It is not just Donald Trump who is on trial

A Liberal Dose


 As you read this, the Supreme Court is in the process of deciding whether or not to hear an expedited case brought by special counsel Jack Smith on whether Trump, as a former president, has blanket immunity from criminal charges for anything he did while in office. That is Trump’s claim, a claim that would be tested in court in March, and, should he lose there, he has announced he will appeal. Smith’s intention is to skip over all the appeals and go straight to the Supreme Court right now - not on the merits of the case itself, but just on the question of presidential immunity - a move that has precedent. The same approach was taken half-a-century ago to make Nixon immediately turn over the Watergate tapes instead of dragging out the process for years. Trump’s goal is to delay the actual trial as long as possible - and all his other trials as well - in hopes the presidential election will occur before any judgments are reached against him and he will win, making himself immune and forcing all cases to be dropped.

Trump is currently under indictment in four different criminal cases, with over 90 charges against him. There are so many crimes it is hard to keep straight, so let’s tick them off:

  1. There’s the one in question, in which the Justice Department has charged Trump and several accomplices with conspiring to prevent the lawful certification of Biden’s 2020 election victory, by various means including the disruption of Congress by a riotous mob and, more to the point, by participating in an illegal scheme to replace legitimate electors with fake pro-Trump electors.
  2. A second case, also federal, in which Trump is charged with illegally taking -and repeatedly lying about and refusing to give back -classified documents.
  3. A state case in Georgia, wherein Trump and various accomplices (including Rudy Giuliani) are charged with conspiring to coerce the Georgia state government into falsifying the election results.
  4. A state case in New York, wherein Trump is accused of illegally using 2016 campaign funds to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels and keep her quiet about their affair. Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has already served time in prison for his role in this transaction (a role played under Trump’s direction).

Those are just the criminal charges, there are many civil actions as well. For example, Trump has already been found liable in New York for years’ worth of illegal business practices, which could cost him his New York businesses and even the right to do business in that state. The judgment against Trump has already been made; right now the court is just trying to decide how big the fines should be.

Trump was also found liable for the sexual assault, battery, and defamation of E. Jean Carroll in a department store in the mid-90s (after she had made fun of him). The jury did not find him liable for rape, only sexual assault, but the judge later explained that in most other states the attack would qualify as rape - New York’s definition of the crime is extremely narrow and specific, in a way I’m not sure I can describe in a family newspaper. The judge’s clarification came after Trump tried to sue Carroll for calling him a rapist after the trial. The judge responded that, actually, that’s what he is.

Any single one of those things, proven or not, would be enough to keep any normal person from being considered as a viable candidate for anything. Yet Trump is the odds-on favorite to win the Republican nomination and has a real chance of being elected president again. He haxblican challengers are afraid to anger his base by condemning his behavior.

The fact that is even a possibility is an indictment against the Republican Party and anyone who can still support this reprobate.

--Troy D. Smith, a White County native, is a novelist and a history professor at Tennessee Tech and serves on the executive committee of the Tennessee Democratic Party. His words do not necessarily represent TTU.   


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