No, Trump is not yet a “convicted felon” in the People’s Republic of New York

[I]t’s inaccurate to say that [Donald Trump is] a convicted felon at this time because, well, that’s just not how the law was designed. While he’s [been found] guilty in his infamous hush money trial, the “convicted felon” title is still pending.

Nicole Cord-Cruz, MSM.com, early June, 2024

You are not convicted until the judge enters that judgment of guilt. Now, in New York, it’s very likely that Judge Merchan will enter that judgment … on the same day that he issues sentencing. That’d be July 11th.

Yale Law Professor Jed Rubenfeld, New York Post, June 8, 2024

Immediately after the rigged trial in New York in which a biassed prosecutor and judge and an overwhelmingly Democrat jury pool that had been taught by the Democrat “News”-media Colluders to hate Trump found him guilty of 34 felonies of paying “hush money” to a prostitute, Stormy Daniels, the same DNC and Joe Biden rushed out to declare Trump a convicted felon.   One of these was Joe Biden himself who immediately after the conviction declared Trump a “convicted felon”.  Biden repeated this charge during one of his sentient moments during the June 26, 2024 presidential debate.  Democrat Jamie Raskin (Rep. MD), who sports a J.D. from Harvard, and who, therefore one would normally expect to understand the law, also came out immediately to praise the Trump convictions.  The Atlantic was quick to pronounce Trump a “convicted felon”.  BU Today (Boston University), which, as a university, one might have expected to have shown some precision in its judgments, pronounces Trump a “convicted felon”.  Of course, the DNC propagandists at CNN have repeatedly called Trump a “convicted felon.”  ABC News has, in keeping with their agenda, called Trump a “convicted felon”.  Politico, which actually identifies as a “fact checker,” has called Trump a “convicted felon.”  Of course, NPR, always eager to do their bit for the (Democrat) cause called Trump a “convicted felon”.  Comrade Leon Panetta, who has  J.D. from Santa Clara University, and who signed the false letter by 51 former “intelligence officers” that the Hunter Biden laptop was “Russian disinformation” in order to protect Biden in the 2020 election, has, on CBC, called Trump a “convicted felon”.  The DNC “feeding frenzy” was so unhinged that the news quickly found its way “across the pond” where what remains of the BBC quickly called Trump a “convicted felon”.   Of course there are many more offenders, so eager were they to interfere in the 2024 presidential election with a new smear, but this should suffice for the present.

In fact, Trump is not yet a convicted felon.   This is because of this provision in the law that the jury verdict is not certified until the judge, in this case Bogota born Judge Merchan, enters the verdict and he has not yet done so.   There are good reasons for this provision.  A judge may not invalidate a “not guilty” verdict because that would violate the accused 5th amendment rights.  However, if the judge determines that the jury did not follow the law, or if there is evidence of reasonable doubt that the accused is not guilty, the judge may invalidate a guilty verdict. 

Normally this might be considered a formality or a technicality.  However, in the case of Trump’s conviction, there is ample evidence that the judge should invalidate the verdict, including Judge Merchan’s own preposterous behaviour and rulings during the trial in which he clearly wanted a Trump conviction.  But it is not Merchan’s job to obtain a conviction.  It is his job to obtain justice.  As Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz puts it:

I have observed and participated in trials throughout the world. I have seen justice and injustice in [the People’s Republic of] China, Russia, Ukraine, England, France, Italy, Israel, as well as in nearly 40 of our 50 states.

But in my 60 years as a lawyer and law professor, I have never seen a spectacle such as the one I observed sitting in the front row of the courthouse yesterday.

The judge in Donald Trump’s trial was an absolute tyrant, … He seemed automatically to be ruling against the defendant at every turn.

As GWU Law professor Jonathan Turley puts it:

I think this case was not based on the law. I think it was a political prosecution. I think it had layers of reversible error.

Although Stalin may have admired the trial, there are numerous American lawyers and law professors who have voiced similar opinions to Dershowitz and Turley but there is no need to list them all here.

Furthermore, the case against the Trump conviction even got much worse with the latest SCOTUS ruling on presidential immunity.  For, SCOTUS ruled that even evidence pertaining to what a president while in office may not be introduced into a trial concerning possible crimes the president committed while not in office.  There is a reason for this.  If one allowed evidence concerning official acts a president does while in office into a trial concerning possible crimes the president committed while not in office that in itself would influence the way presidents make decisions of national importance while in office.

Unfortunately, comrade Merchan was so eager to obtain a Trump conviction for his Democrat Party that he allowed lots of irrelevant evidence, including evidence pertaining to Trump’s official acts as president, into the trial.  As a consequence, Trump was convicted on the basis of unconstitutional evidence introduced in the trial by activist Judge Merchan.   Merchan should have been more careful but a political vendetta is not a good basis on which to reach a just verdict.  Indeed, common sense alone, let alone the law, should have deterred Merchan from allowing the introducing so much irrelevant evidence into the trial.  Consequently, the verdict in the trial is unconstitutional.

Comrades Bragg and Merchan are aware of the problems posed by the SCOTUS Immunity ruling to their “case”.  Bragg, who brought the fake case to begin with, has, as a result of the SCOTUS verdict, has indicated that he has no objection to postponing the sentencing hearing and Merchan has issued this statement:

The July 11, 2024, sentencing date is therefore vacated. The Court’s decision will be rendered off-calendar on September 6, 2024, and the matter is adjourned to September 18, 2024, at 10:00 AM for the imposition of sentence, if such is still necessary [emphasis added], or other proceedings,”

“If such is still necessary”!  Merchan here indicates that he is well aware of the problems the SCOTUS verdict poses for the Trump convictions.  Whether Merchan will invalidate the verdict is not clear.  But it is entirely clear now, after the SCOTUS ruling on presidential immunity, he should do so.  Indeed, it was already clear before that, not that anyone other than a handful in the DNC care.  About justice that is.

Before the DNC and “media” partisans (and weak or unhinged “Republicans”) begin calling Trump a “convicted felon” in their latest smear attempts, it would be useful if they would actually attempt to know something about the law and facts in the case and to have some respect for the legal process.   One is not advised to “hold one’s breath”. 

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Richard McDonough

Richard Michael McDonough, American philosophy educator. Achievements include production of original interpretation of Wittgenstein’s logical-metaphysical system, original application Kantian Copernican Revolution to philosophy of language; significant interdisciplinary work logic, linguistics, psychology & philosophy. Member Australasian Debating Federation (honorary life, adjudicator since 1991), Phi Kappa Phi.

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One Comment

  1. Before reading this article, I was unaware of Merchan’s postponement nor of his phrase “if such is still necessary”(referring to sentencing).

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