‘The more laws, the less justice’: constitutional law expert weighs in on Trump’s NYC trial

2RY398E Washington, USA. 28th Sep, 2023. George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley testifies during a House Oversight Committee hearing on impeaching President Joe Biden, at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, DC, on Thursday, September 28, 2023. (Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA) Credit: Sipa USA/Alamy Live News

Photo: Alamy

Constitutional law expert and American attorney Jonathan Turley weighed in this week on President Trump’s newly commenced criminal trial in Manhattan, writing in-depth about the “convoluted and counterintuitive” case that has been brought against the 45th president.

On his website, Turley quoted Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero, writing, “The more laws, the less justice.”

This certainly seems to be the case when it comes to President Donald Trump, who has come under attack in multiple legal venues across the country, particularly in New York. Monday’s criminal trial is the third case Trump is facing down in his stomping grounds. The current “hush money” case in Manhattan was preceded by a defamation case brought by ex-Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll and a New York civil fraud suit brought by the New York attorney general.

Turley wrote, “Lawyers have been scouring the civil and criminal codes for any basis to sue or prosecute Trump before the upcoming 2024 election. This week will highlight the damage done to New York’s legal system because of this unhinged crusade. They’ve charged him with everything short of ripping a label off a mattress.”

On Fox News, Turley expanded on his editorial commentary, explaining, “The more cases against Trump, the less justice we receive as a people. The opponents of Trump would have been much better off with just one case, the Mar-a-Lago case, that’s based on real law, real precedent…it’s not a reach in the sense of this case.”

Turley argued that in the “hush money” case, they were “creating a criminal code just for Trump – you know, you have a misdemeanor whose time has expired, the statute of limitations ran out, and it was revived in this rather curious way.”

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The constitutional scholar pointed out that while the prosecution is arguing that Trump committed a “federal crime” by making payments to Stormy Daniels via his then-attorney Michael Cohen, the payments were not a “campaign contribution.”

Turley explained, “It isn’t a federal crime, this wasn’t a campaign contribution – none of this appears to matter. That’s why a lot of us are looking at this and recoiling. This is not how the law is supposed to be. New Yorkers appear to like it this way.”

He added, “This district is putting together what many of us consider to be an absurd indictment.”

Turley also drew attention to the fact that Michael Cohen, who has been accused of perjury and disbarred from practicing law, will be taking the witness stand in Trump’s trial. He noted, “Well, what is really bizarre here is that he’s basically saying, ‘Put my client in jail for following my legal advice.’”

Ultimately, Turley described the criminal case against Trump as the resurrection of a dead misdemeanor, “suggesting a crime that doesn’t exist, and then hitting Trump with dozens of counts – most citizens…see that for what it is: it’s the weaponization of the criminal justice system.”

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