The CHEATER: The Takeaway, for Americans, of Trump’s New York Trial

It’s regrettable, from one point of view, that the only Trump trial we’re likely to get before the election is the one happening now in the New York court. The other three trials — in the other three jurisdictions in which Trump has been indicted – are about crimes that are both more obviously deeply serious for a President and are easier to understand.

Nonetheless, from another point of view, this trial in Manhattan offers all Americans (who are paying attention) some stark and vitally important truths about Donald Trump – i.e. about this man who is offering himself again to the American electorate to be President of the United States.

From that first point of view, I would bet that not one American in fifty would be able — after this trial is over, and the jury has handed down a verdict of “Guilty” which they almost surely will (unless some juror betrays their oath) – to explain just what the crime was.

(The jury will have mastered the law and the facts, because that’s what their job is. But few Americans will have attended closely enough to see that it’s the combination of two different crimes that Trump has been convicted of: falsification of business records in furtherance of several other crimes having to do with cheating in an election.)

But even if the legalities are a bit murky, something important will be clear. Donald Trump is a Cheater. That’s what he does, habitually. He simply refuses to play by the rules. His contempt not just for norms and customs, but also for laws and the Constitution – contempt for anything that might constrain his freedom to simply take what he wants – is displayed not just in this so-called “Hush Money” case, but on the wider canvas of his Presidency and his life.

And Americans should be asking themselves, before they vote, is that kind of Cheater the kind of person one wants to have wielding all the powers of the American Presidency?

In the NY case, we see Trump

• cheating on his wife,
• cheating in falsifying his business records, and
• cheating with violations of the rules regarding how a candidate is allowed to compete in an election for the presidency.

(His cheating in the 2016 Election was not trivial. It had huge consequences for the destiny of our nation. His “Catch and Kill” arrangement with the National Inquirer – which violated election laws – may have enabled him to win that election, as Trump and his team feared that, in the wake of the Hollywood Access tape, the stories of Trump’s extramarital sex life might have been the death blow to any hopes he might have had of winning.)

This exposure of Trump as a cheater in the immediate case fits right in to a larger picture in which Trump seems consistently to have violated the rules whenever cheating would help him get what he wants:

• After this cheating, in the wake of the Access Hollywood tape, to get valuable, illegal help from a tabloid to protect his 2016 campaign and defame his opponents with lies, Trump also cheated to overturn the results of the 2020 election — with a whole scheme of 1) fake electors (for which many people are now indicted in several states), 2) the Big Lie (for which 60 out of 60 court cases found no evidence), and inciting an insurrection to prevent the lawful certification of his defeat.
• In between cheating in those two elections, Donald Trump cheated – breaking several laws — in his effort to extort help from Ukraine to smear his anticipated election opponent. (For which he was impeached the first time.)
• And this year, in civil trials regarding his conduct as a businessman in the years before the launch of his political career, Trump has been found to have cheated on such a scale that a civil judgment has been levied against him to pay roughly a half-billion dollars to give back what he gained by cheating.
• As a criminal defendant, Trump has been cheating, too, by repeatedly refusing to defend himself only in ways consistent with the rules: several courts have found that his statements violate those rules by employing an intimidating threat of violence against witnesses, juries, and others involved in his prosecution. Hence the Gag Orders which he repeatedly defies.

It is more than a shame that Americans will have to vote without having learned about Trump what the other trials would have shown. It’s a disgrace —- because Trump has been aided by the most profound corruption in the Supreme Court and in the federal court in Florida in achieving totally unnecessary delay in the trials 1) for trying to seize power against the will of the people, and 2) for endangering American national security with his theft and mishandling of highly classified documents.

It’s hard to imagine how any American patriot could support for President anyone he’d seen had assaulted our nation in those ways.

But it might suffice that this trial exposes Trump as a Cheater.

The two things a President is required to promise, in order to take office, are 1) to see that the laws are “faithfully executed,” and 2) to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Americans might consider whether a Habitual Cheater is the kind of person to hire to perform those two jobs on behalf of the nation.

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