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Justice Should Blind AND Deaf to Money/Influence/Power

Trump Needs to Stand Trial for All His Crimes

​​​​​ ​​​Unless you've been living under a large rock and been singing loudly you know at this point that Donald Trump was indicted last week by New York DA, Alvin Bragg. This is the first time that a former president has ever been charged with any of the crimes each one of them has committed. It’s a historic, and for many, cathartic, moment in which it appears that some small sliver of justice, or at least the impulse towards rule of law, still exists in America. Trump, himself, seemed caught off-guard by the indictment, and clearly hates the prospect of being arrested. Legal proceedings around powerful individuals often invite speculation over what the “fallout” might be from such an action, and indeed Trump’s own behavior invites these conversations. Judging indictments and legal proceedings through this sort of political “3-D chess” analysis, however, is simply the wrong framework for this situation. The law must apply to the powerful as well or rule of law does not exist. While the indictment charges are still sealed until Trump appears in court on Tuesday, current information suggests the crimes center around the hush money payments to Stormy Daniels in 2016, and related business and election violations, which his co-conspirator and fixer Michael Cohen already went to prison for the same crime. Despite this, we all know these are hardly the most consequential crimes one could go after Trump for. There is, for instance, the looming case in Georgia, focusing on Trump’s attempt to pressure Georgia officials to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The Georgia case is more consequential, and significantly more relevant to American’s lives, and given that there are audio recordings of Trump attempting to pressure election officials, it’s hard to imagine how the Georgia grand jury could not recommend charges against Trump. Going to trial for his attempt to overturn democracy would be a much better and stronger focus for prosecuting the many crimes of Donald Trump, and perhaps even more importantly, would undermine the lesson many Republicans seem to have taken from the failed coup attempt: next time stand your ground. We awaited with bated breath to see how these trials evolve. Even including the outstanding Georgia grand jury, however, there is still an interesting absence in the crimes that Trump is being accused of. Trump is still uncharged for the numerous financial crimes that he and his organization have committed for decades, despite the Trump organization itself having been found guilty in court. Remember that DA Bragg declined to indict Trump earlier this year on a criminal investigation into the Trump organization. A decision which provoked two of Bragg’s own prosecutors to resign in protest. One can only speculate why Alvin Bragg chose to move forward the Stormy Daniels case versus pursuing charges against Trump in earlier cases around more substantial crimes. Regardless of the reasons driving Bragg’s decision, the choice to ignore the sort of financial crimes and machinations that take advantage of vulnerable and poor people is all too expected in modern America. Members of the donor class frequently get away with robbing the public and are only held to account when their activities threaten other elites’ money and power. The donor class, and by extension the politicians who serve them are uninterested in preventing the systemic injustice of our predatory capitalist system, they are after all the predators.

To change this dynamic, we need to organize not just politically but economically. Together, we can build a cudgel that makes sure the powerful aren’t only held to account when they threaten the powers of other elites. The cases in NY and Georgia are good first steps along the path of justice, but true accountability will only come when we start prosecuting the powerful for the totality of the crimes they've committed, including economic and financial ones. So, join us each Tuesday in growing solidarity as we build that economic cudgel and make sure that this is a nation that truly lives up to one rule of law for all.

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