The Fordham Ram

Trump’s Possible Indictment is a Symptom of a Deteriorating Justice System


Trump is facing a possible indictment from the Manhattan DA. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Former President Donald Trump is in hot water again as he faces potential criminal charges from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. The latest charges relate to ghosts of the president’s checkered past with porn star, Stormy Daniels, who he allegedly had an affair with. 

Trump allegedly paid hush money to Daniels shortly before the 2016 election through his attorney Michael Cohen. Trump could achieve yet another milestone as a New York City grand jury has been hearing testimony and examining evidence presented by the district attorney’s office in relation to potential criminal charges that target Trump. 

Trump’s attorney and legal staff claim that Trump is the victim of an extortion scheme that had him pay $130,000 in exchange for silence on stories that could ruin his chances at the presidency shortly before he won office in 2016. Further, the Trump team has distanced itself from Cohen and claims that the payments made by Cohen were not authorized or tied to Trump. Additionally, his legal team has argued that the current charges have been investigated for the past six years, and as such, are worthless. Why? Because if there was value in them they would have been known and presented earlier than they were by the Trump-hating staff of Attorney General Bragg or his predecessor Letitia James. In fact, both Bragg and former Attorney General Letitia James campaigned on anti-Trump rhetoric. Their campaign tactics reached a point where House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan drafted a letter to Bragg’s office examining Bragg’s campaign and anti-Trump rhetoric writing. Jordan’s letter stated,  “This indictment comes after years of your office searching for a basis — any basis — on which to bring charges, ultimately settling on a novel legal theory untested anywhere in the country and one that federal authorities declined to pursue.”

Simply, there is no essence in the grand jury proceedings and is part of a greater issue of the weaponization of the judicial system against conservatives and right-leaning individuals. From Jan. 6 protestors who have experienced conditions in their incarceration and time in jail like those practices and methods seen in institutions like Guantanamo Bay, to the targeting of disgruntled parents who’ve attended school board meetings to display their concern towards politics implemented in education. Bragg’s pursuit of Trump is another example of how civil discourse is dead in our country and we live in a country that continuously inches closer to a police state. 

For years, the left has targeted Trump. From the hoax of Russian collusion to Trump’s impeachment on the basis of a legal call with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, this overreach by Bragg is another tally against conservatives and Trump. 

Further, appearing on national television this past week, Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, compared the pursuit of Trump to a witch hunt similar to those that Trump has endured in the past. His main angle? Some of the foundations of the grand jury proceedings rely on the testimony and statements made by the disgraced attorney and felon Cohen, and that he lied to disparage Trump, which is a felony. Further, there was no law broken as the charges being argued against Trump relate to campaign financing, and Cohen’s statements do not corroborate or back the idea that any laws have been broken in payouts to Daniels, according to the FEC in relation to Trump’s sphere. 

The proceedings being presented to the New York grand jury are interesting. New York, which is unquestionably a liberal-leaning state in many ways, has given Bragg a grand jury that has yet to sign off on charges against Trump. With these facts and principles in mind, the time it has taken for Bragg to convince this jury that the charges presented have value and that Trump broke federal election laws shows how many people, especially New Yorkers who might not appreciate or support Trump, realize that the justice system is unquestionably biased against conservative ideals, morals and individuals. 

It is morally wrong for Bragg to pursue Trump, and was ethically wrong for him to use a Trump pursuit as a means of getting elected to his office, but we should watch this case unfold as this is something that is unprecedented in our legal system and the history of our country. Further, it is something that could be a determining factor for 2024 and the support that Trump might receive.

Michael Duke, GSB ’26, is undecided from Scottsdale, Ariz.

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    PaulAug 4, 2023 at 9:35 am

    In 2024, the American people will choose between freedom and democracy or a new kind of leadership (new for the USA) – a Dictatorship. The people will get the leader they deserve.

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Trump’s Possible Indictment is a Symptom of a Deteriorating Justice System