GOP Rep. Ken Buck has a well-earned reputation for making what he thinks is the greatest argument ever on a given issue, oblivious to the fact that everyone in the room including most of his allies are cringing in dismay. 2023 so far has borne this reputation out with several high-profile cable news gaffes, claiming to CNN reporter Phil Mattingly in March that AR-15 assault rifles “are not a danger to anybody.” This was followed by Buck trashing a New York grand jury’s indictment of Donald Trump to CNN’s Jim Acosta…until Acosta pointed out that prosecutors like Buck are supposed to have respect for the grand jury process.
Perhaps the biggest unintended boost Buck gave to Democrats was during the runup to Trump’s first impeachment trial, in which Buck established for the record that Trump could be prosecuted for his actions as President after leaving office. With one criminal case pending and more investigations reportedly on the cusp of charges, that’s an observation that Buck has surely come to regret.
Yesterday on CNN, Buck struck again with what could be the greatest Buckism of all time. Instead of trashing fellow prosecutors, Buck has stopped worrying and learned to love Trump’s investigations!
DANA BASH: Wouldn’t Republicans be better off with a candidate who is not facing multiple criminal investigations?
KEN BUCK: You know, it’s interesting — I think the multiple investigations and civil lawsuits that have been brought almost give Trump credibility pic.twitter.com/Ps5ruftuq1
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 4, 2023
As reported by Rolling Stone’s Peter Wade:
During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, host Dana Bash asked Buck, “You have acknowledged more broadly that Donald Trump is facing some ethical challenges in his campaign, in addition to the classified documents probe, he’s under investigation for election interference in Georgia, Jan. 6, he’s already been indicted in New York. Would Republicans be better off with a candidate who is not facing multiple criminal investigations?”
“You know, it’s interesting,” Buck responded. “I think that the multiple investigations and civil lawsuits that have been brought almost give this presidential candidate and former president credibility. [Pols emphasis] He keeps saying that the world is against him because he’s trying to make these changes.”
It’s like claiming Al Capone was a good guy because prosecutors only convicted Capone for tax evasion.
We’ll start by saying that there probably is a small, disaffected segment of the public who looks at multiple criminal and civil investigations against a public figure and concludes that the subject of all of that scrutiny must themselves be the victim. The much more rational conclusion, which we would expect from a former prosecutor, is that lots of separate investigations tend to indicate someone is in fact breaking the law. Again, like having faith in grand juries, Buck either respects the legal system he was sworn to uphold or he doesn’t.
Buck’s misconduct reprimand as a prosecutor is the one thing in context that does make sense.