Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer
Rabbi Prof. Dov FischerCourtesy

We have witnessed one of the most shameful, disgusting episodes in American history. If I had submitted the outline of the Trump trial to a publishing house, they would have rejected the book and said “Even readers of fiction novels will never believe your premises, Rav. Your effort at fiction-writing unfortunately descends right with that O.J. Simpson manuscript about ‘how he would have killed Nicole if he had done it.’ Actually, it is more bogus than the O.J. travesty. Sorry, Rav. Try submitting on another subject that is more believable, like Androids on the 37th parallel.”

As my readers know, I practiced law at three of America’s most prominent law firms, clerked for one of America’s most prominent federal appeals court judges, and was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review. I also was a law professor for 16 years. By now, I know American law quite well. And I am a refugee from New York City, Brooklyn born and bred, Columbia University brainwashed and reeducated. I know that town and its players.

As so many others have noted, inter alia:

1. Even if President Trump had committed business fraud, it would have been a misdemeanor, and the limitations statute had run. The reasons for statutes of limitation are: (i) after a period of time, memories fade; (ii) after enough time, evidence innocently gets misplaced and lost; and (iii) at some point, every person is entitled to repose, peace of mind. You can’t have anyone, even if a tortfeasor, who commits a wrongful deed at his or her age 25 and then gets served with papers for that malfeasance at age 85. There comes a point in time where, if the government has not acted, time is up. That is a flip-side derivative of the premise that justice delayed is justice denied. It works both ways. So any misdemeanor alleged against President Trump for the “hush money” paperwork was irrelevant.

2. To salvage the reality that the paperwork was time-expired, the New York George Soros District Attorney tried absurdly to link the “hush money” payment to a federal crime that is not time-limited.

3. At no point did the D.A. tell anyone exactly what the federal crime was. Everyone was in the dark throughout the trial. He did not specify it in the indictment or at trial. This is itself dirty. It is straight out of the days of the NKVD (later the KGB) in the Soviet Union: “Arrest the guy meantime; we’ll figure out the crime soon.” Or Lavrentiy Beria: “Show me the man; I’ll show you the crime.”

4. The Soros D.A. ran for office in a rabidly anti-Trump Manhattan county on a promise to get Trump. This is evil: “If you vote for me, I will bring about this one man’s personal destruction.”

5. The jury pool was taken from that wildly anti-Trump county. Consider: If you remember the Rodney King incident and trial back in 1991-1992 Los Angeles, there was a state case brought in Simi Valley, California, against the police involved. The jury found the cops not guilty. Simi Valley had an unusually high percentage of residents who were in law enforcement or otherwise related to police. Many L.A.-area police officers moved there after retiring. The jury, composed from such a pool, predictably found for the defendants.

Street riots famously ensued, so the government went after the same cops again by bringing slightly different charges in federal court — and in Los Angeles, not the Simi Valley suburb. (They could not bring identical charges because of the rule forbidding “double jeopardy.”) Now with a federal jury composed from a completely different jury pool, the government got its guilty verdict.

In other words, the jury system is better than most other systems for obtaining justice, but that requires a fair and competent jury, and a fair judge who allows a fair trial. But even a fair trial can result in an insane result that defies justice if the jury is composed of idiots or biased people. Thus, O.J. Simpson, who murdered his wife, was found not guilty by a jury of his peers. It took a subsequent trial, on different charges in a different court, for the family of Ron Goldman to get the verdict that held O.J. liable for the murder.

I have done jury duty a few times, and I remember the people with me in the assembly room, as we awaited being called for possible service. I will never forget: I was sitting with my laptop in 1999, working on a legal brief I had to complete that day, when a sudden loud, screaming ruckus erupted. I stopped my work and went to see what was going on. There was a big-screen TV in the jurors’ assembly room, and the news station was covering a live police chase, with cops following some guy who had hijacked a soda truck, and he was racing away, fleeing on a Los Angeles freeway, with soda cans falling out of the truck as he was speeding away. It was surreal. And — I am not exaggerating — each and every person in that assembly room except for me was cheering on the crook, rooting for him, yelling ideas at the TV for how he could get away. That is what a jury system can be.

