No melodrama of Trump behind bars

Beyond the predictable party script from Democrats that justice worked and Republicans that it was Third World injustice, here are a couple observations from afar on the jury trial that stamped the word “felon” on Donald Trump last week.

  • A good number of Republicans, including the defendant, have charged that the Biden Administration has “weaponized” the federal court system. But, the case was conducted in a New York state court. The president has no jurisdiction there.
  • Without evidence, Republicans will try mightily to link President Biden to the case against his presidential opponent. On the surface at least, Biden has kept his hands off and mouth shut about the New York case.
  • The jury of 12 citizens, who were chosen in a two-sided process from a random pool, cast a unanimous vote. Any one of them could have hung the jury. None, repeat none, did. Again, it was unanimous.
  • The jurors are stand-up Americans. They knew when they signed on that they would get flak whichever way they decided. Following the guilty verdict, they are in harm’s way from MAGA extremists. Let’s pray that the former president does not incite them.
  • They were instructed in clear terms by Judge Merchan that they could not pronounce Trump guilty of falsifying hush money records unless in each of their minds his guilt was beyond a reasonable doubt – a stringent test.
  • The trial was a paragon of transparency. The proceedings were sliced and diced under the glare of cameras by dozens of experts.
  • Trump’s out-of-court disparagement of nearly everyone involved in the trial, his utter disrespect for American law and order, may have back-fired. The jurors may have resented his trashing of the process, of which they were a part. They may have been insulted by Republicans calling the process that of a Banana Republic, of courts in Communist China and Russia. Over the top?
  • The jurors, by most counts, were conscientiously focusing on the evidence. They had the clearest view of the conflicting facts and arguments in the case.
  • The “13th juror,” the New York appellate court, will have the final say on whether the prosecutors’ theory that 34 relatively minor offenses could be elevated to a felony if a follow-on crime, election interference, could be connected.
  • Most businesses reputations would be damaged by the proven charges of falsifying records. Business can be tough enough without having to deal with a dodgy company.
  • The legal conviction aside, most candidates running for office would lose votes big time if they paid off a prostitute while married. That was not what the court case was about, but his repeated adultery was highlighted in the process.
  • Among the most ardent GOP defenders of Trump was Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. He has joined nine other hard-right Republican senators who have promised, as a response to the verdict, to slow Democratic leadership governance in their chamber.
  • I am not in favor of jail time for Trump in sentencing on July 11. Probation yes. But let American voters cast the final verdict Nov. 5.

I couldn’t stand the melodrama of Trump behind bars.

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