Back in the days when there was equal justice for all in the United States, there was this concept known as “conflict of interest”: if someone involved in, say, a legal case had shown clear evidence of favoring one side or another, that was considered to be a disqualifying factor. Now, however, in these exhilarating days of justice of the woke, by the woke, and for the woke, the old rules just don’t apply. If a presidential candidate opposes the regime, he is liable to be arrested for old misdemeanor charges that are suddenly new again, and are now turbocharged felonies. If the judge in the case is obviously biased against him, so much the better.
The judge in Donald Trump’s case is Acting New York County Supreme Court Justice Juan Manuel Merchan, about whom our Townhall colleague Mia Cathell has made some interesting discoveries:
“According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings, Merchan donated three times to ActBlue in the summer of 2020, once on July 26, 2020, when the judge’s donation was—according to the FEC—earmarked for President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. The other two of Merchan’s contributions were pledged to the Progressive Turnout Project (PTP), a left-wing PAC that rallies voter turnout for Democrat candidates, and Stop Republicans, a PTP sub-project that’s dedicated to ‘resisting’ Trump and the Republican Party.”
Does all this mean that Merchan won’t be able to judge Trump fairly? Not necessarily. But it certainly makes it less likely.
But wait, there’s more. Breitbart reported Tuesday that Judge Merchan’s daughter, Loren Merchan, is “president and partner of Authentic Campaigns, a company that runs digital campaigns for Democrat candidates, according to Merchan’s archived LinkedIn account.” Loren Merchan “worked as the ‘Director of Digital Persuasion’ for ‘Kamala Harris For The People’ from February 2019 through December 2019 — which was during the 2020 presidential election. And according to the company’s website, the ‘Biden-Harris’ campaign was also a client.” So were the campaigns of Hakeem Jeffries, Cory Booker, Gavin Newsom, and a host of other Leftists.
It’s clear that, for the Trump trial, Merchan’s deep involvement with the Leftist elites is not a bug but a feature. Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s case couldn’t possibly be thinner. As Andy McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney, stated, “this indictment, even before you get to the statute of limitations and whether he’s got jurisdiction to enforce federal law, I would dismiss it on its face because it fails to state a crime… This is the heart of the case. It’s not a felony unless he was trying to conceal another crime and if you don’t tell them what the crime is, how does that put him on notice and allow him to prepare his defense?”
The perfect judge for such a Kafkaesque case would be one who is so ferociously partisan that the weakness of the case hardly matters, because the outcome has been predetermined.
Is Judge Merchan that judge? He may end up being as impartial as the day is long, but if Bragg and his henchmen wanted to make sure that the judge in this case was as sympathetic to the prosecution as possible, Merchan’s donation history and daughter’s activities certainly made him an appealing candidate for the job.
So could Trump be convicted? It’s a real possibility. Patriotic observers are concentrating on the weakness of Bragg’s case and the legal legerdemain involved in it, but all that is ultimately beside the point if Merchan turns out to be as desperate to get Trump as Bragg obviously is. Those who have accordingly argued that the case should be moved out of New York City have a point; in Manhattan, it will be easy for Bragg to find a jury of twelve people who hate Trump even more than he himself does, and the former president’s chances of a fair trial will be reduced even more.
Here yet again, we are in uncharted territory. Many have observed that the indictment and arrest of Trump take us into banana republic territory, and it is precisely for that reason that supporters of Trump, and those who aren’t so fond of Trump but realize how dangerous this whole affair is, should not be so sure that the whole case will eventually founder. Stalin didn’t put his enemies on trial just to see them acquitted. Old Joe Biden’s handlers and their allies aren’t likely to do so, either.