Trump’s Arrest, Ron’s Response, and Raheem’s Rant
On Wednesday, October 20, 2021, former President Donald Trump and his close associates faced a major legal setback as a grand jury indicted the Trump Organization, its CFO Allen Weisselberg, and a property manager on charges of tax fraud, conspiracy, and a scheme to defraud. The indictment alleges that the company and its leaders engaged in a long-running criminal enterprise to evade taxes on compensation and other payments, such as rent-free apartments, car leases, and private school tuition, to Weisselberg and other employees.
While the indictment does not name Trump directly, it implicates him as a key player in the alleged scheme, and raises the possibility of further legal action that could target his personal finances and potential liabilities. The indictment also poses political risks for Trump, who has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and dismissed the probes as politically motivated attacks by his opponents.
One of Trump’s loyal defenders, Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida who is widely expected to run for president in 2024, offered a cautious response to the news. In a brief statement, DeSantis said that he hoped the legal proceedings would be fair and unbiased, but stressed that the Trump Organization was not part of his administration or his state. DeSantis also avoided any direct criticism or support for Trump, whom he has praised in the past as a strong leader and defender of conservative values.
Another vocal supporter of Trump, Raheem Kassam, a British author and commentator who hosts a podcast on Substack, reacted to the news with a scathing and profanity-laden rant that accused the Justice Department and the media of waging a war against Trump and his supporters. Kassam called the indictment a “total sham” and a “bullshit” attempt to destroy Trump and his legacy, and warned that the “Dems are going for a coup right now” by targeting Weisselberg and other Trump loyalists.
Kassam also mocked DeSantis for his cautious response, saying that he was “not impressed” by the governor’s “dickless” statement, and that he expected more from a potential leader of the free world. Kassam called on DeSantis and other Republicans to “grow some balls” and defend Trump against what he called a “politically-motivated witch hunt.”
The contrasting reactions of DeSantis and Kassam reflect a broader divide within the Republican Party and the conservative movement over how to handle the legacy and future of Trump. While some Republicans have distanced themselves from Trump and his controversial rhetoric and actions, others have embraced him as a populist champion of working-class Americans and a bulwark against progressive socialism.
The unfolding legal saga of the Trump Organization and its leaders also raises questions about the limits of executive power, the role of corporate influence in politics, and the sustainability of the current political polarization and partisan tribalism that has engulfed American democracy. As the legal battles and political debates rage on, the fate of Trump and his place in history remain uncertain and contested.