This Story of an American Town Illustrates the Trump Conflict

Here’s a story that is a microcosm of the Trump conflict. I’m tempted to say it demonstrates what happens wherever you find political power.

The Trump conflict isn’t unique to the President and the deep state; the same thing can happen between a mayor and a police department.

Here’s a story that is a microcosm of the Trump conflict. I’m tempted to say it demonstrates what happens wherever you find political power.

Gary Abernathy is the publisher and editor of the Hillsboro Times-Gazette in Ohio but he’s also sometimes a writer for the Washington Post. Recently, WaPo published one of his pieces under the headline, “The Michael Cohen raid could backfire. This story shows how.

The story shows much more than that! It shows how all the dynamics of corrupt deep states, populist revolts, their champions, and the deep states’ use of police power and legality to oppress them and criminalize them.

Unlike many who often defend President Trump, I don’t always see political motivations behind special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation. But the raid on the home and office of Trump’s longtime personal attorney brought flashbacks of a local incident with numerous parallels.

In 2011, Drew Hastings was elected mayor of Hillsboro. With no political experience, he was best known until then as a developer and an entertainer. Some of his social media posts have been condemned as insensitive at best, racist at worst. He uses salty language that has been called inappropriate for a public official. He was investigated for crimes in a probe he called a “witch hunt,” […].


Hastings was successful at the ballot box but a lightning rod for controversy. One of his first orders of business was disbanding Hillsboro’s 156-year-old fire department in favor of a contract with a nearby fire district, a process that involved noisy council meetings packed with opponents.

After upsetting a number of other apple carts in his new hometown, he was reelected in 2015. But shortly after, he faced a criminal investigation based on evidence gathered by his own police department, with which he had feuded since taking office.


Law enforcement had the benefit of the doubt — until a late-night raid on an apparently unrelated matter tipped public opinion in Hastings’s favor.

In February 2016, law enforcement officials armed with a warrant conducted a 10 p.m. raid on Hastings’s Hillsboro home, where his visiting father-in-law was ordered out of the house into the freezing night. The purpose of the raid, according to the search warrant, was to look for evidence of residency […]. When the raid was reported, it was met with general outrage.

At trial, half the charges were thrown out by the judge and the jury acquitted Hastings of the rest.

Read the whole column.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

Send this to a friend