6. To convict President Trump of a crime not named, but commonly assumed to be tied to whether he sought to support his presidential election campaign by secretly mischaracterizing a “hush money” payment to a hooker-stripper, the hooker was put on the stand. She then described her supposed tryst with Mr. Trump in vivid detail. None of that had any relevance to the charges in the case. He was not being accused of hiring a hooker. But the testimony was allowed in to prejudice the jury. The jury was being asked to believe this hooker who, by any definition of English, makes her money by having no shame and violating all morality in exchange for money.

She already knew from experience that, if she claims she dallied with Trump, she immediately could garner $130,000 in cash regardless of the veracity or mendacity of her claim. She therefore knew from experience that, if she suddenly is accorded a spotlight that will bring her to worldwide notoriety, she can ensure herself untold hundreds of thousands more if she describes in lurid detail on her world stage a seedy encounter with Trump. She will sell her story to magazines, to someone who writes a book that she “co-authors,” and to a movie producer who will pay her a fortune for the opportunity to put out a film that has a scene where an actor in boxer shorts lies on a bed with a naked prostitute.

Think of all the money that will make at the box office! And worldwide rights. And streaming. And residuals. She knows her world. She knows her customers. The jury is asked to believe that her description of a tryst with Mr. Trump is Pure Truth, with no motivation for her to lie. And, again, her entire testimony has no pertinence to the case. But she hates him and wants to hurt him, and he called her a “dogface,” and she owes Trump $620,000 from a prior court judgment that she has made clear she will not pay (although, if she does make big money off her trial testimony, ironically Trump finally will be able to collect his half million by attachment. A fitting O. Henry twist, if ever.)

7. Ultimately, to convict President Trump, the jury was asked to believe the “Greatest Liar of All Time.” If you remember Tommy Flanagan, the Jon Lovitz character from the old days of “Saturday Night Live” when the show was funny, he played an inveterate pathological liar. But that was for laughs. Michael Cohen actually exists. He lied to Congress. He went to prison for fraud. When he wasn’t lying, he was stealing and embezzling from the Trump business. They gave him $50,000 to remit to a contractor, Red Finch, and he gave them only $20,000, pocketing the rest.

That scheme was like the premise of the movie “Fargo,” where Jerry Lundegaard arranges for his wife to be kidnaped with a ransom demand, tries to get his skinflint father-in-law to cough up the demanded ransom and, without the kidnappers knowing, falsely tells the father-in-law an inflated ransom demand — more than he arranged for the kidnapers to ask for. His plan is to get the elevated ransom money from the skinflint, to pay the kidnapers the amount they asked for, and to pocket the excess for himself. (Of course the plan goes awry.)

Alas, here in the Manhattan Kangaroo Courtroom, it is Michael Cohen, not movie makers Ethan and Joel Coen, and he is caught Red-Finch-handed right on the witness stand. He’s a liar, a crook, an embezzler. The jury is expected to believe that this pathological liar curiously is telling the truth when he claims that President Trump plotted to hide the “hush money” payment as a concealed campaign contribution. Cohen admits, by the way, not only that he embezzled from Trump but also that he hates Trump personally, and he hopes that, by gaining notoriety and name recognition, he can run for and be elected to Congress.

8. Next, the “judge.” He clearly hates Trump. His daughter makes millions by promoting her anti-Trump merchandise. He threatens to throw a pro-Trump witness in jail because he doesn’t like the way the witness is looking at him. (Have you ever been jailed for smirking? Rolling your eyes?) He threatens to throw President Trump in jail for communicating his feelings about the farce transpiring. He listens to the hooker’s lurid descriptions, as does the jury, and then he says essentially “Oops! I guess they should not have heard that. My bad.” He does not allow key Trump defense witnesses to testify fully in their areas of expertise, such as an actual federal elections officer who can testify for the jury expertly as to why Trump’s expenditure did not impinge on federal election law.

This “judge” routinely sustains prosecution objections while denying defense objections. Everything about the case and the way he oversaw it smelled of mendacity and corruption.

This “case” was — and is — part of a sustained multi-state Democrat strategy to conduct lawfare — i.e., warfare through the legal system — in a desperate effort to exhaust Trump, exhaust his energy, exhaust his finances, and to keep him off the campaign trail. It is the entire power of the United States of America leveled to destroy one specific man.

