The Trump trial farce – Washington Examiner


The Democratic Party’s pathetic abuse of the criminal justice system to help reelect President Joe Biden reached a new low this week when Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who campaigned on a promise to prosecute Donald Trump, put pornographic actress Stormy Daniels on the stand solely to broadcast demeaning details of a sexual encounter with the former president two decades ago.

According to the indictment filed by Bragg, Trump is on trial for the crime of falsifying business records in 2016 and 2017. Bragg claims that money paid by Trump to his lawyer, Michael Cohen, was used to keep Daniels from speaking publicly before the 2016 presidential election.

It is not illegal to pay for someone’s silence. Nor is it illegal to pay a third party to make the payment. What Bragg alleges is that Trump recorded his payments to Daniels falsely in his business records. This is, if true, a bookkeeping crime.

Normally, that is a misdemeanor and charges must be brought within two years. That deadline was missed almost five years ago. Bragg sidestepped this problem by alleging that the falsification was done “with intent to defraud that includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.” By adding this intent to commit or conceal another crime, the bookkeeping misdemeanor is raised to a felony, which carries a five-year statute of limitations.

What is this “other crime” that Trump is alleged to have intended to commit or conceal? Bragg’s indictment does not say. Trump is literally on trial, facing more than 100 years in jail, for a crime that his tormentor-prosecutor cannot or will not name.

One theory floated by Bragg’s defenders in the Democratic Party is that Trump is guilty of participating in a conspiracy to promote his election by suppressing negative information about his personal life. But if paying off bimbos to stay silent about affairs for electoral gain was a crime, the entire Clinton family and its campaign staff would have done jail time.

Furthermore, as Trump’s lawyers established during cross-examination, it wasn’t even his decision to classify his payments as legal expenses. It was his accountants who saw a check to Cohen, knew Cohen was Trump’s lawyer, and then selected “legal expenses” as one of just a few available options on a drop-down menu. The accountants were trying to keep the books as best they could with the information they had. Where is the crime in that?

As strained as Bragg’s legal reasoning is, his purely partisan prosecution of Trump isn’t even the most damaging aspect of the trial. The presiding judge, Biden donor Juan Merchan, has made the circus worse by unilaterally silencing Trump. While Cohen is permitted to conduct a media tour bashing his former employer, Merchan has issued a gag order banning Trump from fighting back. Merchan has enforced this gag order with fines, which Trump paid, and with the threat of jail time.

Since when is it acceptable in a democracy for a partisan judge to use the threat of jail to silence a candidate from responding to his political opponents?

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At best, voters are tuning the Trump trial farce out entirely. More likely, Bragg is making a martyr of Trump with his flimsy and patently partisan prosecution. Merchan’s utter lack of objectivity is also helping public perceptions of Trump.

It is often said that Biden and the Democrats wanted Trump as his opponent, and once they got him, as they have, they would damage him by fair means and foul. They were not careful what they wished for. Their wisest course now would be for Bragg to file for his case to be dismissed post haste.

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