhile Pres. Biden has taken us to war in Ukraine in order to protect corrupt officials who paid his family about $10 million in bribes.

1 comment:

CFT said...

Yes, by all means, let's back Russia into a corner with their apparently forgotten little biddy nuclear weapons. This sounds like a fantastic strategy to start World War III without a military capable of fighting it. Putin is desperate, and Joe is desperately senile, not a winning combo to pull a rabbit out of a hat.