Are Americans Safe from ‘the law?’
The triumphant anti-Trump crowd loves to say, “No one is above the law.”
Most Americans have, however, felt safe from the dreaded knock on the door from the Gestapo or the KGB, from the “show me the man, and I’ll find you the crime” principle of Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin’s secret police chief.
Law-abiding Americans assume that since they have not assaulted or robbed anyone or deliberately disobeyed a regulation, they will never come in contact with the criminal justice system. After all, a mens rea — criminal intent — is required, they are presumed innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and they have a right to a prompt trial before an unbiased judge and jury.
But those are constitutional rights, and our “archaic” Constitution is being rewritten. Ordinary Americans, especially doctors who prescribe pain relief, have experienced the reality of politicized prosecutions for many years. But the Russian proverb has applied: “You’ll know it’s true when it happens to you.”
Now that a former President has been criminally charged, the sordid process is at the top of the news.
President Trump has been subjected to intensive investigation since he was elected and even before. At last, Alvin Bragg, a New York district attorney who campaigned on a promise to “get Trump,” has indicted him on felony charges carrying a maximum prison sentence of 136 years.
The “34 counts” consist of three misdemeanors, for which the statute of limitations has already expired. Each is then cut and pasted 11 times to match the monthly reimbursement checks to attorney Michael Cohen for payments he made to women based on alleged events two decades earlier, David Stockman explains.
These three repetitive “books and records” violations include Cohen’s invoice for reimbursement, its entry into the Trump Organization’s general ledger, and the latter’s receipt of a check from Trump to cover the payments.
These minutiae are transformed into felonies by the allegation of an intent to hide another crime, which the indictment does not specify. We’re supposed to find it out by the time of the trial. It probably has to do with an alleged dalliance with a “porn star,” who signed a non-disclosure agreement, which she violated.
Neither the alleged behavior nor the payment is a crime but might be turned into one if the expenditure is thought to have aided Trump’s political campaign. Progressives deplore the stigmatization of “sex work,” and approve of some materials in public school libraries that are described as “pornographic” by “bigoted” parents. So, progressives shouldn’t mind (and evidently don’t) if their candidate is connected to such things, but Trump’s base might turn against him for it.
Although Bragg’s case is extremely weak, attorney Alan Dershowitz predicts that Trump will be convicted unless there is a change of venue, because of the intense hostility to Trump in the jury pool. A New York City judge would not dismiss this case “because that New York City judge’s life would be over,” Dershowitz states, although he thinks that a conviction would be overturned on appeal.
Trump was not subjected to a 5 a.m. arrest in his pajamas in front of cameras by a heavily armed SWAT team. Nor did the media show him doing a perp walk in handcuffs. Nor will he be held in solitary confinement in a filthy jail for two years awaiting trial. Such honors are reserved for his supporters. What a great way to drive principled people out of politics and keep them from supporting a candidate who will strongly oppose the uniparty and the deep state!
Trump’s poll numbers got a big boost after the indictment. It might assure his nomination at the Republican Convention.
So why have Democrats, the media, and establishment Republicans not cried foul over this charade? Stockman writes that the deep state fears that Trump may have learned enough to actually threaten their rule should he pull a Grover Cleveland. “So, there is literally nothing they will not do to keep him out of the White House.”
Perhaps the Left wants Trump to win the primary, keeping out a younger person without the baggage, especially from the COVID debacle. Other indictments may come down, lawfare and other attacks will continue, and electoral fraud has not been fixed, so Trump could well lose. Bragg’s actions might stem from pure hatred, without strategic considerations. In any event, the theatrics are drowning out concerns such as deteriorating foreign policy and the destruction of the dollar.
Whether you love Trump or hate him, the weaponization and politicization of the criminal justice system and the shredding of the Constitution affects you too.