• I’m Disgusted with the Trump Indictment

    April 20, 2023

    Tags: , , , ,
    Posted in: Biden, Democracy, Post-Constitution America, Trump

    The sheer pleasure ordinary Democrats, never mind MSM personnel, got from seeing Donald Trump in court was disgusting. The “Ah, jeez, why not?” reaction when it was announced he would not be paraded as a captured curiosity, a circus freak, through a perp walk. The t-shirts that wouldn’t be made out of his mug shot, all the disappointment leavened with the glee that years of investigations finally yielded Trump in court facing criminal charges, the fruition of #TheResistance. To hear MSNBC, you’d think we were days away from the Orange Man being thrown into a van with no windows for his last ride upstate, the Orange tan and orange jumpsuit, with Orange is the New Black jokes echoing behind him, the last things he hears before being violated in the prison showers while multitudes cheer.

    I’d seen all this before, in post-military dictatorship Korea where prosecuting one’s political enemies is a popular blood sport. Former President Roh Moo-hyun faced corruption allegations after leaving office in 2008, but he died by suicide before he could face trial. Former President Park Geun-hye was impeached and removed from office in 2017, and she was subsequently sentenced to 25 years in prison on charges of bribery and abuse of power. Former Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Kim Young-sam were investigated for corruption after leaving office. Overall, whether a former South Korean president goes to jail after their term depends on various factors, occasionally such as the evidence against them, and more significantly, the political climate surrounding them. That’s no rule of law, it is revenge. That’s the new America you’re cheering for?

    And yet for all the schadenfreude turned up to 11, we’re left staring blankly at the TV and asking: is this all there is? After eight years of intense judicial and media scrutiny, after two impeachments, the January 6 coven of elders committee, Russiagate and even after the state of New York and the House finally did get his tax documents, this is it? The Teflon Don is going down over… falsification of business records? Never mind the 34 counts, that’s just stacking, an old DA trick to turn one “crime” into many and make things look more dramatic. It just seem impossible that after all this there is no debt to Putin, no tax scam, no KGB handler, just a bookkeeping error. And spare us the “Al Capone went to jail over tax returns.” Capone was a known mobster, a murderer, a man who left a long string of broken bodies alongside his wholly criminal business (and he only served eight years.) Trump may have committed a bookkeeping error. He’ll pay a fine at worst.

    When you blow away the smoke, Trump is charged with only one minor crime. That stems from the allegation that money Trump paid to his lawyer Michael Cohen (continuing the call him a “fixer” just prolongs the awful Godfather references and is sooooo 2021) to in turn legally buy silence from Stormy Daniels, and for Karen McDougal’s and other stories. Trump supposedly purposely mislabeled this legally spent money as “legal fees.” The indictment instead claims it a violation of business records law because the primary purpose was to influence an election. The supposition by the DA that that was true allowed him to upgrade a misdemeanor, false business records, into multiple felony accusations. Backing all this up is the word of disbarred felon Michael Cohen, and former National Inquirer honcho David Pecker (you just can’t make this stuff up, folks) both of whom are going to swear it is all true. That Pecker supposedly was granted immunity to testify and Cohen himself has multiple law suits and a huge chip on his shoulder pending against Trump has nothing to do with nuthin’.

    The problem is DA Alvin Bragg (who actually ran for his office on the promise of prosecuting Trump for… something… and is now paying off his promise to his backers) has to win the case, and that is going to be as legally tough as the case itself is legally soft.

    In short, the DA has to prove a crime not even charged (the unspecified campaign finance laws, or maybe something to do with taxes, the so-called “core crime”), show a misdemeanor for everyone else is actually a felony if you’re Trump, demonstrate Trump’s criminal state of mind when this all happened (intent to defraud… who? The Trump Organization?) and do all that based primarily on the testimony of Michael Cohen and a pseudo-journalist named Pecker. Otherwise, Trump is acquitted. And while the news is chock full of articles on the threat to our democracy if Trump is found guilty, no one has been saying much about how he will be empowered if he wins. It is said if you go after the king, you should not miss.
    There is nothing in this case which will stop Trump from running for president, even if somehow found guilty or even serving time. His affair with Stormy, which may be offensive to some voters, has sadly been part of the public conversation around Trump for years. If the standards being applied in New York hold, then while this is the first indictment of a former president it will not be the last. Every local prosecutor in the country will now feel that he has a green light to criminally investigate and prosecute presidents after they leave office (remember Jim Garrison and the JFK assassination.) Perhaps over the Hunter Biden case?
    Could things get to the point where the “rule of law” misinterpreted as a “rule of revenge” means a Republican candidate will need to stay out of blue states to avoid prosecution and vice-versa for Dems? Trump went to New York and surrendered himself voluntarily; imagine if he had stayed in Florida and fought any extradition attempt to force him to Manhattan. Democrats salivating over the charges against Trump will feel differently when a prominent Dem ends up on the receiving end of a similar effort by any of the thousands of prosecutors elected to local office, eager to make their bones by taking down a president of the other party. Now imagine an ageing Joe Biden a virtual prisoner of a Democratic safehouse in Delaware.
    It is easy to brush this off as exaggeration, but Trump’s opponents react to his provocations and grandstanding by escalating the erosion of legal norms (see the Mueller investigation, and the impeachments.) Ask Mitt Romney, who said “The prosecutor’s overreach sets a dangerous precedent for criminalizing political opponents and damages the public’s faith in our justice system.” And don’t forget Alvin Bragg’s predecessor had almost a year to bring this case after Trump left office, but did not do so, and the Department of Justice also declined. Historians will call this all the Bragg Rule.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Damn, Peter is disgusted. Well, welcome to the party, pal. Most of US have a feeling of disgust when we witness Donnie Little Fingers. The DA is offering US an appetizer of the legal feast ahead. When all the entree criminal charges against DLF, like overthrowing the US government, are served, DLF will have his just desserts.

      04/20/23 11:48 PM | Comment Link

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