Monday, February 03, 2020

4545 No Witnesses

Was anyone actually wearing one of these during the trump trial?

It’s an old trick, making sure there are no witnesses at trial time. What self-respecting underworld overlord would not resort to having a critical witness disappear before the trial even began.

Boss trump is even slicker. He doesn’t have to resort to things like kidnapping and murder.  He has the prosecution on his side.  Oh, and that’s another gangland trick.  Make sure the prosecution is inept. Which in this case, we don’t really know because no one understood a word that came out of its mouths.

Bad prosecutor and no witnesses? Perfect combination for either a hung jury or a “not guilty” verdict.  Oh, and a crooked judge doesn’t hurt, either.

Is John Roberts a crooked Chief Justice?  No. But he’s a wimp.  And a political party callboy. Can you imagine Earl Warren sitting there on the Senate bench while dim bulbs like McConnell fixed the case?  No. He’d roar from the podium something like “No witnesses?  Are you Crazy!?”  Had he reached the top job, what would Scalia have said? 

This is the kind of trial they stage in dictatorships all the time. But usually, they don’t broadcast them live.  Brian Williams didn’t get to narrate the secret proceedings in the trial of Romania’s Nicolae Ceausescu.  That was as fixed as trumps… except it was fixed to guarantee a verdict of guilty followed by a not-too-secret death by a not-undercover firing squad.

But the McConnell Court opens all kinds of new avenues in law. Let’s say a chain of discount shoe stores owned by a private equity fund is charged with fraud.  Witnesses?  Of course not. In McConnellaw, you won’t even get a body into the courtroom -- dead or alive. 

Traffic Court Charge: Driving the wrong way down a one-way street. The cops see the car make a turn they deduce had to have been made by such a car.  But who witnessed it?  Well, maybe the homeless guy sleeping in the doorway of a closed Starbucks.  But can they call him to the stand? Not if they can’t find him.  But they’ll convict the driver anyway.

The de-legitimizing foolishness of the trump trial sets a precedent. You know how judges and lawyers love precedents, right?  

And one final thought:  The senate republicans reverted to form despite some public waffling: lockstep behind the leadership. Follow orders.  It always goes that way in the pinch. Or the grope.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ® 
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© WJR 2020

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