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The Trump Hush Money Trial: A Dangerous Precedent in Political Prosecution

OPINION

The Democrats finally managed to secure a guilty verdict against Donald Trump in a Manhattan courtroom, but this victory may ultimately backfire. The verdict, which many argue is a clear example of election interference, could be overturned by New York appellate or federal courts. However, this reversal might come too late, only after the Democrats' objectives for the 2024 election have been achieved.

Historically, state prosecutors have never charged a defendant with federal election reporting violations, as state courts lack jurisdiction in such matters. Furthermore, non-disclosure agreements have never been deemed reportable federal campaign expenditures by a jury in any criminal trial. This case is unprecedented and raises significant legal concerns.

Trump's constitutional rights were undermined in this trial. He was not given proper notice of the charges against him, nor was he afforded a unanimous jury verdict on those charges. Instead, the jury was allowed to select from a range of unproven federal campaign, tax, and bookkeeping charges that Alvin Bragg needed to escalate an expired misdemeanor bookkeeping violation into a felony.

The timing of this prosecution, coming just months before the 2024 election, raises questions about political motivations. The January 6 riots occurred over three years ago, yet the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Georgia’s Fani Willis delayed prosecution until now. This delay suggests a strategic move to influence the upcoming election.

Partisan prosecutors like Alvin Bragg and New York Attorney General Letitia James, both of whom have clear political ambitions, have used their positions to target political opponents. This unprecedented application of the law sets a dangerous precedent. Democrats, in their pursuit of Trump, may find themselves vulnerable to similar tactics in the future.

If a Trump-led DOJ were to pursue charges against former President Biden for mishandling classified documents or other Democratic candidates for campaign reporting errors, Democrats would have little ground to stand on. The prosecution of Hunter Biden for allegedly lying on federal gun applications, a case that would typically not be pursued, may be just the beginning of this boomerang effect.

By opening the floodgates of lawfare, Democrats may have inadvertently unleashed a profound threat to democracy. The Manhattan case against Trump could be the catalyst for a wave of politically motivated prosecutions, undermining the integrity of the judicial system and eroding public trust in democratic institutions.

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