Independent journalist Matt Taibbi, most recently in the news for his series of "Twitter Report" stories, slammed the documents-related indictment of former President Donald Trump as being like something seen in a "third-world" country and called the move "extreme."
"I'm obviously not a fan of Donald Trump," Taibbi said in an interview with Chris Cuomo on NewsNation on Thursday. "I wrote a book about the guy called 'Insane Clown President.'
"But my feeling is if you're going to take the very extreme step of indicting somebody who's the likely nominee of the opposition party, the charges to me have to be extremely serious and it has to be an air-tight case."
Taibbi added that he thinks the indictment against Trump in the document case, and the one in New York City related to hush money paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, "fail on both of those points."
Cuomo also said that when a swing is taken at Trump, it "seems to be at or below a level of anything that would be impressive to people," adding that the "optics are terrible" in this case.
"If you are a person who grew up in a third-world country, you would recognize this kind of thing as something that happens in a not-entirely free society," Taibbi said. "You also have to consider [former President] Barack Obama, who I voted for twice, who set the record for the use of the Espionage Act against leakers. There's the case involving Julian Assange, which a lot of people think was an abuse of power, that's an Espionage Act case."
The case against Trump "has a whiff of that," Taibbi said.
"It's the kind of thing where it's an extremely serious felony that can put somebody away for a lot of years that really to the average person looks like it's kind of a technicality," he added. "I just don't see how it's going to come down to their benefit in an election year."
Taibbi noted that there has been a great deal of attention being given to the House weaponization of government committee, and said he's had a "couple of weird incidents involving the IRS" as well as a member of a congressional committee threatening him with jail "over this typo."
"These things look like abuses of power and they make me think twice about my entire impression of the government," Taibbi said.
The solution, Taibbi said, lies in transparency, and in the case of Trump, the matter being used as a reason for criminal charges must be something the ordinary voter can recognize as a reason to hold a trial.
But in the New York case and the one in Florida with the documents, "it's just not the same kind of thing," Taibbi said.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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