Statement on Trump’s “Conviction”

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Editors’ Note: We share the view that this is now up to the American people.  Trump’s fundraising is through the roof and the prosecution of Trump in this case was so outrageous it has united Republicans not all that friendly to Trump. However, it has done grave damage to the country.  Already calls are out for Republicans to return in kind and prosecute Democrats.  For crimes truly committed, we are all for that. Too many bad things have happened and no one has been held accountable. But we do not want to see Republicans commit to the folly of gratuitous lawfare because it solidifies a bad legal and political precedent. We further worry about what our allies abroad and adversaries make of this. It demonstrates we are divided and declining, and this will embolden China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Turkey.  Our allies must reconsider depending on the US for support. Our financial market must brace for the higher probability of unusual chaos throughout the world and in domestic politics. The nation will pay a high price for the irresponsible actions of President Biden and the Democrat Party at all levels of governance. We as citizens, must hold them accountable at the ballot box.

It’s now up to the American people.

The conviction in a New York court of former President Donald Trump—on vague charges, flabby jury instructions, and based on the testimony of a compulsive liar—is a sad day for America. It is the fruit of the weaponization of our system of justice as a political tool and is a further and precipitous step down the path of banana republicanism.

The case against Trump was explicitly brought on partisan grounds. Prosecutor Alvin Bragg ran for election promising that he would commit the office of the New York District Attorney to prosecuting Trump, for anything he could find. The case that was dumped in his lap, however, was so tendentious and weak—claiming that the notation of internal business records was intentionally falsified, allegedly in the service of campaign finance fraud—that Bragg initially refused to pursue it, just as his predecessor Cy Vance had done.

The regime, however, was keen to assail Trump with lawfare. They brought multiple cases in a variety of jurisdictions to hogtie, threaten, and embarrass the former and possibly future President. A massive state RICO case in Georgia and two federal prosecutions, in D.C. and Florida, along with the New York case, threatened to put Trump in prison for the rest of his life, or at least destroy his political career. The Biden Administration dispatched Matthew Colangelo, a senior official in the Obama Department of Labor and then acting associate attorney general under Biden, to New York to supervise both Letitia James’ and Alvin Bragg’s civil and criminal cases against Trump.

The circus of the trial in lower Manhattan has been attested to elsewhere, and we see no need to rehash the clown show of witnesses, Judge Juan Marchan’s obvious conflicts of interest, his partiality to the prosecution, and his absurd instructions to the jury. The crimes that Trump was accused of were so refracted and recondite that they never would have been brought against anyone else.

Which is really the point. De minimis non curat lex. The law is not concerned with trifles, and proper governments do not go kicking through the weeds in search of crimes to prosecute. And when they choose to do it against political opponents, a system based on democratic values and due process of law quickly passes into something much uglier.

Trump’s enemies may soon discover that the sword of Justice has two edges. The pages of recent history are filled with the names of political prisoners who emerged to lead their nations. Vaclev Havel, Nelson Mandela, Jawaharlal Nehru, Kim Dae-Jung, and Lech Walesa all spent significant time behind bars before assuming the leadership of their respective nations. Brazil’s Lula was president for eight years, was then convicted on corruption charges, spent 18 months in prison, had his sentence overturned, and now is president again.

Regime partisans are thrilled that Trump has finally been convicted of something. But the bald falsity of the charges and process may have stirred his supporters, and even the uncommitted, to fury at the manifest misuse of the American system of justice. When you do unprecedented things, history has a way of behaving unpredictably.

This was a sad and tragic day for republicanism. Many Americans are growing increasingly alarmed at the new normal of American politics. Even if they’re not quite sure what precisely is so alarming, there is a growing mood that the whole thing stinks. We are increasingly governed by rules and regulations promulgated and executed by a class of unelected administrators beholden overwhelmingly to only one of our major political parties. When an outsider candidate and then president ran on a platform of opposition to this new normal and a restoration of sanity, the ruling class threw the book at him, by hook and by crook.

The politics of freedom in America now hang by a thread. The courts have proven to be a rickety bulwark against capricious, arbitrary, and tyrannical tendencies that have been germinating for a century. It now falls to the American people, exercising their sovereign power in the next presidential election, to render their verdict on a system dangerously off course.

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This article was published by The American Mind and is reproduced with permission.

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