Last week, the presumptive Republican nominee for President, Donald J. Trump, became the highest-profile victim of lawfare in the modern political era. 

Observers have since expressed that Texans are at risk, and the time for Texas to act is now.

Thursday’s outcome wasn’t surprising, but it was shocking, as evidenced by the tone and tenor of the response from the center-right compared to the left. Trump’s campaign received a windfall in support from brand-new donors. Biden did not reap a similar whirlwind.

Legal analysts from across the political spectrum took issue with Judge Juan Merchan’s actions during the trial, with many coming to the conclusion that he wasn’t primarily concerned with ensuring justice was served but securing a guilty verdict in service of derailing Trump’s presidential campaign.

Elie Honig, a former prosecutor turned legal analyst for CNN writing for the NY Magazine, called the case “an ill-conceived, unjustified mess.” He said prosecutors got their man “but contorted the law in an unprecedented manner in their quest to snare their prey.”

“​​In fact, no state prosecutor — in New York, or Wyoming, or anywhere — has ever charged federal election laws as a direct or predicate state crime against anyone for anything. None. Ever,” Honig added. 

Even Dan Abrams, ABC’s chief legal analyst, said Alvin Bragg should never have prosecuted the case.

Then there’s Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor and a Democrat, who covered the trial extensively and called it a “legal canned hunt.” During the proceedings, Turley repeatedly pointed out actions Merchan took as flying in the face of legal reason, precedent, and constitutional rigor, all serving, according to Turley, as grounds for overturning the conviction on appeal.

Texans agree. “We’re [seeing] the wild west weaponization of our justice system,” said San Antonio-based activist Matt Beebe. “We’ve seen New York change their law to extend the statute of limitation to get another crack at Trump based on the decades-old claims of a political partisan. We’ve seen convictions for alleged crimes with no victims, and now a conviction for an underlying crime that didn’t exist.”

Texas’ top three public servants echoed similar thoughts. Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Paxton posted resolute opposition to the verdict on social media. Patrick and Paxton both took time to attend the proceedings. 

In 2023, Paxton faced a politically motivated impeachment from the Texas House. The Texas Senate acquitted him. Reportedly, the FBI started investigating Paxton in November 2020. 

On May 30, 2024, in an interview with Steve Bannon, Paxton compared the FBI to the Gestapo. “We might as well be in Germany during the 30s and 40s. It is corrupt … They don’t follow any laws anymore. No one can stop them,” he said. “FBI was formed to go after organized crime. And the problem with that now is they are organized crime.” Paxton noted other attorneys general across the nation are too scared to act. The reason why is because of how the FBI targeted him. He said the taxpayer-funded federal agency should be dismantled. 

Attorney Tony McDonald confirmed to Texas Scorecard that the political persecution of both Trump and Paxton represents an escalation in lawfare. 

The outcry of Texas’ top three elected officials might be called predictable partisanship. However, Democrats, Independents, and previous Never-Trumpers alike posted numerous expressions of disgust. Pollster Rich Baris observed on May 31, 2024, that individuals who once opposed Trump have switched teams since the verdict.

Their observations seemed to concur with Honig’s when he analogized it to Frankenstein and the contortion of law for the weaponization of the legal system.

These types of abuse aren’t unique to the 2024 Republican standard-bearer. They have been a feature of the Biden regime and its surrogates in other American states.

Ultimately, last week’s ruling and the myriad proceedings being taken up against Republicans are leading to the degradation of our national institutions. That was the analysis shared by the Republican nominee for Texas House District 65, Mitch Little. 

“I think what we’re seeing is an erosion of public confidence in institutions generally,” he told Texas Scorecard. “Unfortunately, where this is ultimately headed is a breakdown in comity between states in the United States, which imperils the union.”

He added that if Texans can’t trust that other states are going to deal equitably with Texans, the social contract is in serious jeopardy of being broken. 

“Why should Texas recognize New York judgments or Washington judgments when what we call due process is being denied American citizens in those states?” Little asked. “Why should Texas recognize New York warrants or rulings if we cannot have confidence that the rule of law is being applied with rigor there?”

Evidence abounds that patently political persecutions are a feature of politics today. The trumped-up conviction of the former president is not an outlier. Investigative reporter Julie Kelly has covered abuses by the D.C. court against peaceful protestors for the past three years.

These aren’t the only patently political persecutions of today. The next exhibit is the case of John Eastman, who pleaded not guilty in early May to allegedly participating in a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election results in Arizona.

This case appears to hinge on rebranding alternate electors into “fake electors.” Notably, Democrats, including Van Jones, who advocated for having alternate electors in the past. This isn’t the only venue in which this legal abomination is on offer.

Questioning the election and providing for an alternate outcome, should the results have been ultimately invalidated by a court, is unacceptable to the establishment in the federal government and certain states. These legal actions and recent announcements by the U.S. Department of Justice’s election division seem to be aimed at silencing Americans concerned about election integrity. The cost of speaking out appears to be an unjust trial and imprisonment. 

This is the same Justice Department that has been asked to force the recusal of Supreme Court Justices in the case of political prisoners and presidential immunity based on what flags were flying outside of their homes. Rainbows and trans-unicorns are acceptable to the lynch mob, an appeal to heaven is not.

“It’s funny that we had a recent public uproar over Alito’s ‘Appeal to Heaven’ flag. I can’t think of a more appropriate time to have the discussion,” Mitch Little said. He then quoted John Locke, a philosopher influential in America’s birth. “And where the Body of the People, or any single Man, is deprived of their Right, or is under the Exercise of a power without right, and have no Appeal on Earth, there they have a liberty to appeal to Heaven, whenever they judge the Cause of sufficient moment.”

The D.C.-aligned establishments in other states have tried to stretch their arms into Texas. 

On May 16, 2024, Gov. Abbott pardoned Army Sgt. Daniel Perry. Perry had defended himself against a gun-toting Black Lives Matter protester in July 2020. Perry was prosecuted, like President Trump, by a George Soros-backed District Attorney. The week of May 27, 2024, it was reported that multiple Democrat attorneys general across the nation had asked the DOJ to open an investigation into Perry.

This points to Mitch Little’s assertion about the contested Trump conviction. “What happened to President Trump in New York is, for many, emblematic of a justice system that has been captured for political purposes and is now taking prisoners.” 

Across the nation, hostile environments to citizens have grown. Matt Beebe wants the state’s public servants to act. “These bells can’t be unrung, and if lawmakers won’t return like-for-like, they must at the very least move to protect Texans from similar fates in far-off courts.”

Attorney McDonald believes we have reached a tipping point. “The abuse of the legal process in New York state shows why Texas must not assume that foreign legal proceedings are legitimate,” he warned. 

What defenses then can our public servants raise to protect Texans? 

“Our tools are limited,” McDonald stated. “But to protect Texas sovereignty, Governor Abbott should resist knee-jerk granting of extradition requests.”

It is clear that Americans are in a unique time. Matters are normal no more. Mitch Little believes “misguided federal actors” threaten all Texans. 

Citizens have seen politically motivated judges & prosecutors warp statutes, lawmakers remove protections to target disfavored individuals retroactively, and executives selectively ignore the plain text of the law they’re sworn to uphold.

How will Texas’ public servants respond? 

Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is the Director of Innovation for Texas Scorecard.