Letter 2 America for April 4, 2023

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Dear America,

Years ago, someone I knew was trying to help his parents buy a minivan.  He went to a dealer and got the manager to make him an offer, but he declined to opt for it saying that he wanted to compare what might be offered by other dealers before committing.  The dealer asked of him that he give the dealer a chance to beat competitive offers, and my acquaintance agreed.  Then he went to another dealership and got them to put an offer in writing on a form that listed all of the options he was seeking, but again declined to commit.  He took the written offer home, altered it and photocopied it so as to mask the alterations before he took the new offer to the first dealer, who promptly beat it by a few hundred dollars, and that offer was accepted.   I was a fairly new lawyer at the time, but the chicanery didn't seem legal to me, so I checked.  There was no law I could find here in Connecticut that proscribed my acquaintance's conduct, but there was one in New York State.  In New York, alteration of a business record--such as in this case an offer to sell at a price certain--was not just a violation of the criminal code of the state, it was a felony.  I never mentioned it out of concern for the family relationships that would be jeopardized if I did...until now.

For me, it's not relevant to those personal events of decades ago that in New York the conduct I just described was a felony.  But it's relevant for the Trumpster, isn't it.  Unfortunately, the media reporting on Trump's indictment have chosen, in typical simplistic fashion, to dumb the news down so that what they esteem to be the public intellect could fathom what was happening to Trump legally.  It has all become some legal adjunct to the tawdry conduct of Trump and a porn star, Stormy Daniels.  That's the nature of sensationalism, and the conservative Republican polity, both they who are elected and they who elected them, have seized upon the adjunct "naked" truth as opposed to the legalities, even though many of the pols who are chiming in should know better as they too are lawyers.  But that would be too forthright for a Republican like Marco Rubio, for example.  He is a lawyer...technically...but he has never practiced anything but political hackery, and being a Republican, that carried him all the way from local hack to hack on the national stage in The Senate, where he now feels qualified to dimly criticize the work of a real lawyer, the New York prosecutor, Alvin Bragg, who oversaw the indictment process as it should have been overseen.  Then, there's Ted Cruz...another hack who went directly from ardent Trump critic to toady overnight, but Cruz wasn't just a lawyer, he was the solicitor general of the State of Texas.  He argued cases for his state before the Supreme Court, and unlike Rubio, he's no dummy...and he knows better besides.  For him to castigate the prosecutor in New York is disingenuous at best, if not downright and highly reprehensibly dishonest on a colossal scale.

But in all candor, I think Prosecutor Bragg has some work to do when it comes to convicting Trump.  The legalities of "intent to defraud," a sine qua non for a conviction, are a bit on the eristic side, though they have stature within New York's related common law.  And frankly, I think Bragg might have shot himself in the foot when he discarded the efforts of other prosecutors in his office when he first ascended to his elected position of New York County district attorney for Manhattan.  Those prosecutors were trying to build a case related to Trump's contrived evaluations of his net worth depending on whether he was paying his taxes or trying to borrow money.  That case seems from outside the investigation to be a lay-up.  We've all heard Trump brag about his wealth, yet he paid only $750 in federal income taxes in at least two of his years in office.  His tax records in New York no doubt provide the same fodder for a conviction on grounds of falsification of business records relative to payment of New York State taxes as well, but who knows.  Bragg might see the wisdom in resurrecting that area of investigation at some point.

All in all, it seems that the steadfast loyalty of the MAGA contingent is based on a kind of ignorance, probably bourn of the ignorance of Donald Trump himself.  When evaluating his candidacy, he--and they--decided he should run because they thought the office of President required that he be sagacious, and it does.  He just didn't understand the difference between sagaciousness and salaciousness; an understandable mistake for a miscreant sociopath who thinks he is a "very stable genius."  

Your friend,


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on April 4, 2023 4:53 PM.

Letter 2 America for March 14, 2023 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for April 27, 2023 is the next entry in this blog.

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