Dem lawfare puts Trump through hell, but he hardly breaks a sweat

Years ago, Gary Larson published a cartoon showing a guy whistling as he cheerfully works in the bowels of hell. The Devil is shown lamenting “You know, we’re just not reaching that guy.”

That punchline came to mind this week when an exuberant former President Donald Trump stepped before cameras to say that “it will be my honor to post” a bond to appeal a massive decision against him in the New York court system.

For most people, the $175 million bond is nothing to whistle away.

But considering that Judge Arthur F. Engoron was insisting on $454 million, and Attorney General Letitia James was thrilling New Yorkers with pledges to go after iconic Trump properties, the smaller amount was a clear win.

Democrats lost their minds. One site announced “Rich man’s privilege prevails” and blamed “undemocratic judges.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., had previously warned that there is a “risk in not seizing” Trump’s assets. The risk is “political corruption” which seemed a bit odd from a member who was under fire that same week for her blanket opposition to the investigation into the Biden corruption scandal, even declaring that racketeering is not an actual crime in America. (A legal view that should be reassuring to Trump given the Georgia charges).

The risk is “political corruption” which seemed a bit odd from a member who was under fire that same week for her blanket opposition to the investigation into the Biden corruption scandal, even declaring that racketeering is not an actual crime in America. (A legal view that should be reassuring to Trump given the Georgia charges).

More From Jonathan Turley

The moment captured the strange universe in which we have found ourselves.

Democratic prosecutors and politicians are piling on the fire and brimstone as Trump appears to be just warming up in his campaign.

The pile-on of prosecutors does not sit well with many voters outside places like Manhattan.

Even those who do not like Trump have even greater dislike for the weaponization of the legal system. 

The array of civil and criminal cases have Trump literally running from courthouse to courthouse. . . and Trump seems to be loving every minute of it. With every new indictment, Trump’s popularity has increased. The lawfare just is not reaching the guy. He appears in his element.

With every new indictment, Trump’s popularity has increased. The lawfare just is not reaching the guy. 

The reduction of the bond could prove to be a case of the courts protecting Democrats from themselves.

Pollsters have said that James’s stated intention to seize Trump properties might guarantee his victory in November.

The over 60% reduction in the bond now clears the way for a review of the grotesque judgment issued by Engoron.

In the meantime, he has already been reversed on two key points. Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., the company’s executive vice presidents, will no longer be barred from serving in corporate leadership for several years. That was just on a threshold review.

The appellate court can now review the underlying decision and hopefully inject an element of sanity back into the case after Engoron’s flight of fancy on the bloated penalty. 

In the meantime, Manhattan Alvin Bragg is now set for a trial in April on his hush money case.

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan has refused to dismiss or to delay a case that reeks of political bias. Bragg’s predecessor rejected the ridiculous hush money theory, which bootstraps a rejected federal crime into a state offense.

It is based on a federal campaign finance violation that the Justice Department rejected and even Bragg expressed reservations about when he came into office.

However, in New York, standing on the law is a precarious spot, especially when others like James won an election on campaign pledges to bag Trump without even specifying a crime.

In a few weeks, Democrats hope to turn up the heat further to “get through to Trump” in Bragg’s trial, which will prominently feature two star witnesses: disbarred lawyer Michael Cohen and former porn star Stormy Daniels.

Cohen will appear just after another judge called him a perjurer who was continuing to game the system.

Bragg is counting on a New York jury showing the same lack of interest in the underlying evidence as he has shown in the underlying law. 

Legally, these cases will say more about the integrity of the New York legal system than the law.

I see little beyond politics, and the question of whether the appellate courts will regain a level of objectivity in reviewing their underlying theories.

Indeed, the Trump cases may prove more interesting in terms of physics rather than law.

Physics professors have challenged students with the question of whether hell is “exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?”

Critics had hoped that these cases would give off so much heat as to torch any prospect of a Trump victory.

Trump may soon prove that it is endothermic and that the litigation hell is actually taking heat off him with some voters in the election.

The shift in the polls over the last year is clearly found among voters who had previously rejected Trump. So far at least, the expansion of the litigation hell seems to be leaving many voters cold.

That may explain the whistling.

Jonathan Turley is an attorney and professor at George Washington University Law School.




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