Essential Information For Understanding Why Trump’s Appeal Will Succeed

By: Ted Noel

Donald Trump has been convicted by a jury in Manhattan. “I was convicted. I’m appealing!” Most of us have a TV legal drama perspective. I rise to shine light on this process so that we can properly understand how a guilty verdict was reached in a case where Donald Trump did nothing illegal, immoral, or fattening.

A prosecution must satisfy conditions laid out in the Constitution, which is, should anyone forget, the highest law of the land. It specifies safeguards for the legal process. In the 5th Amendment, we find “No person… shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law…” That due process is further defined in the 6th Amendment.

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 defense. (Emphasis added)

The prosecuting attorney is an officer of the court and is duty-bound to guard these steps carefully. DA Alvin Bragg ran roughshod over them. The judge is the referee in the court and is obligated at all times to ensure that the defendant’s constitutional rights are fully safeguarded. Under the rule of lenity, when there is a dispute about the law, his only proper option is to rule in favor of the defendant. This is part of what “due process of law” (5th Amendment) means.

Should the judge fail in his duty, the trial court will no longer be a lawful trier of law. Such failures constitute “reversible error,” and that’s what appellate courts consider. They assume, too, that the jury properly considered the facts presented to it. (See the 7th Amendment) Let’s break this down.

The prosecution and the defense will bring in their witnesses and exhibits. If there are objections by one side that the other side is doing something improper, the judge must rule on the legal propriety of what’s happening. Ultimately, everything that the judge lets through becomes the sole basis for the jury’s verdict. (Spoiler alert!)

If the judge lets the prosecution run wild while denying the defense its proper rights, the appellate court will reverse the verdict becauase the jury wasn’t given the facts required to make a proper decision. If the appellate court reverses the trial court, it’s not saying the jury did anything wrong. It’s saying that the Judge did something (or lots of somethings) wrong. Now that you understand what an appeal is about, let’s go through how DA Bragg and Judge Merchan screwed the pooch. Bigly.

I won’t bore you with the process Bragg went through to contort the law in bringing charges. He had total control over the indictment, and there are three key things in it that are important.

First, Michael Cohen submitted every invoice (11 charges). Trump had no control over those. Trump’s bookkeeper, not Trump, made every ledger entry (12 charges). Only the 11 checks involved Trump, and those simply involved his signature. So, 23 of the charges on which Trump was convicted didn’t actually involve him.

Next, all 34 of those charges involved actions in 2017. We finally learned in the prosecution’s closing arguments that Trump was somehow committing election interference by trying to “illegally” keep the public from knowing in 2016 about a sexual tryst that both parties had disavowed multiple times. That election was a year before any charged items came into existence. Without a time machine, those events could not possibly affect the election. The entire prosecution is a contradiction.

The biggest legal problem comes from the 6th Amendment. The indictment did not specify which “crime” the bookkeeping issues concealed. That prevented Trump’s lawyers from presenting a defense. When they pushed to get that information, Judge Merchan denied them. He even went further in the jury instructions. The jurors were given a list of possibilities. If they thought he was guilty of any of them, they could find against Trump. There is a suggestion that New York law allows this, but if that’s true, then the statute is unconstitutional. Even recognizes this.

If this interpretation is correct, it represents a serious departure from the fundamental principle that a jury must be unanimous not only in its ultimate verdict, but in its finding of each essential element of the crime.

Trump was entitled to a trial by an “impartial jury.” Since Manhattan is so solidly Democrat, a change of venue would be necessary. Judge Merchan said, “No.” So, during jury selection, Trump’s attorneys tried to get rid of people with a bias against Trump. Merchan let them stay. Trump was not allowed to have an “impartial Jury.”

The 6th Amendment guarantees a “compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.” Merchan went out of his way to prevent this. First, over defense objections, he allowed hours of testimony from Stormy Daniels, who knew nothing relevant to the charges. Her only purpose was to be inflammatory.

Merchan then denied Trump’s ability to bring witnesses, particularly former FEC Chair Bradley Smith, who would have told how the FEC had reviewed this situation and found that it did not violate any law. Instead, Merchan insisted that he would tell the jury what the law was. Merchan effectively barred testimony from the one witness Trump did manage to call, Robert Costello, by instantly sustaining all objections to virtually any part of Costello’s testimony. This functionally denied Trump the “assistance of counsel,” as well as a primary witness in his favor.

Steve Calabresi writes in the Volokh Conspiracy that the entire prosecution was based on criminalizing fully lawful speech protected by the 1st Amendment. Denying an affair, whether true or false, is protected by the 1st Amendment, and Donald Trump had the legal right to contribute any amount he chose to his campaign (Buckley v Valeo, 1976; Citizens United, 2010).

Merchan’s final major constitutional error was not recognizing that the state law invoked had been superseded by the Supreme Court in Trump v Anderson just two months before this trial. SCOTUS declared that presidential elections are federal elections and state courts have no jurisdiction over them. Thus, even if everything alleged by DA Bragg and pushed improperly by Judge Merchan was true, it would not matter. The Manhattan Court had no business sticking its nose where it did not belong.

Because the jury didn’t get to know any of what we’ve discussed, jurors with TDS had no qualms about going with their feelings. They did their job in a courtroom where the DA and Judge had no respect for the law.

This travesty of justice will be slapped down. Due to severe constitutional errors (I use the word politely because the proper term is NSFW), it seems likely that moving the appeal to the federal court would be proper. Mark Levin has even suggested an emergency appeal to SCOTUS. I’ll leave those strategy discussions to people smarter than I am. But it would be poetic justice if Trump takes the oath of office in an orange jump suit days before a federal court vacates the verdict.

Image by AI (hence the six-fingered hands on a kangaroo). From original article.


The above article (Essential Information For Understanding Why Trump’s Appeal Will Succeed) is republished here under “Fair Use” (see the TLB disclaimer below article) with attribution to the articles author Ted Noel and the website

TLB recommends that you visit the American Thinker for more great articles.

About the Author: Ted Noel MD  is a retired physician who podcasts and posts on social media as DoctorTed and @vidzette. He is a great-grandfather, pilot, golfer, and “Papa fix” who is conversant in many scientific, legal, and political disciplines. His greatest skill is critical thinking.

Image Credit: Photo in the Featured Image (top) – by Clker-Free-Vector-Images (cropped) from Pixabay.


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