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Trump’s Case and Legal Standards

Posted on Tuesday, November 21, 2023
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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42 Comments
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Donald Trump speaking to press

Three legal standards – by all indications – are being distorted, arguably beyond recognition, during Donald Trump’s New York financial fraud trial. Implications for Trump – and for separation of law and politics – are worth review and serious.

First, the US Constitution generally bars “arbitrary and capricious” administration of justice. Arguably, laws without victims versus “real crimes” with victims, are arbitrary. Such rules are regarded with suspicion, seem against public policy, impairing net happiness, no public harm.

For example, if the New York Assembly were lobbied hard by hot dog makers to outlaw hamburgers, then a seller and buyer of hamburgers transacted business, creating a black market for burgers, the buyers and sellers would be happy and no public harm. The law is questionable.

This is, in effect, what Donald Trump has been accused of, transacting business in real estate with lenders and buyers registering no complaints, yet the government – for seemingly political reasons – thinks they can punish him for overvaluation.

With no victim, no public harm, no claim of harm by any financial institution, buyer, seller or other party, the notion that this is anything but arbitrary is hard to square.

Second, gag orders” – which by definition contravene the First Amendment’s right to free speech, possibly Sixth Amendment’s right to a fair trial – are uncommon, but when used are typically for protecting a jury from being tainted in a criminal trial.

Think about that. Trump’s trial involves a state prosecutor and state judge, no jury.  The appellate bench is judges, no jury. The judge obviously will not be influenced by anything Trump says about his clerk having too much influence in this case.

So, why did the gag order – and fine of $15,000 dollars – get issued, former president get punished for speaking outside a courthouse, as defendants constitutionally can – if not to hit him politically, revealing fatal bias in his case?

This seems to be how a New York appellate judge sees things, at least implicitly, since he just put a “stay” on the lower judge’s seemly unconstitutional gag order, reversed it.

The kicker? That “stay” – if based on a perception the original gag order was about by bias, since no jury – creates evidence of incurable or fatal bias, basis for a mistrial.

Third, the gag order – combined with the lower court judge’s openly hostile courtroom behavior toward Trump – suggests Trump is right: He faces incurable bias, a mistrial.

What has Trump done? He has already pointed out the charges have no victim, valuations are subjective, no complaints, and prosecution reeks of political animus.

Now, the gag order is stayed for prudential reasons; no jury can be tainted by anything Trump has to say as there is no jury – and he has free speech rights.

Beyond that, he leads the presidential field in the campaign. He leads his own party and leads nationally. Last, we have a mistrial motion. If granted, as in perhaps ten percent of cases, if would end the Trump trial, forcing a second or end the farce.

What this case is testing is not Trump, but whether justice in America can be distorted by politics or not – whether three legal standards – against arbitrary rules, political gag orders, and fatally biased trials – will survive, or suddenly perish. 

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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PaulE
PaulE
8 months ago

RBC,

When Alan Dershowitz, a lifelong but still honest Democrat, says repeatedly that none of the cases against President Trump have any legal merit and are solely being brought forth for political purposes, you know the legal system in this country has become no better than what you will find in any third world banana republic or in Beijing or Moscow.

Our so-called “rule of law” has already been killed right in front of us all by the left in this country and while Trump and some of his allies may be the current targets of their ire, there is nothing stopping the left from turning their sights on virtually anyone else that stands between them and their objectives in the current environment.

Tell me how the completely invalid cases against Trump and others are in any way different from how political opposition figures in China, Russia, most of South America and in Turkey are treated by the authoritarian regimes in power in each respective country? I could list more countries following the exact same pattern the Democrats are currently using, but I want to keep this as short as possible. From my perspective, the Democrat Party is copying step-by-step the same methods and tactics used by those repressive regimes to eliminate their main political rivals, that threatens their control on the country. Just calling it like I see it from following how the so-called “justice systems” in those repressive countries operate.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
8 months ago

So if the argument is “we’re prosecuting wrong doing”, where are like indictments for Joe Biden, who wasn’t even authorized to have documents innhis possession as Senator ir VP, Sandy Burger, for stealing documents from the archives, or Hillary for her “20 minutes of felonies” read to us by Comey at his 2016 news conference? If they were treated like Trump then they’d have a case for the claim of “equal justice”!

Bill Smith
Bill Smith
8 months ago

Perversion of actual justice has been ongoing since Comey did nothing about Hillary’s obviously illegal transgressions as Secretary of State. It is beginning to appear there needs to be a fourth branch of government, one designed and dedicated to legally keep the other three in line with the Constitution and the benefits of the mechanisms of government for the citizenry.

DDS
DDS
8 months ago

Once again, thank you for the clarity. If the courts fail to drop the charges, it should be something every voter should be terrified by the hideous make up of our body of lawyers, legislators, and judges. Such people should be immediately banned from any position dealing with the law.

Leslie Jones
Leslie Jones
8 months ago

Great piece.

Melinda
Melinda
8 months ago

Good analysis, without being too legally stated. My, and many others’, opinion is that the whole charade (all the charges) is meant to derail Trump’s candidacy and destroy his financial ability to be competitive. So far hes staying strong, which is an amazing testament to him, whether we like him or not.

anna hubert
anna hubert
8 months ago

Legal standards would suggest that there are procedures to be followed according to the law regardless of the status of the person This is not the case It is somewhat ad lib depending on the status of the person So the procedure really is not legal or according to the law If there are legal standards why are they not being followed ? Law is a law regardless of personal opinions or political affiliations

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
8 months ago

NYC’s justice system should be dissolved and done away with. AHHHH Kangaroo Court at it’s best. Kyle L.

Myrna
Myrna
8 months ago

Well stated: Justice in America is on trial. Not only that has already been used against innocents and shown to be anything but just. This is a return of the executions of witches transplanted from England early in our history. While the pendulum is swinging, sharp observers must never neglect to look hard at justice.

Old Silk
Old Silk
8 months ago

I’ve had it with the nonsense, the circus, the chaos, utter disorder. I’m voting DeSantis. The same people who worked with Trump for the country will also work with DeSantis, and without the carnival sideshows.

johnh
johnh
8 months ago

Robert Charles “BULLYING HAS NO RIGHTS IN AMERICA IN MY OPINION” & a gag order in needed to prevent this. Is it okay with you that witness is intimminated or tampered with in any trial?

tex
tex
8 months ago

robert charles sucks

johnh
johnh
8 months ago

The Gag Order is to prevent the bullying of our legal system. Trump said “you come after me, I will come after you”. Trump has shown nothing but contempt & disdain for our judicial system & the judges should not tolerate this. Trump also said this a few years ago “No person is above the law” & has been involved in many lawsuits during his life. The gag order is intended to stop an example like the two innocent election workers in Georgia that were publicly accused & their lives were ruined & they received death threats.

tex
tex
8 months ago

robert charles is wrong about everything as usual

tex
tex
8 months ago

trump is guilty of over a million felonies

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