• Joel Brown

    Staff Writer

    Joel Brown

    Joel Brown is a staff writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. He’s written more than 700 stories for the Boston Globe and has also written for the Boston Herald and the Greenfield Recorder. Profile

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There are 15 comments on Is Trump’s Indictment Good for Democracy?

  1. I agree with the panel that the indictment of Donald Trump is negative for his re-election prospects. On cable TV last week Ken Langone said he was done with Trump. When big ticket donors say they’re out, it’s game, set, match. The rich loathe losing and will won’t throw good money after bad. When will the GOP wake up?

    1. The man’s got so much money that I don’t think a loss of donors is a problem. I think his bigger problem is that this may indeed tip undecided voters over the edge away from him.

      Recall back in 2016 that many voters cast a ballot for him because he was a financial giant who had no ties to the Washington politics. “Drain the swamp” was his big theme. While many thought he was a little crazy, they believed he could get things done and that he would be more presidential and demonstrate effective leadership once he got elected. Now these folks know better. I don’t think the country wants a loose cannon in the Oval Office again. I could be wrong. Eventually we shall see.

    2. I hope that you are right. But in 2016 the intelligentsia was 100% convinced that Trump would never win. Too many variables at this point and the Democrats have been known to pull defeat from the jaws of victory before.

  2. It’s painful to hear allegedly accomplished law experts fall back on the canard of “nobody is above the law” as if the law were applied equally and uniformly to everyone. That is sadly and demonstrably not the case.

    Do you remember when Hillary Clinton was arraigned last year for years old campaign finance violations? Of course not – because it never happened. However her campaign was fined over $100,000 last year by the FEC for those violations and no charges were brought. That was the proper legal resolution. That is the norm.

    But in their Beria-like zeal to destroy an opposition candidate, norms no longer apply. State and even municipal officials have run for office on the premise of getting Trump on something. Anything. Which brings us to the legal malpractice of charging a misdemeanor violation on which the statute of limitations has already expired and yet trying to spin it into something even more ominous. It’s unprecedented.

    I remember looking down smugly on countries that crafted criminal charges to eliminate their political opponents rather face them at the ballot box. A great Republic would never sink that low. I’m not so smug anymore.

    1. Exactly correct. This publication is very biased though and every story and all the commentators they interview are extremely left leaning. I would not expect fair coverage from this publication. I will be highly shocked if they even publish this comment.

    2. Another legitimate concern that did not seem to have been raised directly by the panel regards the precedent being set. Will we now see Republican prosecutors trying to indict Democratic political figures for political gain? This will hobble the entire political system and keep good candidates out of the race.

      I also think that the panel has a very cartoonish view of conservative voters, many of whom support Trump and will continue to support him because they see him as the lesser of two evils.

    3. I completely agree… well stated! Also important to recognize that media is a business; they “sell” product and attract eyeballs by also playing into what the audience wants to hear – and the result is a barbell of left and right with no one being served in the middle… because the middle isn’t as “panderable” and committed as the 2 ends… they’re busy with lives and have only so much bandwidth and tolerance of attention for all of this. Advertisers and zealot fund sources aren’t interested in the vast middle where there is less traction. Logic and balanced judgement suffers… as do we all…

  3. Scholars should be careful to not allow emotion and political tribalism to interfere with clear thinking. One can despise former President Trump without throwing overboard their understanding of how the law should work. Dr. Vigil and others who argue that “an indictment is good for democracy in that it demonstrates that no one is above the law” may feel differently if a Democrat candidate, former president, or their progeny find themselves on the receiving end of a hyper partisan prosecution by any of the thousands of elected local GOP prosecutors, eager to make a name for themselves.

    Last year, the Federal Election Commission fined Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee $113,000 for obscuring their funding of the “Steele dossier,” dubious opposition research mislabeled as “legal services” in campaign filings and presented to the American public as an official intelligence product. It ripped the county apart for three years.

