Editorial: Justice delayed — the other three Trump criminal cases also matter

The verdict Donald Trump and Joe Biden really care about will come on Election Day. The political verdict.

But the verdict on Thursday in the Trump hush-money case was a small victory for our criminal justice system. Not because of the outcome, but because we reached an outcome.

The former president was found guilty of 34 counts stemming from his coverup of payments in the final stretch of the 2016 campaign to silence a porn star with whom he apparently had an affair.

Trump had an opportunity to present his case and, although he declined, testify in his own defense. In the end, 12 jurors deliberated and rendered their verdict.

This case matters. Assuming it holds up in the appellate courts, it will show that even former presidents can be held accountable for felonious behavior.

This was not a deep-state conspiracy. This was not a rigged decision. Donald Trump was convicted by a jury of his peers — no, not fellow billionaires, but rather residents of the city he used to call home.

The trial itself revealed how far Trump went to hide his past from voters in the final days of the election eight years ago. The nation was provided details from Stormy Daniels, the porn star, about her tryst with Trump; David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer, about his “catch and kill” strategy to protect his longtime friend from damaging stories; and Michael Cohen, Trump’s ethically challenged fixer/attorney-turned-snitch.

All testifying under oath so a jury could hear the details. Those details were also valuable information voters should have when they cast their ballots in the Nov. 5 election in which Trump, for the third time, is seeking the presidency of the United States.

Pollsters and political pundits are having a field day speculating on whether the verdict in the hush-money case will sway the outcome of the election. But that’s not the important point.

What matters is that voters have full information about the candidates — that they can make informed decisions. In this case, they now know that Donald J. Trump is a convicted felon and that he went to great lengths to cover up his past.

Sadly, when it comes to Trump, our judicial system has a mixed record of success. In the other criminal cases involving the former president, the judicial system has been failing. Justice delayed is justice denied — and that goes not only for the defendant but also for the public.

Trump’s strategy in the criminal cases against him has been delay, delay, delay. Except for the hush-money trial, that strategy has been a smashing success for the former president — and a poor reflection on our judicial system.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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