‘We’re a Nation in Decline’: Jury Convicts Trump in N.Y. Trial

3 June 2024


The Trump trial was presided over by Judge Juan Merchan, who donated to the Biden campaign in 2020 and whose daughter is a political consultant to Democratic candidates and politicians, including Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.

After having spent over a month on trial in a Manhattan courtroom and off the campaign trail, former President Donald Trump was convicted Thursday evening on 34 felony counts in what has been described as a Soviet-style political prosecution.

Trump was indicted last year on charges alleging that he had falsified business records in order to use his personal money to pay for a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Ordinarily, falsifying business records is classified as a misdemeanour under New York law; if committed in order to cover up or assist in the commission of another crime, it is elevated to a “Class E” felony. Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg claimed the NDA was a means of unlawfully influencing the 2016 election, thus elevating the charges to a felony and extending the statute of limitations, despite the fact that Trump has not been convicted of unlawfully influencing the 2016 election. This was only one of four sets of indictments levelled against Trump by Democratic prosecutors over the course of 2023.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York had previously investigated the allegations against Trump and determined that there was not evidence to suggest that Trump understood campaign finance laws or intentionally violated them. No charges were brought against the then-president.

The trial was presided over by Judge Juan Merchan, who had donated to the Biden campaign in 2020 and whose daughter is a political consultant to Democratic candidates and politicians, including Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. Merchan held Trump in criminal contempt and imposed gag orders upon the former president over the course of the trial. When Trump defence attorney Todd Blanche urged the jury to consider whether there is enough evidence to “send someone to prison,” he was reprimanded by Merchan.

As the trial concluded, Merchan delivered at least an hour’s worth of instructions to the jury, which jurors had to request to hear a second time during deliberations due to the length. The judge reminded jurors that, in order to convict, they must unanimously agree that Trump either falsified business records or caused someone else to do so in order to cover up or facilitate a crime, although he told jurors that they did not need to agree on what that crime was or whether Trump was covering it up or facilitating it. At the end of the second day of deliberations, Thursday, the jury convicted Trump on all 34 felony charges.

Conservatives React to Trump Conviction

Conservatives reacted to the news within minutes of the conviction. “This was a disgrace. This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt,” Trump himself stated. “This was a rigged, disgraceful trial. The real verdict is going to be November 5 by the people. And they know what happened here. And everybody knows what happened here.” He continued:

“And it’s okay, I’m fighting for our country. I’m fighting for our Constitution. Our whole country is being rigged right now. This was done by the Biden administration in order to wound or hurt an opponent, a political opponent. And I think it’s just a disgrace. And we’ll keep fighting. We’ll fight till the end, and we’ll win because our country has gone to hell. We don’t have the same country anymore. We have a divided mess. We’re a nation in decline, serious decline, millions and millions of people pouring into our country right now from prisons and from mental institutions, terrorists, and they’re taking over our country. We have a country that’s in big trouble. But this was a rigged decision right from day one, with a conflicted judge who should have never been allowed to try this case. Never. And we will fight for our Constitution. This is long from over. Thank you very much.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins commented, “Our Republic only thrives when justice is blind, it dies when justice is blinded by politics and power. This is a sad day for our Republic.” In an interview with Perkins, Trump ally and renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson called the conviction the result of a “kangaroos court.” He added, “I think the vast majority of people … understand that if we go down this road, we’re done as a fair country. And I think that people will respond appropriately.”

Florida Governor and former U.S. Navy lawyer Ron DeSantis (R) said that the verdict “represents the culmination of a legal process that has been bent to the political will of the actors involved: a leftist prosecutor, a partisan judge and a jury reflective of one of the most liberal enclaves in America — all in an effort to ‘get’ Donald Trump.” He continued, “It is often said that no one is above the law, but it is also true that no one is below the law. If the defendant were not Donald Trump, this case would never have been brought, the judge would have never issued similar rulings, and the jury would have never returned a guilty verdict.” DeSantis concluded, “In America, the rule of law should be applied in a dispassionate, even-handed manner, not become captive to the political agenda of some kangaroo court.”

“The weaponisation of our justice system has been a hallmark of the Biden Administration, and the decision today is further evidence that Democrats will stop at nothing to silence dissent and crush their political opponents,” House Speaker and constitutional lawyer Mike Johnson (R-La.) posted on social media. “The American people see this as lawfare, and they know it is wrong—and dangerous. President Trump will rightfully appeal this absurd verdict — and he WILL WIN!” Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), former Solicitor General for the state of Texas, called the trial and its conclusion “a grotesque abuse of the justice system,” adding that Merchan’s handling of the trial “diminished the credibility of every judge in the country.”

Trump Rivals Weigh In

President Joe Biden, however, celebrated the political prosecution of his opponent. “In New York today, we saw that no one is above the law,” his campaign said in a statement. “[T]oday’s verdict does not change the fact that the American people face a simple reality. There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box.”

But Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., previously a lifelong Democrat, warned, “This will backfire in November. Even worse, it is profoundly undemocratic.” He continued, “America deserves a President who can win at the ballot box without compromising our government’s separation of powers or weaponising the courts. You can’t save democracy by destroying it first. The Democrats are afraid they will lose in the voting booth, so instead they go after President Trump in the courtroom.” Kennedy added, “The Democratic Party’s strategy is to beat President Trump in the courtroom rather than the ballot box.”

Kennedy’s prediction seems to be accurate so far. Shortly after the verdict, donations to Trump’s presidential campaign began pouring in, reportedly resulting in his campaign’s donations website crashing. One of those who donated to Trump was Shaun Maguire, a Sequoia Capital partner and longtime Democrat. “I just donated $300k to Trump. I’m prepared to lose friends,” Maguire wrote on social media. He noted that he had voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and did not vote in 2020, adding, “Now, in 2024, I believe this is one of the most important elections of my lifetime, and I’m supporting Trump.” The venture capitalist described the “lawfare” campaign Democrats have waged against Trump as “radicalising,” explaining, “Fairness is one of my guiding principles in life and simply, these cases haven’t been fair for Trump.”

Polling also shows that the Democrats’ “lawfare” campaign against Trump isn’t bolstering blue votes. According to the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, 55% of American voters believe the prosecutions against Trump — including the now-concluded New York trial — are evidence that “Democrats are engaged in using the legal system in biased ways to take out a political opponent.” Additionally, 60% of voters believe that Trump will be judged unfairly because his trials are centred in “heavily Democratic jurisdictions like New York City or Atlanta, Georgia…” Trump would also beat Biden 49% to 43%, with 8% unsure who to vote for, according to the poll. When “unsure” voters are asked who they lean towards, Trump beats Biden 53% to 47%.

A March survey from McLaughlin and Associates concluded that almost 70% of Americans agree that the indictments and prosecutions against Trump are politically motivated, with nearly 60% of voters (including over a third of Democrats) saying that Biden has played a role in targeting Trump. Additionally, nearly 60% of voters (including a third of Democrats) said that they believe that “Joe Biden wants to stop President Trump from winning the election by putting him in jail…”

Following Thursday’s conviction, Trump is slated to be sentenced on July 11 — just four days before delegates will gather at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they are expected to cast their votes for Trump as the Republican presidential nominee. The former president could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison. Trump’s legal team intends to appeal the conviction.


Republished with thanks to The Washington Stand. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

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  1. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich 3 June 2024 at 11:13 am - Reply

    Rigged trial. I pray that there is a miracle and somehow Trump will win election.

  2. Christine Crawford 3 June 2024 at 11:25 am - Reply

    He’ll get no support from Australia’s present government. It’s too busy trying to keep its own backside clean and support terroism at home and abroad.

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