    It’s also quite plausible that the current president’s son committed multiple felonies re: Foreign Agents Registration Act, bank and tax fraud, and federal gun law violations. President Biden himself may have legal exposure to indirect receipt of foreign cash from adversarial governments and, like Trump, possession of classified documents in multiple private residences.

    Vigil’s additional point is correct, though I suspect she doesn’t see the irony: “Equal treatment under the law is a basic tenant of democratic ideals, and one we historically have not always upheld.”

  4. Is a loser failing to admit loss good for anything ? If a contestant never admits loss , why are they allowed to join in the contest ? He always claims he’s a victim. Even when he won – he claimed busloads of illegals voted in N.H , he’s quite sure that N.H is run by illiterate failures that can’t run an election . But N.H still sports orange hats . Does anyone think that deliberately lying about losing and raising millions is good for the country ? Why does a millionaire need to beg for money ? I’ll bet Fox News has an answer – I think it’s bad for our country to erect gallows with the intent of hanging our vice- president … who started that chant ? Lock her up turned to Hang mike pence !
    What’s wrong with this country ? The people are not the people I was raised with . We had Dems and Rep. but we were all Americans .
    This country has lost its values . We no longer believe in what gave us strength . Thankfully we still have a court system that hasn’t been ruined . This proves anyone can be held accountable. End of story .

  5. It is simple: Trump turned America AROUND in so many favorable ways. The economy, the debt, energy independence, foreign relations, the stock market, no high interest, etc. And he did this with Democrats chomping at his feet for four straight years. Trumps endurance and character to actually carry out his promises was astounding and should be remembered. Anyone who votes for a Democrat simply wants to destroy our Constitutional government and change everything including one’s own personal interest. In fact, with more Democrat leadership, ALL young Americans had better contemplate getting in better shape because we will be needing a huge military draft. Taxpayers will soon be outvoted by the general welfare recipients. Our justice system outcomes will soon be dependent on one’s political persuasion. To paraphrase FDR, the only thing we have to fear is fear (of Trump) itself.

  6. It’s less about Trump now and more about how his opposition is acting. I’m good and sick of Trump vs Whomever but I’ll vote for him now because of the way the government is treating him as a US citizen.

  7. When democracts’ intelligence using the word “democracy”, they pretend that this is a common unified understanding on this term. But unlucky, there is no consensus on the meaning of “democracy””freedom” “liberty” right now.

  8. To put it simply, the dreams and charges of the NY State prosecutors, the Democrats, most commentators and Donald Trump’s opponents that his attempted cover up of his encounter with SD, aided and abetted by the use of undisclosed false records (falsely labeling his personal non-business reimbursement payments to his attorney as for attorneys fees) violated the NY criminal statute regarding the falsifying of business records of an enterprise, providing that it is violated when one with intent to defraud:

    (a) Makes or causes a false entry in the business records of an enterprise (b). Alters, erases, obliterates, deletes, removes or destroys a true entry in the business records of an enterprise; (c) Omits to make a true entry in the business records of an enterprise in violation of a duty to do so which he knows to be imposed upon him law or by the nature of his position; or, (d) Prevents the making of a true entry or causes the omission thereof in the business records of an enterprise.

    are shattered and shown to be false since:

    1. None of the false records complained of constituted:

    (i) any writing or article xxxxxx kept or maintained by an enterprise for the purpose of evidencing or reflecting its condition or activity; and, (ii) none were those of any Enterprise or an entity of one or more persons (a proprietorship or partnership), corporate or otherwise, public or private, engaged in business commercial, professional, industrial, eleemosynary, social, political or governmental activity, and;

    2. None showed any intent to defraud or could have defrauded anyone as being undisclosed mere payments, however styled, of one’s non-business and personal generated indebtedness.

  9. You guys completely skirt around the fact that the right sees this as weaponizing the law for polical purposes. Conservatives truly do not believe this would ever happen to a democratic president. Look at how much crap you got on Biden and china, the laptop, the made up collusion, etc…

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