Travesty of Justice: The Persecution of Donald Trump

By Grace Vuoto

President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party achieved their objective: the current Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, has been convicted of 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up payments to a porn actress in 2016 preceding the election.

Biden can now call Trump “a convicted felon” on the campaign trail. This is the scarlet letter he was hoping for—his only path forward to sway a recalcitrant electorate that he deserves a second term. Biden hopes the 2024 election will not be about his polices but will be a referendum on the character of Trump.

“For the first time in American history, a former president that is a convicted felon is now seeking the office of the presidency,” said Biden in Greenwich, Connecticut.

“But as disturbing as that is, more damaging is the all-out assault Donald Trump is making on the American system of justice,” said Biden. He lambasted Trump for his repeated statements that the justice system is rigged against him.

Biden’s latter statement is rich in irony. The “hush money” case is the flimsiest of so-called “crimes” that the former president committed. It is obvious to any impartial observer that Trump is merely stating the obvious when he derides a justice system that has indicted him 91 times in four jurisdictions—underway right in the middle of an election.

Democrats, not Republicans, are responsible for and are cheering a system of justice that has degenerated into the exercise of brute force against political opponents.

The real meaning of the verdict is that the rule of law has been fatally undermined in America. We are all criminals now. For if Trump—a former president, celebrity and billionaire—can so easily be labeled a convict, so can any other citizen who dares fall on the wrong side of the powers that be.

The facts had to be twisted to persecute the man. The business records charges had already exceeded the statute of limitations. They were bootstrapped to a predicate crime that was only revealed at the end of the trial. Even then, jurors had three options from which to choose the predicate crime—just in case they couldn’t reach unanimity on one. Since when is a defendant charged based on crimes by multiple choice?

Judge Juan Merchan, who presided over the trial, has given the defense team ample grounds for an appeal that will likely be successful in overturning the verdict. The porn actress Stormy Daniels was permitted to testify broadly about her one-night sexual encounter with Trump, prejudicing the case against the defendant. In addition, the defense was not permitted to call upon experts on election law—testimony that was essential to the predicate crime that made the falsification of records felonies rather than misdemeanors. In other words, at every interval, Judge Merchan was tilting the scales of justice toward a conviction.

The date will now live in infamy in the annals of American history: Thursday, May 30th, 2024, was the first time a U.S. president was tried and convicted of felony crimes. This means that going forward, anything is possible in this country. What restraints hold back this burgeoning Leviathan state?

Can Trump receive jail time? It is possible. Can other citizens be tried on flimsy grounds? It is possible. Can this regime make encroachments on individual liberties, freedoms of speech and assembly, and the rights associated with private property? Indeed, all are possible now. The inalienable rights of citizenship have been breached. The floodgates are open.

In 1919, Irish poet William Butler Yeats foretold of a dark age likely to descend upon Europe. In “The Second Coming,” he eloquently captured the rise of destructive forces willing to disregard the inherent dignity of every individual, alongside a staggering passivity by those who still believed in Western values. Like then, we face a similar civilizational crisis: “The center cannot hold…The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

-Grace Vuoto, Ph.D. is a political commentator and columnist. She can be heard Wednesday mornings at 9:00 am on The Kuhner Report WRKO-AM 680. She is also Co-host of “The Conversation with Stephen and Grace,” Saturday mornings, 11:00-1:00 pm, on iHeart’s WXTK 95.1 FM.

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