The New Observer Uncategorized Political show trials come to America

Political show trials come to America

Trump has been found guilty of a felony relating to business records, in New York. The charges and verdict depend on some legal acrobatics. A misdemeanour charge of false business records was elevated to a felony on the basis that it was done to commit another crime – election fraud. But; it was only election fraud if the business records were falsified. The charges were ‘bootstrapped’ in an unusual way. (I am not a legal expert with knowledge of precedent so I can’t say if absolutely unique). I would imagine that the idea of the law which makes falsifying business records a felony if done in pursuit of another crime was intended for cases such as e.g. the business records were falsified in order to buy heroin – a clear and actual crime independent of the business records matter. In this case the two are sort of interdependent.

In the district where the jury trial took place more then 85% of voters are Democrats. The Judge’s daughter worked (or works) for a political consultancy which supports Democrat candidates, including, according to CNN “some of Trump’s most outspoken opponents”. [1] George Soros, the ultra liberal political meddler, made a large donation to an organisation which backed the election campaign of the Democrat prosecutor in the case. [2]

Let’s try a thought experiment. The exact same trial took place in a part of the US which is strongly pro-Trump. There is zero chance that he would have been found guilty. Zero. Now; imagine a trial of a burglar or accountant charged with fraud taking place in New York or a strongly Republican area. It wouldn’t make any difference. Why not? Because the latter are crimes, which everyone recognises. The trial in New York was political from beginning to end. The Biden campaign’s official statement that “no one is above the law” is cynical and without any integrity or honesty at all. They know perfectly well that this was a lucky shot.

The case rested on a claim that Trump had conspired to pay off someone with a negative story to tell to prevent it reaching the media and influencing his election chances. The pay off (made via a lawyer) had been noted as “legal expenses”. This option was, apparently, chosen from a drop-down menu in accounting software. Possibly, there was no option for “hush money”. My impression is that this kind of informal out-of-court settlement is not unusual. Trump was recently found guilty in a civil trial in New York of over-stating the value of assets in loan applications. I have checked with an auditor friend of mine; such overstating of assets is routine, in part because there are multiple ways of estimating the value of an asset. The asset case was also initiated by a Democrat prosecutor. (In the US prosecutors are elected on party lines). What is happening is that Democrat prosecutors have been searching for ways to take down Trump and exploiting legal missteps and building creative cases. They then put these creative cases to partisan juries or judges (the judge in the asset fraud trial was a Democrat). Job done. Why are they doing this? Because Trump, for all his faults, is an independent non-system candidate. This is rather like what sometimes happens in Russia. The authorities turn a blind eye to a certain amount of corruption or non-compliance with rules, but if they want to remove someone for political reasons, they find some anomaly, which is usually overlooked, and bring a case. Probably, not just in Russia. It is, for this writer, alarming to see a country which puts so much emphasis on being lawful and fair, adopting these practices.

It is alarming to see the media going along in such a gung-ho manner with the pretence that this is anything to do with the normal operation of the law. Trump’s measured response outside the courtroom where he claims (with justification) that the trial was “rigged” and mentions the Soros connection, is presented as e.g. “Trump raging”. The actual content of Trump’s comments is, of course, usually not reported, in case people look into it for themselves. The media should be giving Trump a fair hearing; that is their role in a nominal democracy. But, owned, as they are, by the liberal corporate sector, they are denying him a voice.