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  • Victor C. Bolles

He Must be Guilty of Something

The prosecution and defense in the hush money trial of former President Trump have rested and the judge has adjourned proceedings until after Memorial Day when the two sides will make their summations and the trial will go to the jury. Cable news shows have covered this trial in such excruciating detail that it leaves most viewers in a zombie-like trance. I have better things to do. You probably do, too.


Like his previous trials the verdict is a foregone conclusion. But a verdict doesn’t mean the trial is over, only that it has gone into the next phase. Verdicts and sentences will be appealed, probably multiple times, maybe all the way to the Supreme Court. It is likely to leave news junkies in a catatonic state all the way until the November election.


What is the purpose of all these legal shenanigans? District attorneys sponsored by leftist billionaire George Soros are intent on prosecuting Mr. Trump on the presumption that he must have done something illegal. The only problem is that they are having a tough time finding some crime to pin on him.


Ignoring the civil trial for an alleged rape that occurred almost thirty years ago that resulted in monetary damages in the millions, prosecutors are scraping the bottom of the barrel to find crimes to nail him on. New York Attorney General, Letitia James, ran for office on the promise to prosecute then President Trump who she described as an illegitimate president. At that time she had no crime on which to base her claims but she was determined to find something. All she could actually find was that Mr. Trump inflated the value of his business assets to fraudulently obtain loans from banks located in the financial center of New York City. These presumably defrauded banks were supposedly too unsophisticated to properly evaluate Trump’s businesses. However, the banks did not lose any money on those loans and had not filed any complaints about Mr. Trump’s conduct. So, no harm no foul, right? Not if you are an AG that is intent on following up on a campaign promise.


And the current hush money trial is based on the contention that the money paid to hush Stormy Daniels’ assertion of an affair with Donald Trump was a violation of campaign finance laws. Without the crime of breaking campaign finance laws, the crime of misclassifying business records would have been a misdemeanor and paying hush money is not even a crime, as explained by the Wall Street Journal in an editorial published on May 24th. Mr. Trump responded that his company paid a lawyer money and booked it as legal expenses. What’s the crime? We will see what the jury has to say about that but be assured any guilty verdict will be vigorously appealed and likely thrown out.


The trial of former President Trump for illegally retaining classified documents seems to be equally muddled. That trial has been delayed as Mr. Trump claimed that he is immune from prosecution under presidential immunity. That claim was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court which is likely to issue its decision sometime in June or July. But prosecuting Mr. Trump for keeping classified documents in a ballroom at Mar-a-Lago while Mr. Biden got a slap on the wrist for storing classified documents next to his Corvette parked at his Delaware home strikes many people as prosecutorial overkill.


Even Never Trumpers realize that these proceedings are politically motivated show trials – show trials more often associated with authoritarian regimes than with Western democracies. The trials make Mr. Trump a more sympathetic figure - if that’s possible. It also puts him on the front page of the few remaining print newspapers and his travails are always the lead story on the evening news. He uses this platform to bolster his campaign as he defies gag orders to rail against judges, witnesses and President Biden. With every new trial he moves up in the polls.


Worse yet, these shows trials have tainted upcoming trials that could be really important, the federal and state of Georgia trials of election interference for Mr. Trump’s involvement in the efforts to get the Georgia Secretary of State to alter election results (and other activities) and the incitement of the riot to block the certification of the election on January 6th. Those trials will now be lumped together with the politically motivated shows trials in the minds of the American people.


I am pretty sure that Mr. Trump is guilty of something. He is not a very nice person. You probably would agree with me that he has probably committed illegal and unethical acts in the past, He built hotels and casinos in New York City, Atlantic City and Las Vegas, all cities where the mob had clout. One of my first assignments at my job with Swiss Bank Corporation in NYC was to evaluate the Halloran House Hotel which was located katy-corner to the Waldorf Astoria on Lexington and 48th street (as noted in my commentary Known Associates, published March 28, 2019). My boss and I met with the owner, Biff Halloran at the restaurant in his hotel. What I did not know at the time, was that Halloran also owned two cement companies on Manhattan that held a mob enforced monopoly controlling the construction industry there. Halloran’s cement companies provided all the cement for Trump’s renovation of the Commodore Hotel into the Grand Hyatt New York on 42nd Street. Mr. Trump’s legal advisor and mentor at that time was the infamous Roy Cohn who also counted members of the Genovese and Gambino crime families as clients. By the way, Biff Halloran was later convicted and sent to prison for his crimes. After his release he disappeared. He might be somewhere near Jimmy Hoffa, another client of Roy Cohn’s.


So Mr. Trump was probably guilty of something in his rise to wealth and power. But crime is not the reason all those prosecutors are going after Mr. Trump. They trying to punish him for the policies he implemented while president (even though many people approved of those policies) and to prevent him from returning to the White House (even if that is the will of the American people).

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