Rigged court convicts Trump of ginned-up “crime” that’s nothing more than a common non-disclosure arrangement

Rigged court convicts Trump of ginned-up “crime” that’s nothing more than a common non-disclosure arrangement

Donald Trump has been found guilty of falsifying business records with the intention to influence the 2016 election, marking the first time a former American president has been convicted of a felony.

He was found guilty on all 34 counts of criminal behavior that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged him with, alleging he tried to “conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election.”

At the heart of the case is a claim that Trump ordered his former lawyer to pay adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about an affair they had. The trial was highly controversial from the start, with the judge on the case refusing to recuse himself even after it emerged that his daughter leads a firm that counts several high-profile Democrats as clients, including President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Speaking to Fox News, former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said ahead of the verdict: “If he’s found guilty, they’ll see that a man is being sentenced for a crime that no one can actually name.”

It is true that the crime involved is a bit tenuous. If you look through the headlines – and you can get past the unabashedly gleeful tone most of the mainstream media is using to announce the news – you’ll find that Trump’s case is often referred to as a “hush money” trial.

First, it’s important to note that “hush money” is just another way of describing a non-disclosure agreement. This is a legal document that is perfectly permissible in every state of the nation under most circumstances. It’s not illegal to pay someone money in exchange for keeping an extramarital affair silent on the surface, as long as both parties agree, which they did in this case.

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Claiming this is what he did wrong is not just an oversimplification – it’s a mischaracterization. But who can blame them for trying to gloss over Trump’s “crime” when it’s so circular and convoluted that even the prosecution has trouble at times making it all make sense?

Georgetown University professor and constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley wrote in the New York Post: “Trump’s lawyers are defending a former president who is charged under a state misdemeanor which died years ago under the statute of limitations.

“Even liberal legal analysts admitted that they could not figure out what was being alleged in Bragg’s indictment.”

He went on to add: “Originally, Bragg referenced four possible crimes, though he is now claiming three: a tax violation or either a state or federal campaign financing violation. The last crime is particularly controversial because Bragg has no authority to enforce federal law and the Justice Department declined any criminal charge. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) did not even find grounds for a civil fine.”

Turley pointed out that Judge Merchan ruled that the jury doesn’t even have to agree on what the crime in question is. He added: “This case should have been dismissed for lack of evidence or a cognizable crime.”

Trump could still run for president

Many feel the point of the trial was so Democrats could describe Trump as a “convicted felon” in hopes of harming his reelection chances as Joe Biden continues to lose popularity. It’s unlikely Trump will serve time behind bars, even though he faces up to 136 years, given his lack of criminal history and the nature of the “crime.”

It’s more likely he’ll be given fines, community service or probation. His sentencing will take place on July 11, just four days before he is expected to receive a formal nomination as the Republican nominee for president at the Republican National Convention.

Trump has said that he will continue to fight and that “the real verdict will be on November 5” when Americans go to the polls. He told reporters: “This was a rigged, disgraceful trial.”

Sources for this article include:

RT.com

JonathanTurley.org

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