Trump’s guilty verdict puts the American political system on trial

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“I am a very innocent man,” Donald Trump said shortly after a jury of his peers unanimously found him guilty on all counts. In short, that is the reality America is facing. One of the two main opponents to the White House is a criminal whose campaign was based on claiming the system is rigged.

The Republican nominee is now in former campaign manager, Senior political advisor, White House chief strategistAnd national security advisor as a convicted criminal. The speed and consensus of the jury made many people doubt the strictness of the verdict. No matter what his lawyers advise, Trump’s appeals court will be American voters.

To say that American society is a hung jury would be an understatement. Within minutes of the verdict, Senior Republicans rushed condemned the trial as a politically motivated sham and a travesty of justice. Democrats were proportionately happy that justice had been served and that no one was above the law.

These polarized reactions are both unsurprising and disturbing. They sealed this presidential election fate as a struggle for the rule of law. Other factors — especially the economy, immigration status, Joe Biden’s age and women’s bodily autonomy — will weigh heavily on the outcome. But the risk in November is about the legitimacy of the system.

“They’re not after me, they’re after you, and I’m in the way,” Trump said. He also swore to be “your retribution.” Hopefully that theme will dominate everything he does from now on. The fact that his sentencing hearing will take place just four days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee in mid-July seals the script.

With the power of Thursday’s ruling, Trump’s prison sentence cannot be ruled out. Even a maximum term of 4 years does not prevent him from running for the highest office in America. But as a felony, he won’t be able to vote.

The big question is whether the ruling will sway the relatively small number of American voters who neither hate nor love him. Polls show that a majority of swing voters would view Trump differently if he were a convicted criminal. But what people tell pollsters in the briefs has little bearing on how they will respond to the onslaught of contrary propaganda they will face.

Still, it’s hard to imagine Trump’s convictions reversing. Even after his main rival, Nikki Haley, dropped out of the race earlier this year, about a fifth of Republican voters still voted “uncommitted” in the primaries. next. Even a small fraction of those who did not vote or supported Biden could affect the outcome in a close election.

Still, Democrats should be wary of viewing a legal ruling as a political victory. It is hard to forget the relief that spread among Democrats just before the 2016 election when it was revealed on tape that Trump had bragged about grabbing women “by their pussy.” The phrase “game over” keeps coming up over and over again. We know what happens next.

Furthermore, only one part of the US legal system showed it was functional on Thursday. Of the four sets of indictments against Trump, the New York money cover-up case is considered the most difficult legally, but least prominently politically. That Alvin Bragg, New York’s much-maligned prosecutor, won the case so convincingly is a measure of why Trump went to such lengths to ensure other trials did not come first. November.

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The conservative-majority Supreme Court has publicly sympathized with Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution for acts he committed as president, including allegations that he trying to overturn an election. The court’s delay in the immunity ruling ensured that Trump would not be tried before the election. It is a colossal failure of the American legal system.

On Thursday, a New York jury proved that no man is above the law. Their fellow Americans could get over it in November. A majority of the country’s highest court is siding with Trump. But the only court that matters right now is the voting booth. Until then, it is too early to say that the US system is working.

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