Indicting Trump Would Be Targeted Injustice

Indicting Trump Would Be Targeted Injustice. By Alan Dershowitz.

When I was coming of age in the 1950s, Southern prosecutors would target civil rights workers and search for any possible violation of the law, no matter how technical. If they discovered or invented a violation, they would indict, prosecute, convict and sentence the target.

Often the violation would be of an obscure statute that had never before been deployed. To paraphrase the late Justice Robert Jackson, these anachronistic statutes and precedents lie around “like loaded weapons“ ready to be selectively enforced against political enemies.

That, precisely, is what we are now seeing with the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, targeting the former president and current candidate, Donald Trump.

Does anyone actually believe that if someone else were accused of paying hush money to avoid a sex scandal in the manner that Mr. Trump is suspected of doing, he would be prosecuted? …

Not to compare Mr. Bragg’s NYC to Stalin’s Soviet Union, a sordid episode from the past does come to mind: the notorious head of the KGB, Lavrentiy Beria, once said to Stalin: “show me the man, and I will find you the crime.” Closer to home, J. Edgar Hoover would often target his political enemies for investigation. Or as a South American dictator once threatened: “for my friends everything; for my enemies the law.“

Soros-backed District Attorney Alvin Bragg

All decent people, whether politically opposed to Mr. Trump (as I am) or supportive of his candidacy, should be concerned about this weaponizing of the prosecutor’s office for the political purpose of preventing a potential candidate from running for office. …

It is no answer to say, as supporters of this “get Trump” tactic are arguing, that Mr. Bragg is doing nothing more than fully enforcing the law on the ground that no one is “above” it. If Mr. Trump or anyone else did the crime, they should do the time. But others have done things similarly to what Mr. Trump is suspected of doing, and no else is being threatened with prosecution. …

The Bible sets out two prohibitions for judges. The most obvious one is “do not take bribes.” Interestingly, that comes second in the list of prohibitions. The first is “do not recognize faces,” which means that justice should never be done based on who the defendant is.

Selective enforcement is the favored weapon of tyrants everywhere. It’s absence is the hallmark of a fair, functioning, modern democracy. Yet here it is in 2023 in the USA.

Beware: US trends usually appear shortly thereafter in the rest of the west.