-So they get a Trump-hating lifelong leftist judge to hit him with a crushing $355 million penalty for supposedly defrauding real estate lenders who testify that they actually made money on the loans and gladly would lend to Trump again.

-The Democrats bring another case over documents he allegedly mishandled and brought to his home even though Biden also illegally brought secure and confidential government documents from Washington to be stored in his home garage in Delaware and in an office in Pennsylvania.

-They get a wild D.A. in Georgia, a piece-of-work who hires her married boyfriend, a character with whom she consorts intimately and with whom she flies to hot spots around the world, to bring a case in an anti-Trump county in Georgia against President Trump, and she then hires that same unqualified married boyfriend to prosecute the case, which opens the door for him to bill the taxpayers for $654,000. He even billed for 24 hours of work in one day.

-And of course the absurd January 6 case.

Will the Trump conviction hurt his election chances for November 5? For most voters, probably not. There was so much fraud and corruption in this “case” that most quasi-informed Americans viewed it as a made-for-TV miniseries, nothing more. But we know that the electorate also includes its fair share of idiots, those who get their news and information from TikTok and Instagram (at least those who can read).

How will the idiots react on Election Day? Many will not vote anyway, as they always do not. Many others would vote against Trump anyway, like the morons who voted in 2020 based on whom the vile and depraved “singer,” Cardi B endorsed. And many will be more inclined to vote for Trump than before. Some, like those I saw when I was on jury duty, will react as they did when they cheered on the truck hijacker: they like criminals. And many others will react viscerally, having themselves encountered corruption and unfairness in the criminal court system. As an attorney, I have met my share of that crowd during time I did some pro bono work. One called the Department of Corrections the “Department of Corruptions.” They spoke of police lying on witness stands, of corrupt judges, of prejudiced juries.

Maybe they were right (a few were), and maybe they were wrong (most were), but they all will believe to their dying days that the American justice system is inherently corrupt. And now Trump is their martyr.

By forcing President Trump mostly to remain in New York City during the trial, the anti-Trump “judge” may indeed have swayed the election, but not as he planned. I have been writing for years that Trump needs to hold a few MAGA rallies in the inner cities, where blacks and Hispanics live. American blacks and Hispanics are ready to cross over to the Trump side, maybe even to the whole GOP, but they need some signs of outreach. Just a few highly publicized Trump rallies in their neighborhoods.

Until now, he had not been doing so. But, by tying Trump up in New York, the compromised “judge” forced President Trump’s handlers to schedule him for a grand appearance in the heart of black Harlem and thereafter for a mega MAGA rally in the heart of Hispanic Bronx. Americans were startled to see the love. There was that veteran Puerto Rican New York politician, with a thick and heavy Spanish accent, who made a ringing endorsement for Trump. And there were the MAGA masses in the crowd. So, by restricting Trump to New York City, the “judge” inadvertently motivated Trump’s people to organize the best public appearances he ever has made in black and Hispanic neighborhoods. Hopefully, his amazing receptions there will prompt him to do a few more of those.

Finally, the transparent corruption of this trial will bring him and all Republicans more money than they could have anticipated. People will empty their pockets because they understand that November 2024 is not only between Trump and Biden, but America itself is now on trial. If the U.S. is to descend into Banana Republic lawfare, where disfavored statesmen are sent to Siberia as the Soviet Union judges routinely would rule, then a great many more people besides Donald Trump are in deep trouble. If that happens, once it starts it will not end until all the leaders of the other side meet their day, too. And they will.

For Israel, there are obvious parallels and messages to be learned here. Israel already has entered this aspect of a twilight zone, where Presidents have been imprisoned based on controversial “he said, she said” testimony and where a former prime minister was locked up for financial fraud. But when a country’s out-of-control prosecutors would try to lock up a sitting prime minister on grounds that he received cigars or bottles of champagne, or allegedly horse-traded behind closed doors for better newsmedia coverage, that becomes shameful and disgusting, not befitting a great first world society. It is “Banana Republic” and it drags an entire country into political instability. It all is so shameful.

Adapted by the writer for Arutz Sheva from a version of this article that first appeared here in The American Spectator.

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