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In The People of the State of New York v. Donald J. Trump, former President Donald Trump was charged and found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records in violation of New York Penal Law §175.10, the state law which makes it a felony to falsify business records with the intent to conceal the commission of a crime.

While Trump was found guilty by the New York legal system. Was he actually guilty of committing a crime? Opponents of the former present argue that “no one is above the law” and that the judge and jury acted impartially and were simply upholding the law. In short, Trump broke the law and got caught and that is all there is to it.

Other’s believe that the Democrat’s are colluding to imprison ,or at the very least politically hurt, their leading political rival for the 2024 presidential election. If this is true, it is a significant threat to the United States Republic.

It is important to have laws, and a system needs to be in place to create and enforce those laws. However, humans systems err and there are certainly cases in which reasonable people would agree did not result in the correct verdict. I believe this trial is one of those cases.

First, the prosecutor, and more importantly the judge, were and are biased against Trump. Secondly, Trump’s 6th amendment rights were violated, in that he likely did not have an impartial jury and he was not informed of the nature and cause of the accusation. Lastly, at least one other high profile figure, none other than two time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also falsified business records in Brooklyn, New York and faced no more than a slap on the wrist.

A final point, less important, but worth mentioning depend on the intricacies of the statute of limitations laws in New York, which depending on the interpretation could lead one to conclude these charges were brought past the time in which they should have been allowed.

The Prosecution and more importantly the Judge are biased against Trump

Point number one. It is hard to believe, perhaps impossible to believe that Judge Merchan was impartial: Judge Juan Merchan donated $15 to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. While a token amount of money, it shows his political persuasion. In fact it being so small amount is telling. Many companies, for example, donate large amounts of money to candidates on both sides in a race. This is so gain access to the politicians, rather than necessarily support one over the other. Merchan’s donation is not big enough to curry favor with the campaign, but does show he supported Biden. It is also a violation of ethics rules for Judges. Judge Juan Merchan’s daughter, Loren Merchan is president of “Authentic” a political consulting firm who’s clients are Democrats, including President Joe Biden. It would have been much more ethical and appropriate for Judge Merchan to recuse himself from the case.

The prosecutor in the trial, Alvin Bragg boasted while campaigning “It is a fact that I have sued Trump over 100 times.” So was Alvin pursing justice for crimes committed, or did he look at Trump until he found a crime, and then pursued that. The prosecutor’s job is certainly not to be impartial against the accused, neither should they go after a specific person and find crimes they may have committed. The purpose is to pursue justice for crimes regardless of who the defendant happens to be, not pick a defendant and then prosecute them for whatever alleged crimes one thinks will stick.

6th Amendment violations

The 6th Amendment was likely violated in multiple ways: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” Emphasis added.

The 34 counts of falsifying business records were elevated to felonies because they were, as the prosecution argued, used to cover up another crime. But that other crime (or crimes) was never explicitly stated in the initial inditement, nor was Trump charged for it/them. At best the prosecution and judge alluded to them later in the trial and even then vaguely, as violations of tax, records, and campaign finance law. This is a violation of Trump’s 6th amendment rights “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation” so that a defense can be prepared.

Trump was tried where the alleged crime was committed as is also required by the 6th amendment, however, was the jury impartial? In 2016, 86% of voters, voted for Hillary over Trump. If Trump did not get an impartial jury, this would also be a violation of his 6th Amendment rights. The defense gets to participate in the jury selection with the prosecution, but when the jury pool is 9 to 1 people who didn’t vote for you, it is hard to select individuals who are impartial and can assess the facts neutrally. The case should have been tried in a jurisdiction where an impartial jury could be assembled.

No One is Above the Law, Except When Some People Are

If a law in enforced unequally, it is an injustice. When prosecutors pick and choose who is subject to the law and who isn’t, a grave injustice is done and confidence in the justice system is undermined.

Imagine a member of the law enforcement community writing speeding tickets for people driving KIAs, but not those who drive Toyotas, because the law enforcement officer doesn’t’ like KIAs and prefers Toyotas. While one could argue, that those who drove the KIAs shouldn’t have been speeding, and they are simply being held accountable for breaking the law, the selective enforcement is still an injustice.

The Clinton campaign misclassified the funding of the debunked Steele Dossier as “legal services and compliance consulting” when there were in fact a direct attempt to smear Trump and influence the 2016 election. If “no one is above the law” why was Clinton not charged with a felony for falsifying business records? It seems clear that Clinton did what the New York jury found Trump guilty of doing, but the punishment (subject to sentencing) and pursuit of the crime were vastly different.

Prosecution was initiated over five years after the alleged Crime was committed

I leave this point last, not because I think it is most important, but I do think it is worth mentioning.

“The statute of limitations generally forbid the prosecution from charging a person with a crime when the criminal prosecution is not commenced within a certain period of time. The purpose of the statute of limitation is to make sure that convictions are based on reliable evidence.” For felonies, excepting very serious crimes such as rape and murder, the statute of limitations in New York is 5 years.


It isn’t clear how the statute of limitations wasn’t passed. Misclassifying business expenses, which could be as simple as putting the wrong date on a lunch expense report is a misdemeanor, except when it is done with the intent to conceal the commission of a crime, in which case it is elevated to a felony. The statute of limitations for misdemeanors is 2 years, whereas for felonies it is 5 years.

The business records in question, the last of which was December 5, 2017, would mean the time in which prosecutors are permitted to bring charges against someone for this violation would end on December 5th 2023. Bragg argued and was able to bring charges for this crime despite being beyond the time dictated in the statute of limitations. Syracuse University Law Professor Gregory Germain wrote: “The District Attorney has argued that the statutes of limitations were tolled during COVID, or that they were extended when Trump left the state.  These issues need to be addressed by the court clearly.”


One could point to Section 30.10(4) of New York criminal procedure law, which provides that “when calculating the time limitation applicable to commencement of a criminal action, the following periods shall not be included: (a) Any period following the commission of the offense during which (i) the defendant was continuously outside this state

Trump was elected President in 2016, so he was out of New York for much of the time. But he certainly returned to New York at times, so he was not “continuously” outside the state. I agree with Professor Germain that this issue needs to be addressed directly by the court to explain why prosecution could be permitted despite the offense occurring more than 5 years ago. Clearly if a prosecutor wanted to charge Trump earlier, they could have found him. But charging and convicting Trump when they did has much more potential to disrupt and damage Trump’s re-election campaign.

A Sad day for the United States Legal System

Those who are opposed to Trump, perhaps because they believe it or perhaps as a smokescreen to hide their blind partisanship, celebrate Trump’s conviction on these 34 counts as the conveyance of justice and upholding the rule of law.

They will need to relish their schadenfreude while it lasts, because it seems likely this conviction will eventually be overturned, due to the flaws in the trial mentioned above, but likely not prior to November 5th. Thus, the intended damage, if this does in fact result in net harm to Trump’s campaign, will have been done.

Regardless of your stance on Trump, those who do care about the rule of law and the idea that “no one is above the law” should be deeply concerned by Trump’s conviction. This trial, is a clear case, for those willing to see it, of weaponization of the legal system and election interference. Even if you don’t like Trump, this sets a dangerous precedent for DAs and willing judges to prosecute political candidates in order to influence elections.