Trump Gets Served

Well this is interesting. Former US president Donald Trump has been indicted on as many as 34 charges relating to falsifying business records, and possibly hiding this activity via further falsifying records. To quote directly from the BBC website:

In 2016, adult film star Stormy Daniels contacted media outlets offering to sell her account of what she said was an adulterous affair she had with Donald Trump in 2006. Trump’s team got wind of this, and his lawyer Michael Cohen paid $130,000 to Daniels to keep quiet. This is not illegal.

However, when Trump reimbursed Cohen, the record for the payment says it was for legal fees. Prosecutors say this amounts to Trump falsifying business records, which is a misdemeanour – a criminal offence – in New York.

Prosecutors could also potentially allege that this breaks election law, because his attempt to hide his payments to Daniels were motivated by not wanting voters to know he had an affair with her. Covering up a crime by falsifying records would be a felony, which is a more serious charge.

Now, it is worth noting that being charged with a crime is not the same thing as being convicted. All this indictment demonstrates is that the prosecution believe there is enough evidence to bring about a trial. Nonetheless, this is certainly a political milestone. No president – former or otherwise – has been charged with criminal offensives before.

The impact of this was widely known even before the official announcement of the indictment. Trump’s rabid supporters are claiming a witch hunt, and seeking to distract attention from Trump’s alleged misdeeds by referencing Biden’s alleged misdeeds, as though Trump should be exonerated because someone else might have done something wrong. That sort of logic has never sat well with me. It can be used to excuse all sorts of behaviour. ‘Person A committed theft, but shouldn’t face prosecution because person B committed theft’. As if that sort of stance would ever serve a reasonable purpose.

This hasn’t stopped Trump’s supporters from engaging in such disingenuous stances. Nor has it stopped claims that Trump is being unduly persecuted. Republicans are in an uproar over the matter, but as others have already said, no one is beyond the law, and Trump should never be regarded as untouchable. This poisoning of the well began well before Trump’s indictment, and it is an impediment to justice. It is a not-so-subtle means of degrading the prosecution’s arguments and evidence, and it will be swallowed up by those who gullibly swallow up Trump’s firebrand preaching. It is via such denials of facts, not to mention a willingness to invent claims, that Trump convinced his followers of baseless claims of election fraud. Expect further histrionics in the coming weeks!

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