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Democrats' 'Lawfare' Makes Trump Look Like a Martyr, Not a Crook

© Sputnik / Eva Marie Uzcategui / Go to the mediabankDonald Trump delivers remarks during his campaign rally in Sunrise, Florida, United States
Donald Trump delivers remarks during his campaign rally in Sunrise, Florida, United States - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.06.2024
On Thursday, former President and presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump was convicted on 36 felony counts related to falsifying business records as part of hush money payments to cover up a sex scandal with former adult actress Stormy Daniels.
Trump, the first former US president to be convicted of a crime, will face sentencing on July 11, where he could face jail time.
The charges against Trump, falsifying business records would typically be a misdemeanor and past their statute of limitations in New York, but because the court alleged they were used to cover up another crime, in this case, to interfere with an election or get a candidate elected, the charge was upgraded to a felony and therefore was not past the statute of limitations.
According to the letter of the law, Trump was likely guilty of the crime the court found him guilty of. “Once the jurors came back and asked questions about Mr. Pecker and Mr. Cohen about the initial events, it was pretty clear that they had decided that Trump was part of the conspiracy,” explained California lawyer John Burris on Sputnik’s The Critical Hour. “That he was part of it at the very beginning, and that he delegated the control of the nuts and bolts to Michael Cohen. That turned out to be the death knell for him in this case.”
After his conviction, Trump decried the case as rigged and the judge as corrupt, as he did for most of the trial. He proclaimed that the “real verdict will be on November 5, by the people. And they know what happened here and everyone knows what happens here.”
While pollsters are rushing to get information on how this all looks to voters now that the former president has been convicted, previous polling revealed a collective “meh” from voters.
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump gives thumbs up to supporters during a primary night rally, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.06.2024
Trump Raises $53Mln in 24 Hours After Conviction, Averaging $2Mln Per Hour - Campaign
According to a poll released a day before the verdict, 67% of voters said a guilty verdict would make “no difference” in their decision on election day. Of those who said it would, only slightly less, 15%, said it would make them “more likely” to vote for Trump than those who said it would make them “less likely” to vote for Trump, 17%.
The Democrats are hoping that the voters at the margins will be enough to sway a close election toward current US President Joe Biden, but as the poll above shows, it will be an extremely small swing, if it has any effect at all. It has also energized Trump’s base, leading to his campaign raising $52.8 million in the wake of the conviction.

“It's going to create a lot of rightful anger among his supporters. It'll probably help him. It's certainly already helping him in the fundraising. I mean, there's a lot of obstacles he's going to face with all these convictions, but they're turning him into a political martyr,” independent journalist Dr. Jim Kavanagh told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour.

While the conviction makes legal sense on paper, it also comes off as selective punishment considering the history of recent Presidents. Former President George W Bush ran a blatantly illegal torture campaign, using the dubious legalese reasoning of administration lawyer John Yoo, and that is to say nothing about how the administration lied to Americans to start a war in Iraq.
But when Barack Obama came into office, he declined to prosecute any Bush administration officials, despite a committee report that made clear the CIA agents who tortured people and administration officials who ordered it violated the law.
In 2014, Slate published an article defending Obama’s decision, citing the appearance of political prosecution as the most significant reason.
“Obama’s best argument for letting matters rest is the principle against criminalizing politics. This is the idea that you don’t try to gain political advantage by prosecuting political opponents—as governments around the world do when authoritarian leaders seek to subvert democratic institutions,” lawyer Eric Posner wrote.
Notice that Posner does not qualify that it would only reflect authoritarian leaders if the accusations are false. On the contrary, Posner admits earlier in the piece that Bush administration and CIA officials were likely guilty of torture.
Posner also pointed out at the time that doing so would be very dangerous for the country. “The prospect of criminalization of political behavior raises the stakes for elections because if you or your boss loses an election, you not only lose the trappings of office but gain the prospect of being investigated for the rest of your life. This will encourage officeholders to take ever more extreme actions to stay in office.”
But the evidence of selective prosecution doesn’t end with Obama’s decision to “move forward” after the Bush administration’s torture campaigns. It is also blatantly apparent looking at the same election that Trump was convicted of trying to illegally influence when he falsified business records.
In this photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, the sun sets behind the closed Camp X-Ray detention facility, Wednesday, April 17, 2019, in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.06.2023
US Must Apologize, Provide Judicial Resolution For Torture At Gitmo - UN Special Rapporteur
In 2022, the campaign for Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential bid and the DNC were fined by the Federal Election Commission for lying about how they spent money that was used to create the discredited Steele dossier that accused Trump of being entangled with the Russian government.
That dossier was funded by payments totaling over $1 million from the Clinton campaign. They classified those payments as “legal advice and services.”

“Obviously, that seems extremely similar to what Trump has been accused of,” explained former lawyer and award-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald on System Update on Thursday. “They wanted those payments to be hidden because they wanted to claim that they weren't the ones funding and instigating this fraudulent Steele dossier, it turns out they absolutely [were]. The intent was obviously to shield Hillary Clinton from damaging revelations, which is exactly the theory that they just convicted Trump based on.”

Noting that he has long advocated against the rich and powerful being shielded from legal consequences, Greenwald argues that this is not the case here. “I would be applauding this if I thought this was fairly applied,” he began. “The reality is there’s only one person in all the United States who would have been charged with 34 felonies, or even one felony, for having done this and that person’s name is Donald Trump.”
This will make Trump appear to be a political martyr, even though him deserving sympathy is a matter of question. During his first term, Trump filled his cabinet with political lifers and former business executives, the same type of politicians he railed against when he was campaigning, including Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Thomas Bossert, Sean Spicer, Steven Mnuchin and Rex Tillerson, among others.
“Trump is not draining any swamp. He's filled with swamp creatures. He's swimming amongst the alligators,” Kavanagh argued. “We know what he is. Trump was president already. We know what he does and what he doesn’t do. What he doesn’t do is drain the swamp.”
But ultimately, the move to weaponize the legal system will have implications further down the road, something Democrats used to understand when they stood by Obama for not prosecuting Bush officials on much more serious crimes.
“If the Biden administration can indict a former president for, effectively, not much, and make it a huge thing, then that opens the door potentially to everybody else in the business world if they rub up against the administration the wrong way in terms of their political speech or their behaviors,” argued the host of AM Wake Up and Slow News Day, Steve Poikonen while appearing as a guest on The Critical Hour. “We’re in an era of lawfare.”
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