Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

World

Op-Ed: The law, sleaze, and futility — Doing America no favors, and it’s expensive

See any room for improvement?

Trump, 77, is accused of falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 payment to Daniels just days ahead of the 2016 election
Trump, 77, is accused of falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 payment to Daniels just days ahead of the 2016 election - Copyright POOL/AFP Doug Mills
Trump, 77, is accused of falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 payment to Daniels just days ahead of the 2016 election - Copyright POOL/AFP Doug Mills

The one solid thing that has been produced by the epic menagerie of Trump trials isn’t even about politics, or even much about Trump. It’s about the legal process and legal strategies. At what point does a highly publicized legal mess become utterly futile?

At a guess, I’d say right about now.

If you look at this objectively, it’s a very different picture from the blow-by-blow “salacious” monotony of the NYC falsified business docs trial news.  For the record, “salacious” is a word used when there’s nothing else to say about a pretty vulgar issue.

So what? Sleaze happens, much like another thing that happens. Immaterial is the other word.

The legal position is this – It’s a criminal case. So far it has just cast a bit more light on what seems to have been the least interesting and most over-recorded sexual encounter in modern times. That may have nothing to do with anything, particularly law, but it’s getting more coverage than the current wars.  

This is being done at the expense of a presidential campaign and at a cost to the American people and legal system. The case hinges on whether Competence Inc., aka the business, did or didn’t falsify business records. The sleaze is entirely irrelevant.

For some reason this Cretin’s Crusade against a legal assault issue which has long since been decided is being conducted at the expense of all else. There’s nothing much to gain. An adverse finding could in fact make things considerably worse.

Former US President Donald Trump looks on in the courtroom, during his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, in New York City, on April 29, 2024. Trump, 77, is accused of falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels just days ahead of the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton.
Former US President Donald Trump looks on in the courtroom, during his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, in New York City, on April 29, 2024. Trump, 77, is accused of falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels just days ahead of the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton. – Copyright POOL/AFP Seth Wenig

Meanwhile, actual jail time is now also in the mix for breaching a gag order. Threats against jurors could well be actionable as civil cases and breaches of statutes, depending on the individual circumstances.

This is a legal position? According to whom, Howdy Doody revivalists?

The much smarter thing to do would have been bail out of the legal issues and not engage in a fundamentally pointless exercise at such cost. Win, lose, or draw, that trial time isn’t coming back.

The mud, and there’s a lot more mud, will stick. Trump’s legal position can’t even deliver value for Trump. It’s a lousy strategy to fight every single very dubious point. Are there applicable professional practice standards?

This is where nitpicking marshmallow-level litigation hits very solid objects and obviously doesn’t achieve much. Even Trump can’t possibly believe he’s winning. Why is he tolerating this pointless situation? Maybe you could call it “undue process”. It’s as good a name as any for unproductive legal procedures.

Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, is expected to testify in the Donald Trump trial
Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, is expected to testify in the Donald Trump trial – Copyright GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP CHIP SOMODEVILLA

The other question is about legal principles and the use of court time. Due process and the right to a speedy trial, fine. The ability of anyone to virtually monopolize so much court time, constant delays, and constant intra-procedural stuff is something else.

If someone commits an offense, or a civil case drags on for any significant time, is the public getting any speedy outcomes? Never mind Trump. Procedurally, this looks more like Lord of the Rings than a legal process.

There’s also a Chicken Little element in this institutionalized procrastination. “They went along, and they went along” doesn’t actually resemble a legal process. It looks more like a runaway photocopier. Why anyone is going along doesn’t appear to be under much scrutiny, either.

Again, never mind Trump. This is a much broader issue related to the conduct of court business. Does this constant white noise of processes make any sense as law? I’m sure there’s some sort of State of Blessed Insularity where getting everything wrong and taking so much time to do so makes some kind of sense to someone.

Former US president Donald Trump and his attorney Todd Blanche in court
Former US president Donald Trump and his attorney Todd Blanche in court – Copyright GETTY IMAGES/AFP POOL

I’d call it obstructive. I’d also call it egregious. If the law can fly off on tangents based on any breeze that blows without deciding the issues, how is it law? What use is that to anyone?

On the one hand, you have a person exercising legal rights, however badly, and achieving nothing. On the other hand, you have a quagmire of procedures achieving nothing at horrific costs in money and court time.

See any room for improvement?

__________________________________________________________

Disclaimer
The opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Digital Journal or its members.

Avatar photo
Written By

Editor-at-Large based in Sydney, Australia.

You may also like:

Entertainment

Jazz musician Courtney Pine gave a superb performance at the Union Chapel in London.

Technology

With 1 in 3 Americans impacted by data breaches, modernizing these systems and enhancing cybersecurity measures are essential in protecting patient data.

Business

The mine is projected to produce 58,000 tonnes of lithium per year - Copyright AFP Andrej ISAKOVICPresident Aleksandar Vucic said Serbia could exploit lithium...

Business

Renault Group chooses Exotec to automate the site of the Villeroy Parts and Accessories Logistics Department.