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Trump's Show Trial Should Terrify All of Us

presidency former president court system trial

Former U.S. President Donald Trump appears in court during his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 16, 2024 in New York City. (Mike Segar-Pool/Getty Images)

Nicholas Chamberas By Thursday, 16 May 2024 10:38 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

"Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime," or alternately: "Give me the man and I will give you the case against him." Those chilling words are credited to Lavrentiy Beria, and the Stalinist-era judge Andrey Vyshinsky.

Beria was the notorious director of the Soviet "secret police" (The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs, or NKVD) under Joseph Stalin. Beria’s actions generated countless "show trials" to justify gruesome executions of innocent people whose "guilt" had been pre-ordained long before any "trial" took place.

While former President Donald J. Trump does not face a physical execution in the "Stormy Daniels Trial," the goal is to execute his political career and personal reputation, rendering him incapable of ever again seeking public office.

One may be justified in drawing parallels between Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg prosecuting this outlandish case and Beria finding "crimes" against those who displeased Stalin.

Some role reprisals don’t always work out the way they were intended.

It’s safe to say that Lavrentiy Beria and Joseph Stalin would be impressed by the "creativity" with which Trump has been brought to trial in Manhattan but would also be embarrassed by the desperate administration of a prosecution over an incident that is alleged to have occurred 18 years ago.

The New York show trial against Donald Trump has been a disaster for the prosecution and the Democratic Party.

Even erudite liberals like Fareed Zakaria are castigating the decision to try the case.

For his part, Mr. Zakaria doubts that these charges would have been brought up against anyone other than Donald Trump.

No one following this case is more persuaded of Trump’s guilt now, than they were from the outset of the trial.

One may still be convinced that the former president should be convicted solely so that he cannot serve another term as president; bizarre and perverse thinking for sure, but everyone has a right to their opinion.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking that Mr. Bragg and his team will have an epiphany and level with the jury and the American people.

Hypothetically, that sudden understanding on the part Team Bragg might be expressed as, "Yes we know this case is the biggest nothing burger since Y2K, we’d be embarrassed to try this against anyone besides Donald Trump, but he’s an "evil" man who must be stopped at all costs, so forget about justice, fairness, and the actual facts of the case, and convict him so he can’t serve as president — the oligarchs are counting on you."

If you have any doubt that this case is about a group of wild-eyed, power-hungry, politically motivated partisans, investigating a person in search of a crime, consider that several weeks into this trial the prosecution has failed to disclose what the underlying crime which serves to upgrade misdemeanor counts to felonies.

Perhaps CNN commentator Michael Smerconish summed it up best when he said "A person, four or five weeks now into a trial, ought to be told of exactly that which they’re being prosecuted for, and that just hasn’t happened, and all of those who were on radio and television, like myself, act as if it is the case that we all know, and that Trump’s been put on notice, but it really isn’t true!"

While former New York Congressman Lee Zeldin would be one of several outstanding choices for Trump’s vice-presidential running mate, he seems to have locked up his diplomatic credentials for UN Ambassador for not bursting out into laughter while participating in this forum on CNN.

Watch the rest of the panel fight overt panic trying to rebut Mr. Zeldin’s mere presentation of a valid point on the legal procedure involving this case, namely the long since expired statute of limitations, and the fact the required additional crime is not yet identified.

According to Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, falsifying business records is a misdemeanor whose statute of limitations ran out a long time ago.

In order to try this case the prosecution must show that falsifying records was done in furtherance of another crime.

If the allegation is election fraud, i.e. that Trump tried to illegally help his campaign for president, then that raises an issue of whether the Manhattan district attorney has jurisdiction over what most likely should be a case tried in federal court.

Prosecutors throughout New York State routinely decline to prosecute serious cases involving crimes such as assault because they simply do not have the resources to comply with New York’s onerous discovery laws.

According to one estimate, the show trial against President Trump will cost New York $2 million dollars.

Once it became apparent that Donald Trump was within striking distance of winning in 2016, several women came forward with various tales of alleged relationships.

Are we to believe that Mr. Trump who was famously (and effectively) defiant over the Access Hollywood story, was more worried about the effect of Stormy Daniels tale on the campaign?

Absolutely not.

There is no law against securing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) out of concern for your marriage and protecting your family.

The Manhattan show trial against President Trump is a gross abuse of power; it is a Kafkaesque, profligate, and disgusting spectacle.

It should terrify all of us.

Nicholas Chamberas has advised good government advocacy groups, elected officials and political candidates on public policy matters as well as having served as a senior adviser on several prominent New York City campaigns. He holds a degree in Political Science and a Juris Doctor. Read Nicholas Chamberas' Reports — More Here.

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The Manhattan show trial against President Trump is a gross abuse of power; it is a Kafkaesque, profligate, and disgusting spectacle. It should terrify all of us. 
beria, bragg, stalin
Thursday, 16 May 2024 10:38 AM
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