Trumped Up Charges
Using legal loopholes to prosecute the former president
When prosecutors finally managed to snag Al Capone after years of trying, it wasn’t charges of murder or racketeering that brought the gangster kingpin to justice. As it turns out, even an untouchable crime lord can’t escape the two certainties in life: death and taxes.
All it took was a carefully crafted technicality.
In a similar twist of fate, Trump now faces criminal charges for a campaign finance violation. While his misdeeds may include infidelity, brash conduct and an orange complexion, unlike Capone, they don't involve prostitution, racketeering or the massacre of his opponents (at least not literally).
Regardless, the most unforgivable crime in the eyes of the elite is undoubtedly his outspoken criticism of the establishment.
What's Trump accused of?
Trump has reportedly been indicted on over 30 charges and while the exact details haven't yet been confirmed, the jury heard evidence regarding an alleged $130k hush payment to pornstar Stormy Daniels in the run-up to Trump’s 2016 election win against Hillary Clinton.
Indictment: a formal accusation made by a grand jury, charging someone with a crime.
Stormy Daniels is a former pornstar who infamously claimed to have had an affair with Trump and tried to sell the story in 2016. Trump’s lawyer paid her $130k to keep quiet.
While paying hush money isn’t illegal, Democratic New York prosecutor, Alvin Bragg, has argued that the payment benefited Trump’s election campaign and that by paying it with his own cash, he has violated campaign financing laws.
He is also accused of falsifying business documents to hide the payment as legal expenses.
The charges, which will be confirmed when Trump is arrested or turns himself in, are the first to be brought against a former president in US history.
What happens next?
Trump will make his case, and it will probably be thrown out. After all, the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) has already declined to prosecute on the same charges, presumably due to insufficient evidence. But that doesn't deter Bragg from pursuing the charges at the state level in New York.
The most likely outcome would be a fine if he is found guilty. However, if charged with a felony, he could face jail time. It won’t affect Trump’s presidential ambitions, he could even still run and become President from behind bars - nothing would surprise me at this point.
Trump’s total campaign spending for the 2016 election was over $400m, $130k would have made no material impact on the outcome. However, prosecutors are focused on using this law against him rather than on whether he gained an unfair advantage for his election campaign.
Alvin Bragg was indirectly funded by George Soros, an infamous left-wing billionaire known for financing perceived leftwing political causes such as Black Lives Matter, globalist groups, and pro-immigration movements.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll showed that most Americans believed an indictment against Trump would be politically motivated.
Can you blame them? Trump’s opponents have spent nearly seven years trying to throw everything at him to see what sticks.
There was alleged Russian collusion, Ukrainian political interference and sexual assault claims. The list goes on and on. But in all those years, two impeachments have failed and no criminal charges have successfully been levelled against him.
It seems a reach to try to lock him up on some bad paperwork.
How will this affect 2024?
Trump is running neck and neck with Ron DeSantis for the Republican nomination and this might just be the narrative he needs to win. This perceived witch hunt will whip Trump’s base up into a frenzy.
Republican Nomination: selection of the candidate to run for the President of the United States for the Republican party in 2024.
Is the left playing a metaphorical game of 3D chess here?
Democrats believe Trump would lose again in a presidential race, but if the Republicans put forward Ron DeSantis, he could pose a significant challenge to Biden in 2024.
A dangerous precedent
Whatever the motivations or the political outcome, one thing is for sure: the dirty game that is American politics just became a whole lot dirtier.
In playing politics with the law, elites are setting a dangerous precedent that will drive an already polarised and morally bankrupt political system further down a dark path.
If Trump does end up in prison, he may be the first president to receive a presidential pardon from his own administration.
What a plot twist that would be!