Why Trump’s Criminal Charges Matter and How They Could Affect Wisconsin

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump leaves his Trump National Doral resort, Tuesday, June 13, 2023 in Doral, Fla., en route to his arrest and booking on federal criminal charges related to mishandling of classified documents and obstruction of justice. (AP Photo/Jim Rassol)

By Pat Kreitlow
June 13, 2023

Trump cannot win the presidency again without winning Wisconsin. That means every voter in our state should be clear-headed and put America first when considering the charges against him.

As you take in the news about the new federal indictments against former President Donald Trump, keep in mind the connection between these serious allegations and you as a citizen.

The former president wants to be president again, and there is no way that happens without winning Wisconsin—something that’s strikingly obvious by looking at the 2016 and 2020 election results. Trump has won Wisconsin narrowly and lost it narrowly. Mathematically, should Trump become the 2024 Republican nominee, he will not have to convince that many people that these criminal charges are part of some “deep state” conspiracy, and that electing him is the only way to “save” democracy.

Therefore, it is not putting it too strongly to say that every Wisconsinite eligible to vote in 2024 owes it to their country to be clear-headed and civic-minded in how they treat Trump’s upcoming trials (plural, with more trials likely to come). Our country’s past, present, and future greatness rest on faith in the rule of law—our ability to examine the evidence and judge guilt or innocence without the burden or bias of political pressure.

The trials of a former president will be historic and should lead to every Wisconsin voter putting country above party and truth above spin. There is nothing to be taken lightly about removing defense and nuclear secrets from secure locations—and putting that sensitive information at risk of falling into the wrong hands. Too many Wisconsin men and women have put on the uniform and sacrificed themselves to keep us safe for us to gloss over the recklessness of one man, however popular he might be to some. 

What happens in courtrooms and capitol buildings is out of our control. We do best when we focus on talking to one another honestly about facts, values, issues, and who best serves us in public office.

We have to remember that we may each call ourselves Badgers, Democrats, Republicans, moderates, or by a host of other labels, but there has been no more important time to be Americans most of all. 


  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.

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