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What Trump’s guilty verdict means for the election, for him, and most important, for us

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Fulton County Sheriff's Office; Shutterstock Creative

The American people understand Trump cannot be trusted, they voted to convict him, and now they won’t elect him as our next president.

Donald Trump, a former president, although it seems such a blight on the presidency to have his name associated with this lofty and historic office, has been found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying New York business records in order to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election.

It was the first-ever criminal trial of an ex-president and obviously the first conviction. We now have a presumptive presidential nominee who has a felony conviction. It took the jury nine hours to decide on those 34 counts. If you consider the weight of the charges, the number of charges, and the mountain of evidence, it’s striking that all 12 jurors agreed.

The verdict is emphatic. It was unanimous across the board. All 34 counts. GUILTY, as Trump might post on his Truth Social. The message of that ironclad stamp of “guilty” will most likely be a major factor in the upcoming election, a tricky label for Trump to dodge or own, and a restorative message about the faith and trust we have in each other as Americans.

While the Supreme Court looks like a bunch of bought-off hacks, ethically challenged, isolated, and arrogant jurists, who judge without a jury. The Trump trial was a fair process. It included jury deliberations as well as a verdict. It sends a message that if you can’t trust the court system, you can trust average citizens to make the right call.

God knows, juries have not always got it right, particularly in cases involving people of color, but when the hush-money jury was assembled and called on to decide the case, even under the duress of possible retaliation by the thugs around Trump, the jurors stood tall. Having his sycophants sit behind him, clad in red ties and threatening scowls, would not deter this group doing their civic duty.

Yes, the judge was fair. He had his patience tried, but he kept the trial on track and kept everyone, as best he could, attuned to decorum. Yet in this instance, a judge did not rule. People did. Trump’s fellow citizens — if you want to call them that — and that sends a big message.

Trump, now a fellow citizen, now a felon, was convicted by his peers. All the effort by Trump to delegitimize the court, the jury, and the judge failed to have any effect on the case and the verdict. And my bet is that it will fail miserably if he tries to taint this verdict and those 12 jurors during the upcoming election.

Most Americans have served on a jury. They will take offense at anyone, particularly a convicted felon, who tries to smear the jury system. Trump tried to overturn an election, overturn the government, and overturn the court system (Hello Judge Aileen Canon in Florida.). But he can’t - ever- mess with a jury of American citizens.

In 2016, when Trump set out to undermine the rule of law and tried to “hoodwink” — as the prosecutors referred to it — the American people, the American people weren’t going to be made fools. Fool us once? OK, but don’t try to fool us again, even though he did, but Trump can’t win every time. He’s been exposed — justly. The American people finally gave him his comeuppance.

Most voters have, unfortunately, already decided who they’re going to vote for in November; however, there are double-digit numbers among Republicans, Democrats, and independents who are still undecided. Many of them say that if Trump was found guilty in any of his trials — the hush-money trial looking to be the only one this year — that would affect their vote. It’s decision time.

Actions have consequences, and this might now be the most consequential issue in the election. Do you want a man who was found guilty of “hoodwinking” the American people as your president? The hush-money jurors have an answer for you.

As President Biden might say, this is “no joke,” and because of this, the Biden campaign will be treating this with the seriousness it deserves. Biden and his team will remind the undecided voters as well as everyone else what this verdict has to do with who you choose to vote for in November. Biden will handle this in a logical, serious, and stoic manner, conveying the stakes of electing a felon.

And as for Trump? His comments outside the courtroom Thursday were the same old same old recitation of his regular garbage. Trump said the trial was a disgrace. Only for him. He said it was rigged. It wasn’t, and most Americans know it wasn’t. He said the judge was conflicted. The judge didn’t decide his guilt or innocence.

Trump said that the country is messy and divided. He needs only to look inside the courtroom where he spent the last few weeks to see that messy is an exaggeration, and that when it comes to his guilt, there was no divide.

Further, he said that the court ruled against his request for change of venue (He claimed falsely he only got 5 percent to 6 percent of the vote in Manhattan. It was almost 15 percent). That’s too far down in the weeds for most people. He said our country is going to hell. The only thing going to hell is Trump. He said the country is rigged. Well, it's not, except maybe for the Supreme Court.

Will SCOTUS get this case one day and overturn it for Trump? Very unlikely. While I’m no lawyer, I know enough about the law to understand that an appeals court taking on a unanimous jury conviction is highly unlikely. The judge, according to most reports, dotted every “i” and crossed every ‘t”.

It may take some time, but eventually Trump will receive his punishment. Hopefully part of that retribution is that the American people now understand Trump cannot be trusted, that the American people voted to convict him unanimously and fairly, and that the American people won’t elect him as our next president.

John Casey is a senior editor at The Advocate.

Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, equalpride.

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John Casey

John Casey is senior editor of The Advocate, writing columns about political, societal, and topical issues with leading newsmakers of the day. The columns include interviews with Sam Altman, Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Colman Domingo, Jennifer Coolidge, Kelly Ripa and Mark Counselos, Jamie Lee Curtis, Shirley MacLaine, Nancy Pelosi, Tony Fauci, Leon Panetta, John Brennan, and many others. John spent 30 years working as a PR professional on Capitol Hill, Hollywood, the Nobel Prize-winning UN IPCC, and with four of the largest retailers in the U.S.
John Casey is senior editor of The Advocate, writing columns about political, societal, and topical issues with leading newsmakers of the day. The columns include interviews with Sam Altman, Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Colman Domingo, Jennifer Coolidge, Kelly Ripa and Mark Counselos, Jamie Lee Curtis, Shirley MacLaine, Nancy Pelosi, Tony Fauci, Leon Panetta, John Brennan, and many others. John spent 30 years working as a PR professional on Capitol Hill, Hollywood, the Nobel Prize-winning UN IPCC, and with four of the largest retailers in the U.S.