Port: There will be no justice for Trump until his supporters care about what a creep he is

"Even if Trump is convicted in the criminal justice system, it's not going to matter in the political system until Trump's supporters care about the honesty and integrity of their candidate."

Donald Trump.jpg
President Trump stops to talk to members of the media as he walks to board Marine One and depart from the South Lawn of the White House in October 2018.
Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford

MINOT, N.D. — Remember Kathy Griffin?

She is the actor and comedian who got canceled after she shared, on social media, photos depicting herself holding up the decapitated head of Donald Trump. She was on a recent episode of Adam Carolla's podcast to talk about the scandal. One aspect of that folderol she discussed, something that I had forgotten about, is how those most outraged about the photo used Trump's son, Barron, as justification for their pique.

"How do you suppose this child feels about seeing a photo of his father murdered?" we were asked.

I was thinking about that today as I read through the myriad reactions to Trump's indictment, so much of which is focused on trees while missing the forest.

We don't yet know much about the charges. They're expected to focus on whether Donald Trump violated any business or campaign finance regulations when he paid off porn star Stormy Daniels so she wouldn't talk about their sexual liaison.


That's the trees.

The forest is that Donald Trump, according to Daniels, cheated on Barron Trump's mother, Melania. He used a golf magazine pictorial of himself, and the promise of an appearance on "The Apprentice," to ignite a listless tryst that, as Kevin Williamson put it , "had all of the impact of a Vienna sausage landing in a catcher’s mitt."

Then, when Trump was running for president, he paid money to the porn star so she wouldn't talk about it.

The Republican National Committee has released its criteria for presidential candidates to qualify for the first debate, in Milwaukee, on August 23. Can Burgum do it?
"Rick Becker, whose U.S. Senate campaign was rejected by Republicans in 2022, is now claiming to speak for Republicans against government loans and investment while not mentioning the ones he received."
Burgum is polling at 0%. Trump routinely leads the GOP's field of candidates by 30 points. The only way to change that is to get the disgraced former president's attention, Rob Port writes.

Trump denies the sex , but not the payoff, something he claims was necessary to stop Daniels' "false and extortionist accusations."

Now, how do you suppose poor Barron Trump feels about this?

Trump has disgraced himself, in this instance and numerous others, and yet there remain millions upon millions of voters ready and willing to line up and cast a ballot for him. How should the rest of us feel about that?

Barring some new information becoming public, I'm inclined to believe this prosecution is a canard.

Sen. John Hoeven released a terse, one-line statement on the indictment this morning that I think sums things up nicely: “Given that the DOJ and FEC declined to bring charges in this matter, the Manhattan DA’s case appears to be politically motivated.”


Yes, it sure does. Sen. Kevin Cramer, one of Trump's earliest supporters, is skeptical as well:

Bragg's charges are a dubious gambit. “It’s not a clean shot: Bragg is trying to bank in a half-court heave off the backboard after the shot clock buzzer has already sounded," writes Elie Mystal, who is not some right-wing Fox News pundit, but the justice correspondent for The Nation .

The paradox at the heart of this sorry state of affairs is that Alvin Bragg, the prosecutor who says he's out for justice, thinks he's going to bring down the disgraced former president with some picayune misdemeanors, inflated to felony status by a novel and untested legal theory , when Trump's political movement — which, ironically, consists of a whole lot of evangelical Christians — doesn't seem to mind that he paid hush money to a porn star to cover up an affair.

They don't care that he incited the more extreme and violent elements of his movement to attack Congress while they tried to certify the election. They don't care that he tried to bully Georgia election officials into undermining the will of voters in that state. They don't care that he's fleeced them for money on schemes ranging from Trump University to cartoonish NFTs of himself .

Trump and his supporters are thrilled by what is, even Trump's sharpest critics should admit, a politically motivated prosecution. “He is an OG. I mean he is a badass if he has a mug shot," Fox News commentator Greg Gutfeld said, reacting to the indictment. “I just think this is gonna make sure he’s gonna be on the ticket."

Who wants to argue that he's wrong?

"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK?" Trump once said during a speech in Iowa. "It's, like, incredible."

Those are the truest words Trump ever said.


Alvin Bragg can't bring justice to Donald Trump, because our political system is built on the assumption that most voters will care when their leaders disgrace themselves and hold them accountable. Even if Bragg gets a conviction in the criminal justice system — which, again, is a longshot — it's not going to matter in the political system until Trump's supporters care about the honesty and integrity of their candidate.

That doesn't seem likely to happen any time soon.

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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