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As a Former Prosecutor, Here’s the Real Issue Behind the Trump Case

Donald Trump (Credits: The Hollywood Reporter)

In the Middle of the flurry of legal arguments and sensational narratives surrounding the criminal prosecution of Donald Trump in New York, it’s essential to cut through the noise and grasp the core issue at hand.

Despite attempts by both defense and prosecution to frame the case in more dramatic terms, at its heart, this trial revolves around business integrity.

The defense’s portrayal of the case as a matter of hush money in democratic elections and the prosecution’s assertion of a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election both serve as narrative devices to sway jurors and the public opinion. However, these narratives obscure the fundamental nature of the case, which is far less glamorous but equally important.

Donald Trump (Credits: Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

As someone who has worked in the Manhattan district attorney’s office and enforced the laws Mr. Trump is accused of violating, I can attest that this is a straightforward case about preventing wealthy individuals from using their businesses to commit crimes and evade accountability.

The prosecution aims to uphold the integrity of financial markets, a longstanding priority for Manhattan prosecutors. The charges against Trump involve allegations of creating false records with the intent to violate federal and state election laws or tax laws.

While his defense may argue that these actions were merely intended to protect his family from embarrassment, the timing of the payments suggests otherwise. Michael Cohen’s testimony, despite his personal baggage, is expected to corroborate documentary evidence presented by the prosecution.

Jurors will be tasked with weighing the evidence and applying the law, while the judge will provide instructions. It’s crucial for both sides to present compelling narratives closely tied to the facts without overpromising, as sweeping theories risk undermining the defense’s credibility.

Donald Trump (Credits: Asharq Al-Awsat)

While some may question the importance of charging a former president for such conduct, viewing the case through the lens of business records law offers a more convincing justification. If others would be prosecuted for similar conduct, then Trump, too, should be held accountable, regardless of his previous position.

In the midst of the legal drama and competing narratives, it’s essential to remain focused on the core issue: ensuring accountability and upholding the integrity of the law.

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