Continuing his recent radio tour across our Republic discussing the recent federal indictment of former President Trump, President John Pudner visited Dallas, Texas, deep in the heart of the lone star state, to not only discuss the indictment itself, Special Prosecutor Jack Smith, and analyze possible outcomes from the case. More specifically, both he and host Ernie Brown discuss how a trial could cause a constitutional crisis, calling back to the decision by Richard Nixon following the 1960 election to not pursue a case on how it was potentially stolen from him, citing the damage and constitutional crisis it would create, and how that same decision now lies in the hands of prosecutors and the jury in Miami, FL.
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The following transcript from this interview is presented in its entirety with minor edits:
law, Biden, Trump, indictment, prosecutor, constitutional crisis, damage, justice system.
Ernie Brown and TBOR Action President John Pudner.
Ernie Brown 00:00
We welcome to the program this morning, John Pudner, who is the President of Take Back Our Republic Action and was a Bush 2000 aide. John, thanks for coming on today.
John Pudner 00:09
Thanks for having me on.
Ernie Brown 00:10
Well, I know that former President Trump has been talking about this federal indictment as election interference. A lot of people forget he's running for president again, but this is the current president bringing charges against the former president, and a political opponent.
John Pudner 00:25
This is, and I think that's the danger, so so many see the precedent that's being set, and it's interesting, everyone seemed to agree that these various indictments would help President Trump become the nominee, but there was a disagreement over whether or not it would hurt him in the general election. Saw an interesting line I think your listeners would want to see, "Even if Biden is able to skirt political harm as a result of Trump's federal indictment, trust in the justice system could ebb even further...". That was from Nate Silver's website recently, so not exactly a conservative source, and pointing to what we all say, is there a greater danger in the precedent this is setting, politically, than anything in the indictment?
Ernie Brown 01:08
What I heard somebody discuss the other day is that they should offer Trump a pardon at this point, although he hasn't been convicted of anything, and taking it would be like an admission of guilt, but offering him a pardon would just kind of throw all this out the window and we can all move on.
John Pudner 01:24
That's right. It is interesting. It's not someone writing and urging Biden to do this and not drag the country through this. The prosecutor, Jack Smith, I think you just have to start there. He worked very hard to get a prison sentence for a Republican governor of Virginia. Now, obviously, there have been some governors, let's just say in Illinois and places like that, who deserve prison sentences, but the Virginia one was such a stretch to go after a governor that overtly, that he pulled off the rare accomplishment of having all nine US Supreme Court justices vote the same to overturn him. And, one of the liberals, Breyer, even said of this prosecutor, now this was over the governor's case, "To give that kind of power to a criminal prosecutor, who is virtually uncontrollable, is dangerous to the separation of powers sense." So, this is the prosecutor they got for this case coming off that 9-0 decision against him and the Supreme Court on the governor's case.
Ernie Brown 02:26
You know, the sad truth is, that's probably why they picked him.
John Pudner 02:29
Yes, exactly, I think you hit right in the head. That's the problem. To have him get up and say that this is all about equal enforcement, and that everyone is treated the same, and then to see, almost by the fact that he's there, would beg the question if everyone's the same. You pick someone who was willing to go this far, beyond what any of nine Supreme Court justices thought was within the boundaries, to get a governor thrown in prison, and now you're saying this is the same criteria any of us would have? I think that's a hard sell.
John Puder is the President of Take Back Our Republic Action. I'd like to go back to 2000 when you were part of the Bush 2000 entourage. What is the difference between politics now and 23 years later? It seems like the politics of now have nothing to do with America, the betterment of America rather, it's just a fight between two political parties. So, what's the difference?
John Pudner 03:36
Boy, yes, the perfect question. When I finished up running campaigns in 2014, I had been doing it for a few decades, and I said, "Yeah, I want to get out of campaigns because, most of my years doing this, we weren't trying to throw each other in jail." That was just an offhand comment I made to a bunch of people in 2014, but that was the trend I saw. And, this is it. It's not about winning the election for any people. If you've convinced yourself that the other side is so terrible to the future of the country, as obviously many who don't like Trump have done, then it does get down to the ends justify any means, and that's a scary place for the country to be.
Ernie Brown 04:15
What do you think the chances of this actually going to trial are?
John Pudner 04:19
Well, it looks like there's a real chance in Florida, and let's say this. If, at the end of the day, 12 Jurors unanimously say there was criminal damage, okay, then maybe at that point, we say, "Well, this was a more compelling case than we thought at the beginning. Yeah, trust the system." I don't think people understand that it doesn't take that many people on a grand jury to get to the stage we're at - that part's pretty easy. Do we really think 12 Jurors are gonna decide this was criminal? I don't know. That seems tough to me, and hopefully, the fact that the system is set up that way, makes for some rational discussion on whether or not they do proceed and how much this does damage the country.
Ernie Brown 05:07
That is the biggest concern, I think, through all of this, is what kind of damage is this going to actually cause the country if we lose more faith in the justice system than perhaps we already have? I don't know where you go from there. We don't have any foundation for safety anymore, if you will.
John Pudner 05:26
And I do think another Nate Silver study they did - I want to quote someone left of center here who follows the numbers - pointed out that, even in President Obama's second term, 59% of Republicans said the FBI was doing an excellent job. That's 29% now. To have that biggest segment of the country believe that we don't have a just system of justice in this country, that's scary. I'll use one analogy. My mentor was actually Lyndon Johnson's Press Secretary - a little Texas connection there - and the one thing he said he actually really liked about Richard Nixon is he said, "Look, Illinois probably was stolen from him." I remember that shocking me to say that the 1960 election was stolen, and he said, "Nixon decided not to follow that because he thought the damage to the country would be so much greater and caused a constitutional crisis. That was even more important to him than him being declared president." And it makes an analogy jumping ahead this far that they've made the opposite decision here - that this is more important than the constitutional crisis it can cause the country.
Ernie Brown 06:34
Especially when you consider you have people on the other side of the aisle who have done similar, if not worse, things.
John Pudner 06:42
Yes, and back to the equal application of the law, there weren't many scandals on President Obama on the kind of stuff you've seen with Biden, so this isn't just saying everyone on the other side is doing the same thing, but, my gosh, the Biden family, to have this be the counter-example right now, and the questions about why aren't things being pursued, I think it's dangerous.
Ernie Brown 07:08
John Pudner is the President of Take Back Our Republic Action, and we're glad to have you on, John.