Why Republicans Don’t Abandon ‘Felon’ Trump

They see the Democrats’ political use of the justice system as a more serious threat to democracy.

(Originally published by the Wall Street Journal on June 20, 2024)

Faculty Publications 32
Stanford Law Professor Michael McConnell

Most Democrats I know have persuaded themselves of the righteousness of criminally prosecuting Donald Trump to keep him from becoming president again. How, they ask, can any respectable person defend Mr. Trump now that he is a felon?

Many Republicans who have never been Trump supporters—who are disgusted by his personal immorality, appalled by his inflammatory and often uninformed rhetoric, and unconvinced by his claims that the 2020 election was stolen—believe that Democratic prosecutors are waging lawfare against Mr. Trump. Many Republicans who condemned his part in the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol and thought he should have been impeached and convicted for it now consider the legal crusade against Mr. Trump to be as threatening to democracy as what happened that day. Democrats need to understand why.

(Continue reading the opinion essay on the Wall Street Journal‘s page here.)