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Op-Ed: Trump's True Crime and Other Lessons From His New York Trial

This article was authored by Andy Puzder for Fox News on June 8, 2024

Democrats talk incessantly about preserving democracy even as they make every effort to subvert it when a political tactic plays in their favor

President Trump’s actual offense at his New York trial was not a misdemeanor accounting violation magically transformed into 34 felonies. His crime was winning a presidential election and threatening to win another. New York Democrats prosecuted Trump solely to create a political advantage for their unpopular candidate by convicting and threatening to imprison his Republican opponent. It's really that simple.  

But employing our legal system as a tool of progressive politics comes at a great cost. It puts the integrity of that system — and our republic — at risk.  

Recognizing the inevitable impact political and cultural compassion can have on judicial proceedings, our legal system provides certain protections to assure its integrity. They include requiring that our laws be clear, our judges unbiased, and our prosecutors act as ministers of justice enforcing the law fairly rather than using it as a political cudgel.  

Trump was denied these protections at every stage of his prosecution.  

First the law. Because every citizen is responsible for knowing the law, laws must be knowable. The accused must understand what they are accused of, so that they can adequately defend against it. In fact, the Sixth Amendment provides the accused with a constitutional right "to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation."  

Trump was denied this most basic due process protection.  

According to CNN’s chief legal analyst Elie Honig, District Attorney Alan Bragg inflated misdemeanors past the statute of limitations and "electroshocked them back to life within the longer felony statute of limitations" by alleging "that the falsification of business records was committed ‘with intent to commit another crime.’" 

Bragg inexcusably "refused to specify what those unlawful means actually were — and the judge declined to force [Bragg] to pony up — until right before closing arguments. So much for the constitutional obligation to provide notice to the defendant of the accusations against him in advance of trial."  

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