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Fitzpatrick should have left Biden out of Trump indictment comment


Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick has broken his long habit of silence related to anything to do with Donald Trump and has issued a statement about the former president’s 37 felony-count indictment. Fitzpatrick’s statement has an aura of thoughtful moderation, but, when subjected to even basic analysis, it just does not fly. It does not pass the smell test.

The 49-page Trump indictment is written in plain English and reads more like a dramatic newspaper report than a dry legal document. It becomes clear immediately — as in the first three pages — that Trump’s actions broke the law.

Without reading the document, many Republicans exclaimed that Trump’s indictment proves that the Department of Justice has been “weaponized.” Arizona Republican Congressman Andy Biggs tweeted about preparing for the “war phase.” As a result, Fitzpatrick has plenty of room to appear moderate.

After beginning his statement by reiterating the basic precepts of the U.S. justice system, he immediately places Joe Biden and Donald Trump in the same category of having classified government documents in their possession. This is like putting someone who goes 18 mph through a 15 mph school zone in the same category with someone who goes 95 mph through the same zone.

A reasonable statement from Congressman Fitzpatrick would have simply said that calm voices need to be heard across this nation and that Donald Trump is innocent until proven guilty. He might even have included a note of support for the FBI, an agency where he spent over a decade of his life. Instead, his statement goes off the rails by positing that we have to wait to see if the basic precepts of our justice system “have been honored or violated.” Baloney.

Trump was investigated thoroughly, indicted justifiably and now will be given plenty of time to prepare a defense and work to win an acquittal. There is no “waiting to learn” if our precepts of justice have been violated. We have already seen our proper justice system in action. And now it will be up to a jury to decide — as it is in the final critical step in any prosecution.

Congressman Fitzpatrick would not have to look far within his own party for a statement that reflected an appropriate level of respect for our nation’s law enforcement and the rule of law. His fellow Problem Solver, Republican Rep. Don Bacon, of Nebraska, was able to do just that. And Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, of Utah, also issued a simple reaction to these indictments without making false equivalencies.

Tom Taft lives in Chalfont.

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