Ukraine Admits Russian Bakhmut Gains, China Rejects EU Pressure; Indictment Strengthens Trump, Divides US
Alexander Mercouris
The Duran (March 31, 2023)

[partial Video Transcript]

. . .
Alexander Mercouris: “I will begin this program with a topic different than the topic of Ukraine. This is the indictment of the former U.S. President Donald Trump by a grand jury in the state of New York on a referral from a district attorney of the State of New York. Now I have to say that I find this yet a further example of the extent to which the personality of Donald Trump continues to dominate the American political imagination, or at least the political imagination of the U.S. political class in a way and to an extent that I find absolutely disproportionate, completely disproportionate and entirely unbalanced.”
    “Briefly, I understand that Donald Trump is a polarizing figure. He has his critics. He has his opponents. I have to say, based on the record of his presidency, the actual things which he did while he was president, I cannot find in any of his actions any of the things that people attribute to him in terms of extreme right-wing beliefs, threats to the Constitution, threats to the democratic order of the United States, any of that. But it seems that there are some people in the United States who cannot let Donald Trump -- or perhaps shall we say, the legend that they have created around Donald Trump – go.”
    “And so, two impeachments later – two failed impeachments later (one of them brought against Donald Trump after he had ceased to be president of the United States, at least the trial took place after he was already ceased to be President of the United States) – something I still find extraordinary. Two failed impeachments later following a massive investigation seeking to prove that he was in some way connected with the Russian government, that he had cheated the election, cheated himself his way to victory in the 2016 election with the assistance of the Russian government. That turned out not to be true either. After multiple allegations of obstruction of justice, corruption, insurrection, you name it, a district attorney of the State of New York -- who, to my mind clearly is someone with political ambitions -- has now come up with this extraordinary indictment accusing the former President of the United States of making hush-money payments to, well, specifically Stormy Daniels, a former Playmate, and I believe one other woman, an allegation that has been known about for years, which was investigated by the justice department with the conclusion that there was no case to answer which is normally treated in the United States as a misdemeanor which to my knowledge has happened many times in the United States in the political system before, and which any crime, anyway, appears to fall outside the statute of limitations of limitations. In other words, it is technically time-barred.”
    “I do not understand who benefits from this. I have already seen a rallying of support around Donald Trump on the part of Republicans. Perhaps that’s the intention. Perhaps that’s the plan. To make Donald Trump once again the Republican candidate for the presidency and the expectation that any Democrat, even President Biden would win against him. If so, I would say that was an extremely bad plan. It is, by the way, a plan which I have heard some Democrats already had back in 2015-2016. Apparently there were some Democrats who actually encouraged Donald Trump to stand for the Republican nomination for the 2016 election in the expectation that he would lose. Except, of course, it turned out otherwise. And for all I know, the same thing will happen all over again.”
    “Well, putting all that aside, I think this is a totally misconceived prosecution. I don’t think there’s any fundamental legal basis, at least none that I can understand. I think it will divide America ever further. It will mean that instead of people talking about the serious issues that are mounting around the United States, the fact that, for example, the process of de-dollarization appears to be accelerating with South Africa apparently making moves to that effect; Kenya now talking about paying for oil in its own currency; Saudi Arabia joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a candidate member and, apparently, planning to join the BRICS. While all that is going on, the United States is going to be talking about whether Donald Trump paid hush-money to Stormy Daniels, whether he did that on the advice of his lawyer or not; what role the lawyer had; and whether all of this violates the law.”
    “It seems to me a bizarre waste of time and, as I said, all it’s going to achieve is to divide the United States further. I’m also going to guess that it’s going to intensify moves from the Republican side to press their own investigations of the President and his family, specifically of his son. And I’m going to say, again for the record, that I suspect that these are much more substantive allegations against the President’s son, at least, than those which have just been made against Donald Trump. Anyway, we’re going to be in a very, very hot political season in the United States. A prosecution that the United States doesn’t need at this time. An openly, overtly political prosecution that’s going to intensify divisions within the United States at a time of political crisis.”

[Note* the Pied Piper strategy of 2016 alluded to, although not by name]

[7:37] “let’s move on . . . Ukraine at the epicenter of a World Crisis