Continuing his latest radio tour across our Republic, President John Pudner made a visit to Columbus, Ohio, the heart of the Buckeye state, to discuss the implications of former President Trump's federal indictment. In particular, both discuss how this case will undoubtedly affect the already-waning public confidence in our justice system.
Even in 2012, following Eric Holder's controversial tenure as Attorney General, 59% of Republicans thought that institutions such as the FBI were doing an excellent job. Now, that number is 29% according to a recent AP/Gallup poll, and as Sen. Marco Rubio mentioned on this case, it now comes down to a cost-benefit analysis for both prosecutors and the jury. If the charges are real and provable, are they truly more dangerous than further destroying confidence in the justice system and setting the potential precedent of an administration going after its chief contender?
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The following transcript from this interview is presented in its entirety with minor edits:
prosecutor, indictment, Biden, Trump, law, election, polls, nominee.
Bob Randolph and TBOR Action President John Pudner.
Bob Randolph 00:00
Welcome in right now, John Pudner. John is a former Bush aide in 2000 and he's also the President of Take Back Our Republic Action. John. Good morning. Glad to have you here.
John Pudner 00:11
Thanks for having me on!
Bob Randolph 00:13
So, do me a favor, just so we can kind of get a little background on you, because you've got a lot of stuff going on and I was looking up Take Back Our Republic Action. Tell us a little bit about it and a little bit about your background.
John Pudner 00:23
I ran Republican state legislative takeovers in three different states before running Bush 2000's faith-based effort around the country, including in Ohio back when you used to be the swing state, it's gone pretty red now, but we formed Take Back Our Republic Action to stop some of the corruption on election rule issues we saw, so I left from 25 years of campaigning to work on the rules of elections versus elections themselves.
Bob Randolph 00:52
All right, well, fantastic. You've got kind of a unique perspective on what's going on right now, especially with former President Trump. The federal indictment, he obviously has called a sham and election interference, and has pled not guilty to those 37 counts, so kind of give us your take on what you see happening to President Trump at this point.
John Pudner 01:13
I think the biggest problem starts with the prosecutor himself, Jack Smith. This is a prosecutor who was so aggressive at getting a Republican governor of Virginia, Bob McDonald, sentenced to two years in prison, that he pulled up the rear feat of being overturned unanimously by the US Supreme Court. I mean, think of that, a 9-0 decision saying he was so out of hand in that case. And, not only was a 9-0 turnover, thankfully so that Bob McDonald is not doing prison time, but Justice Stephen Breyer liberal said of him, "To give that kind of power to a criminal prosecutor who is virtually uncontrollable, is dangerous to the separation of powers stance." So, this is the prosecutor you're dealing with. I think we have to start right there.
Bob Randolph 02:04
And I watched Jack Smith when the indictment had been released, and he came out and said, "We are going to enforce the laws. We're going to enforce them equally." That kind of really grabbed me. I liked what he said, but I don't know that he means it.
John Pudner 02:21
No, I agree. That's a great statement. I think we'd all agree with it in theory. He said something no one would disagree with. I think that's where you get down to this argument over if the law being equally enforced. I mean, what he's trying to span is, "Well, this is it. No one's above the law", but the question, though, is, if a prosecutor, or a part of the Justice Department, is completely focused on finding a criminal intent based on the person, well, then that's not equal enforcement of the law. There's an old saying, "Referees don't need to call everything they see, but you need to see everything you call", and a little bit of that applies here. If you're gonna focus on one person in particular, and find a crime for that person, well, there'd be a lot of people indicted on things. I think there are some serious charges here, but the idea of this is equal enforcement or what other officials not named Trump would get, I think that's a stretch.
Bob Randolph 03:18
We're speaking with John Pudner, who is President of Take Back Our Republic Action and also a former aide to President Bush back in 2000, and we're talking about the indictment of former President Trump. What you said there, the equal application of the law, and I think that's where a lot of people are seeing this, because polls are showing that a lot of folks believe that this is strictly political. Regardless of the law that's being put into play here, they're seeing it as a political enforcement versus a judicial enforcement.
John Pudner 03:52
Yes, the 57% was one of the best talked about polls, and it was for the AP, not some right-wing poll, and it's interesting, because there was a recent piece talking about the concern that this would erode, permanently, confidence in these institutions - Justice Department, FBI, etc. And, it outlined that even during President Obama's second term, 59% of Republicans thought the FBI was doing an excellent job, and it's 29% now. That's scary, and this alarm bell is being sounded on what this does to confidence in the system, and this was in a Nate Silver piece, not some conservative source. I think Rubio summed it up pretty well actually, saying, "This is all a cost-benefit analysis. Are the charges they have of him more dangerous than this precedent of a president administration going after their chief contender for political office? I think, many would argue, the ladder is the more dangerous precedent.
Bob Randolph 05:03
Yeah, I would agree in that case, but this has certainly done wonders for President Trump's fundraising, hasn't it?
John Pudner 05:11
It's the fundraising, and I was saying even months ago, everyone agreed that this action, all these efforts, would increase his chances of being the nominee. The difference of opinion several months ago was would it make him more likely to win the election and I think that part's very much up in the air. I mean, Democrats thought this would make him the nominee and make him unelectable in the general, but I'm not so sure so far.