Larry Jacob

Trump ‘show’ trial: It could happen to anyone of us

We’ve all been raised to believe that the US justice system is fair, that justice is “blind,” that everyone is equal before the law. The Constitution guarantees that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. That’s what most of us have always believed. Trials with preordained verdicts, so-called “show” trials are the province of autocratic countries like Russia, North Korea and China. Not the US.

However, after witnessing the miscarriage of justice masquerading as Donald Trump’s trial for fraudulent valuation of certain assets, I have serious doubts regarding the equity of the US judicial system. Letitia James, the NYS Attorney General who brought the case had bragged continually during her election campaign that she would “get” Trump. The clear implication was that she would conduct an unrelenting investigation of Mr. Trump until she found a case that was prosecutable in her view. Mr. Trump became her entire focus. In the process she has essentially ignored the myriad of problems NY has such as, among others, rampant crime, the influx of illegals, and high taxes. She pushed all those problems aside to focus solely on Mr. Trump. Governor Hochul shares much of the responsibility as well.

Following her election, she felt it was incumbent upon her to make good on her campaign promise. She had to find something, anything and bring it to trial. The result was the fraud case. It was not a solid case. It had some fatal flaws as you will see below.

Briefly, the state alleged that in the course of applying for financing Trump had defrauded various banks by inflating the value of certain properties that were being offered as collateral for the loan. There are several problems with the case that eroded its validity, to wit:

1. In applying for the loan Mr. Trump’s lawyers had specified that the banks were advised to calculate their own valuations of the properties rather than merely accept theirs. Indeed, these lenders were very sophisticated and experienced in the world of real estate and financing, and they would have done so as a matter of course. They were not the type of lenders that would be defrauded.

2. Both parties agreed that the valuations were reasonable. However, the judge disagreed. He placed his own values on the properties, which were unrealistically low.

3. None of the lenders lost any money on the deal. In point of fact, they all made a considerable amount of money. They had done business with Mr. Trump in the past and were eager to do so again prospectively.

4. In the course of my research into this matter I did not find any independent person who agreed with the judge that the valuations were inflated and the lenders defrauded.
According to Jonathan Turley and many other attorneys this case featured an “unprecedented” application of the law Mr. Trump was accused of having violated and the fine levied was considerably excessive. (More on that later). The law was intended to apply to situations in which the offender had committed a crime, declared bankruptcy to avoid repayment, or caused the victims to lose money. None of these applied in this case. Even the left-leaning NY Times, no friend of Mr. Trump’s, denoted that it could not find a single instance in which the accused was not guilty of any of those.

5. Mr. Turley and many other attorneys maintained that the $455 million fine, including interest, imposed by the judge was excessive and designed to make it very difficult, if not impossible, for Mr. Trump to appeal the decision. Turley pointed out that under NYS law in order to file an appeal Trump would first be required to deposit the full amount in a court account. This is a very high bar even for a man of Trump’s immense wealth and resources. It may require him to sell properties at distress prices, or perhaps, even declare bankruptcy.


In my opinion, the prosecution and the court clearly overstepped. This case, itself, and the decision have been widely seen as a personal vendetta against Mr. Trump for the reasons cited above. Surely, the appeals court would substantially reduce the fine or even reverse the entire decision. The question is can Mr. Trump raise enough money to finance the appeal?

Most of the public sees this for what it is – a political “hit job.” It reinforces the growing feeling in America that the scales of justice are tilted depending upon the defendant’s politics. It compromises the entire notion of equity of our system of justice. The rest of us should beware. If this can happen to a prominent man like Trump, with all his resources, it can certainly happen to the average “Joe.” Again, this situation is a characteristic of an autocracy, not a democracy.

Even worse, it clarifies what many of us have long believed. The Dems are deathly afraid of Mr. Trump’s popularity, and this case and other pending cases against him, which are also comprised of “trumped up” charges, are designed to knock him out of the race. It is a blatant attempt at voter suppression, to prevent the people from being able to decide elections without outside interference.

The unintended consequence of all this, that the Dem governing class was either too blinded by hatred or too dumb to anticipate, is that once it becomes apparent to other business leaders and wealthy people what the governor and DA have done it could stoke fears that they may do it to them as well and may accelerate their departure from NY to states with more favorable political, economic and social situations. NY is already suffering a sizeable exodus of people and businesses, and it can ill afford this. The Dem leaders may end up being hoisted on their own petard, and it would serve them right.

About the Author
Larry was born and raised in New York. He is 73 years old. He has a Bachelors Degree in Accounting and a Masters Degree in Marketing Management, and worked in the financial industry for 42 years in accounting and Compliance. Larry is also a veteran, whose hobbies are reading and golf. He has been writing a blog for three years, which is being read by people in 90 countries.
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