letter to the editor

The 34 charges against Donald Trump

Mon, 06/10/2024 - 3:45pm

Dear Editor:

Let’s take Senator Susan Collins’ word for it, that Donald Trump was indicted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on 34 counts of falsification of business records not in spite of, but because of, who he is.

In the abstract, falsification of business records might be a minor matter, perhaps just a misdemeanor offense. But it may be considered a felony if it is done, in the words of Judge Juan Merchan, with the “intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof ... The People allege that the other crime the defendant intended to commit, aid, or conceal is a violation of New York Election Law.”

New York Election Law, Judge Merchan said, “provides that any two or more persons who conspire to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means and which conspiracy is acted upon by one or more of the parties thereto, shall be guilty of conspiracy to promote or prevent an election.”

Prosecutors alleged that the falsification of records was intended to keep hidden from the public testimony from adult film actress Stormy Daniels concerning scandalous behavior by Trump that would have damaged his election chances. Merchan, in his instructions to the jury, said the prosecutors “need not prove that the other crime was in fact committed, aided, or concealed.”  

The trial in New York established that Trump is guilty of the 34 charges against him, and it’s hard to deny that he was charged because of who he is. No one else engaged in such schemes to corrupt the U.S. election process. Who else was going to be charged if not him? Anyone else who engaged in comparable behavior would be charged too. Fortunately, there’s no one else like him.  

Thomas Eichler