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America Has Its First Show Trial

To understand the damage done by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Judge Juan Merchan, and the Manhattan jury in the Donald Trump corporate records trial, one must first understand the most important rule of modern life: Everything the Left touches it destroys.

The Justice Department and the American legal system are only the most immediate examples.

Here are 25 other examples:

1. Universities.

2. High schools.

3. Elementary schools.

4. Children’s innocence.

5. Marriage and family.

6. Children who say they are the other sex.

7. Journalism.

8. Women’s psychological health.

9. Black life.

10. Black-white relations.

11. Art.

12. Music.

13. Architecture.

14. The military.

15. The FBI.

16. The CDC and NIH.

17. The American Medical Association and most other medical associations.

18. Medical schools.

19. Free speech.

20. Women’s sports.

21. The border.

22. Religion.

23. The economy.

24. Fighting crime.

25. America’s major cities.

In the case of the Trump trial, the Left has done something never done before in American history: put on trial a former president and the opposition political party candidate for president.

The Left responds that it was morally necessary to do something heretofore associated only with corrupt dictatorships because Donald Trump had engaged in criminal activities that heretofore no presidential candidate or ex-president has ever engaged in. And “no one is above the law.”

But this response is a lie. The reason for the trial was the same reason dictatorships put opponents on trial: to prevent them from assuming or regaining power.

When dictatorships do this, such as in the former Soviet Union, we call it a show trial — because the verdict has been predetermined. The “hush money trial” was such a trial. The first such trial of an American president and head of the opposition in American history.

You don’t have to be a Trump supporter to recognize the trial as such.

Jonathan Turley — not a Trump supporter — a professor of law at George Washington University, has perfectly made the case for this being a show trial.

First, regarding the judge, Turley wrote:

“CNN legal analyst Elie Honig recently wrote that there should be concern over a judge being appointed (not randomly selected) who is not just a Biden donor but someone who has earmarked donations for [in the judge’s own words], ‘resisting the Republican Party and Donald Trump’s radical right-wing legacy.'”

“Adding to these concerns,” Turley writes, “is the movement of the third-highest official in the Biden Justice Department to the staff of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to build the case against Trump. Before joining the case, Matthew Colangelo was also paid by the Democratic National Committee [DNC] for ‘political consulting.’ So Trump was convicted in a trial with a Biden donor judge, who has a daughter who is a major Democratic operative, a lead prosecutor previously paid as a DNC political consultant and a jury selected in a district that voted roughly 90% against Trump.”

Second, regarding the charges and the trial itself, Turley notes:

“Even liberal legal analysts have admitted that the case against Trump was unprecedented and would not have been brought against anyone other than Trump …

“The trial itself was a travesty. Even after sitting in the courtroom watching the trial and the verdict, I still have no idea what Trump was convicted of in the case …

“This was a thrill-kill conviction, and the response of many in the media bordered on the indecent. For many outside of Manhattan, the scene was repulsive and chilling. You can hate Donald Trump but still be repelled by the use of the criminal justice system for political purposes.”

Even the Trump-loathing Sen. Mitt Romney agrees. He told The Atlantic, a publication allied with the Democratic Party: “Bragg should have settled the case against Trump, as would have been the normal procedure. But he made a political decision. … Democrats think they can put out the Trump fire with oxygen. It’s political malpractice.”

Andrew C. McCarthy, a former assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of New York (which includes Manhattan) and no Trump fan, writes:

“The country we love has become unlovely. … Our system embodied the rule of law, the sturdy undercarriage of a free, prosperous, pluralistic society. Now, on its good days, it’s a clown show. On the bad days — there are far too many of those — it’s a political weapon. …

“As the rule of law degrades into the rule of partisan lawyers, a constitutional republic inexorably decays into a banana republic. And it won’t take long. Again, this isn’t about Trump. …

“To objective, experienced eyes, Alvin Bragg’s prosecution of Trump shocks the conscience. … The DA did not so much find a crime as manufacture one.”

What Bragg did was to turn a misdemeanor — whose statute of limitations had expired — into a felony under a New York statute that requires an accompanying crime without ever explaining what that secondary crime was. Indeed, McCarthy observes, “the two federal entities that Congress endowed with exclusive authority to prosecute Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) violations, the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission, had thoroughly investigated Trump and determined not to take action. … Had this been a federal prosecution, Justice Department guidelines would have barred Bragg from slicing a single, trivial, nonviolent offense into 34 counts.”

As regards Judge Merchan, McCarthy writes: “Merchan ensured that actual federal law would not intrude. He denied Trump’s defense the right to call former FEC commissioner Bradley Smith, who would have explained” how Trump paying Stormy Daniels not to speak publicly about her allegation that she and Mr. Trump had once engaged in a one-night stand was “Bragg’s fairy tale that Trump stole the 2016 election by skirting FECA reporting requirements” and was “utter fiction, in addition to being legal nonsense.”

In other words, the corrupt judge prevented the most important expert defense witness from testifying on Trump’s behalf.

But the Left got what it wanted: the right to label President Trump, in the words of the lead editorial in the similarly corrupt New York Times, “Donald Trump, Felon.”

We are bequeathing our children and grandchildren a completely different country than the one our parents, grandparents and Founders bequeathed to us.

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Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His commentary on Deuteronomy, the third volume of The Rational Bible, his five-volume commentary on the first five books of the Bible, will be published in October. His latest books, published by Regnery. He is the co-founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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