In a recent statement, Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin voiced his concerns about the federal indictment of former President Donald Trump, suggesting that Trump was a victim of selective prosecution and highlighting a supposed "two-tiered justice system."
Youngkin's comments came in response to Trump's indictment on Espionage Act charges related to mishandling classified documents. Youngkin, along with other Trump-supporting Republicans, claimed that Trump was being unfairly targeted while others engaged in similar lawbreaking activities without repercussions.
However, comedian and commentator Jon Stewart countered Youngkin's argument by emphasizing Trump's history of leveraging privilege and wealth to evade legal consequences.
Stewart acknowledges that yes there is in fact a "two-tiered" system of justice at work in Trump's case, but not in the way Youngkin thinks.
You can hear what Stewart said below.
Speaking on his AppleTV+ show The Problem With Jon Stewart, Stewart said:
“Trump has used privilege and wealth to protect himself from legal accountability at every turn. He has lived his entire adult life in the space twixt illegal and unethical. He’s in the tier where you get the platinum arraignment package."
"No cuffs, no mugshot, all-you-can-eat fingerprint, ink. You think regular people get to surround themselves with a meat shield of henchmen to go to prison in their place?"
"But if you really want to know what tier Donald Trump is in, let’s look at an actual fraud we know he was guilty of. He used his own charitable foundation like a piggy bank or as it’s sometimes known: embezzlement."
Stewart also delved into the New York state attorney general's civil lawsuit against Trump's now-defunct charitable organization, which resulted in a $2 million settlement. The comedian sarcastically remarked on the notion of selective prosecution, highlighting that individuals in the privileged tier could seemingly act with impunity and even attain the highest office in the land.
“He stole from his own charitable foundation. How much more could… what did he also nut-punch a priest?”
"How are non-Trumps punished for something like that? Well, some get two years in jail. Some get five years in jail. Some get ten years in jail for stealing from charitable donations."
"But what happened to this selfless, shield of the working man? Well, he agreed to shut down his charity piggy bank and paid a $2 million settlement. Or on your Trump conversion chart, 15 to 16 porn star hushings."
"He wasn’t even charged with a crime. So when people say this, ‘selective prosecution and it’s wrong. ‘Selective prosecution on steroids.’
"If his name was John Smith, he’d be in jail already."
"It’s all selective prosecution. And when you’re in the good tier, you can do whatever you want, and you’re probably going to be fine. In fact, you might even be elected president, twice."
Many praised Stewart's assessment while offering their own criticisms of Trump.
Prominent Republicans have taken to the airwaves to undermine Trump's indictment and suggest he is the victim of a political smear campaign.
Far-right provocateur Ben Shapiro was criticized earlier this week for saying only Republicans should "prosecute Republicans," taking an extreme stance by advocating for an impractical arrangement where the Department of Justice (DOJ) solely targets and brings charges against individuals affiliated with the president's own political party.
Shapiro acknowledged the charges against Trump are "strong" but nonetheless suggested the DOJ will never have credibility unless it allows Republicans to "prosecute Republicans" and Democrats to "prosecute Democrats."
Shapiro, who made the remarks during an episode of his show on The Daily Wire, insisted there is a "double standard" at work, joining the chorus of Republicans who've insisted the charges against Trump are politically motivated.