WE, The Jury

Today’s post is directed to those Americans who think that Donald Trump committed crimes but plan to pass on the general election for president. By their action yesterday, in the case of Trump, Donald J. v. United States,  at least five members of the Supreme have both granted certiorari (i.e. to hear the case) and extended the stay imposed by the Circuit Court when Trump appealed the unanimous decision that a president has no immunity from alleged criminal acts performed while in office.

There are three issues associated with this ruling that should worry all Americans.  First, despite the public’s interest in quickly resolving this issue, the Court took 15 days to draft a less than one page justification for their action.  On top of that they scheduled the hearing for April 22, delaying the trial for a minimum of 54 additional days plus the time to issue a decision which could come as late as June 30, at the end of the current Court term.

Additionally, the presiding trial judge Tanya Chutkan initially gave Trump and his defense team 88 days to prepare their case.  Even if the Supreme Court rules on immunity as early as May 1, the preparation timeframe would put the earliest trial date in late July.  Jack Smith has estimated the trial would take three months excluding a prolongated jury selection process, illness of any participants, etc.  That means closing argument and jury deliberations would begin in late October.  This is problematic since early voting in some states will have already begun.  And the whiner-in-chief would love nothing better than to have a reason to again claim he was the winner, if only the outcome had not been rigged.

Second, Trump’s immunity claims beg for a broad nullification of his legal team’s theory that a sitting president can do anything and escape prosecution for any criminal act unless he impeached and convicted of a “high crime or misdemeanor.”  Sadly, the certiorari ruling states the Supremes will take a much narrower approach.

[The] petition is granted limited to the following question: Whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.

The word “alleged” is used to described Trump’s contention that his actions were part of his official duties.  Isn’t that backwards?  The proper use of the word would be, “To what extent does a former  president enjoy immunity from alleged criminal activity during his tenure in office?”  In other words, the Court is saying, “We will decide if engagement in a conspiracy to overturn a secure and safe election is among the chief executives official acts.”  Rather than a constitutional issue, this sounds like a defense to be presented at trial, equivalent to a murderer pleading self defense.  Even if they rule in favor of the trial going forward, they will have given one of Trump’s defense arguments more credence than the Constitution or any other document affords it.

Finally, it’s time to call the conservative justices’ bluff that they are wedded to the original language drafted by the Founding Fathers.  The headline in many of this morning’s papers was some variation of “SCOTUS Hits the Brakes.”  It should have instead read, “Faux Originalists EXPOSED!”  There are few instances in the Constitution which are as clear as Article I, Section 3 which lays out the penalty for impeachment and conviction.

Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.

During arguments before the 3rd District Court of Appeals, Trump lawyer John Sauer argued a president could not be charged with a crime unless he was first impeached and convicted.  It should take a TRUE originalist less than a New York minute, much less 70 days, to understand the penalty for impeachment is only removal from office.  Fines and incarceration remain the purview of the judicial system.  If the constitutional language was insufficient to guide these hypocrites, the 57 page unanimous opinion of the Court of Appeals, which relied on previous decisions, should have.  Their inability to accept the Appeals panel findings exposes the Republican judges, all of whom pledged deference to judicial precedence during their confirmation hearings, as bold-faced liars.  And Chief Justice John Roberts still does not understand why approval of the Court is at a historic low.

In closing, the super majority of Republican appointed liars, grifters, cowards, incompetents or hypocrites (you choose which are which) on the Supreme Court, by likely denying the American people the right under our system of justice to know whether Donald J. Trump is innocent or guilty of one or more crimes, have left his fate up to voters this November.  During his February 24 speech at CPAC, Trump said:

For hardworking Americans, Nov. 5 will be our new liberation day. But for the liars and cheaters and fraudsters and censors and imposters who have commandeered our government, it will be judgment day.

It may be the only occasion during this election cycle he has NOT lied.  November 5 will be “judgment day.”  Why?  Because each of us is now an empaneled juror.  Unfortunately, we will not have the benefit of seeing all the evidence or deciding which witnesses are credible.  But we all have access to special counsel Jack Smith’s filings and Trump’s defense team’s responses.  Therefore, I implore you not to read either candidates’ emails, go to their rallies or watch their commercials.  Instead, take your civil duty seriously and review the available public record of Trump’s alleged crimes and his defense.  That is the only way we can make the informed decision with which the Supreme Court, having shirked its own responsibility, has charged us.  A vote for Biden equals guilty.  A vote for Trump equals innocent.  As a juror, you do not have the option of staying home or voting “present.”

For what it’s worth.

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