This week, former Fox News correspondent Tucker Carlson posted a deadly serious interview with constitutional scholar Victor Davis Hanson, and sparks flew. If you tend to get anxious when hearing serious people talk about how deep we all are in the tomato soup, then you might want to skip the video clip, which is on the long side anyway. If so, don’t worry, I have some comments below to give you the gist.

The two men framed their discussion around the first day yesterday in Trump’s trial in the New York “Business Fraud” Case. It was presided over by Judge Engoran, who last week issued a remarkable summary judgment order finding that, as a matter of law, Trump committed fraud by “overstating” the value of his very-difficult-to-estimate real estate properties on financial documents Trump used to obtain bank loans.

Loans that were all paid back, on time, with interest. Imagine that you wanted to borrow $100 to buy supplies for your MAGA hat stand. I ask, “how’s business?” You say it’s great. Then I give you the $100, and a few days later you pay me back $120, just as agreed. I go away. Now the State of New York comes along and says, hey, when you said business was “great,” it wasn’t really “great,” it was only “okay.” You lied. Now we’re going to take your house.

That’s a simplification, but not an exaggeration. One of our democratic republic’s essential concepts is that the government can’t just take citizens’ property, not without proving a great reason or without paying just compensation. Governments only snatch people’s property and businesses in dystopian communist hellholes like Venezuela or Cuba, where private property always somehow finds its way into some pugnacious dictator’s grasping, bloody hands.

Under long-standing New York and common Law, “fraud” is normally found when the state proves four things: (1) the defendant knowingly made a false representation, (2) to a victim who relied on the false representation, (3) the defendant intended the victim to rely on the false representation, and (4) because of that reliance, the victim was injured.

But the State of New York, applying an obscure, patently-unconstitutional statute that’s never been applied this way before, has stripped out all those common-law elements of proof of fraud except for the very first one: the false representation. I guess they had to keep at least one, and they picked the easiest to prove. It’s easiest to prove because all the the judge had to do were some back-of-the-napkin calculations and then say, yep, it was a false representation.

New York has jettisoned the four other fraud elements of: a victim, reliance, intent to deceive, and injury. Even if the property values were misrepresented on Trump’s financials, whatever that means, by itself that is not fraud, and people should stop calling it that. Trump is being tried for only “lying” or “exaggerating.” And if that’s the standard, Katie bar the door.

In other words, if the government decides Trump lied or exaggerated, he loses. Period, end of story. Welcome to Venezuela, comrade. And no, you can’t also convict Joe Biden for lying. Why not? Because Judge Engoran will just decide Biden didn’t lie, silly. The judge is the gatekeeper who decides who lied and who didn’t.

Yesterday I saw some ignorant commentary from leftists arguing that, maybe there wasn’t a specific victim, but everyone collectively is the “victim,” because Trump’s misrepresentations will inevitably increase everyone else’s loan interest rates, or their insurance premiums, or something. But that’s just woke claptrap, of course, because Trump paid the loans back with interest, causing the banks and insurance companies to be even more profitable, which has the exact opposite effect as the silly leftists claimed.

Liars who they DON’T care about. (Not including the video game player.)

Getting back to Tucker. The interview — which was framed around Trump’s first day in court — was much broader than that and remarkable in several ways. With Hanson in full agreement, Tucker soberly described our current political situation as a revolution in progress, a unique, defining moment in American history, an ultimate inflection point hurtling toward either salvation and redemption or complete destruction and dystopia.

I was shocked awake when, toward the beginning of the clip, Tucker even asked Hanson, “at what point do Americans take up arms?” Hanson said Americans have been sleeping through the revolution, or mistakenly living in a cheerful fantasy that they can just stop paying attention to Hollywood and the NBA, cut cable, and move to a red state to escape the woke federal government’s grasping tentacles. Hanson said it won’t work. It’s just delaying the inevitable. While VDH didn’t bite on “taking up arms,” not quite, he repeatedly said Americans have to do “everything possible” to stop it.

Here’s how Hanson ended his comments, which gives you the idea:

“Government can (now) go into a business — all of the business — and appropriate it, and destroy it, without cause. (They) think that’s not only good, but funny… ha ha. The idea is: we now have the power to do this. And because we have the power to do it, it’s moral and right, and if you don’t like it, what are you going to do about it?

And what ARE we going to do about it?

The only thing I can think of is, we’re going to have to humiliate and defeat these people at the polls. You’re going to have to have a 55% supermajority win to get anything done.

We’ve been complacent and culpable for allowing (the leftist spirit to take over our institutions). Now everybody according to their station is gonna have to say, you know what, there are TWO pronouns. I don’t care if you get angry. The date of this country is 1776. Got it? That’s what it is. And there is a border and we’re going to enforce it. And just say NO to all of these things and then welcome the opprobrium and the attacks that accrue accordingly, and welcome that as a badge of honor.

Because what’s the alternative? There is no alternative.”

I was on the fence about reporting Tucker’s interview, because while I do agree we need to do “everything possible” — that’s what I am doing, taking a vast amount of time from my successful law practice to scribble thoughts down for everyone every day — I do agree with that part, but I don’t necessarily agree with the dark hints of pessimism infusing the interview.

Why not? For starters, because of American ingenuity. Self-reliance. Faith. Courage. Competitiveness. While these values have been scarred with marxist acid, blurred by government funding our enemies, and defamed as racist and patriarchal, they have never been destroyed. They still lie at the resolute heart of American culture. No Superman, no false Messiah, will appear from the clouds to save us. We don’t need Superman. We’re going to save ourselves.

The left is going to regret this Trump lawsuit. You’ll see.

Jeff Childers

Jeff Childers is the president and founder of the Childers Law firm. Jeff interned at the Federal Bankruptcy Court in Orlando, where he helped write several widely-cited opinions. He then worked as an associate with the prestigious firm of Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman in Orlando and Winter Park, Florida before moving back to Gainesville and founding Childers Law. Jeff served for three years on the Board of Directors of the Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Eighth Judicial Bar Association, and on the Rules Committee for the Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Court. Jeff has published several articles as co-author with Professor William Page of the Levin College of Law (University of Florida) on the topic of anti-trust in the Microsoft case. He also is the author of an article on the topic of Product Liability in the Software Context. Jeff focuses his area of practice on commercial litigation, elections law, and constitutional issues. He is a skilled trial litigator and appellate advocate.

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