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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: Trump’s legal battles show unfair application of justice

Justice is blind, but the American people are not
Wikimedia Commons
Former President of the United States, Donald Trump, speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

With just under one year to go until the next presidential election, the 2024 race for the White House has already been one of the most unpredictable and unconventional election cycles in recent memory. 

The landscape of the 2024 election is unlike any other. It’s the first time that an incumbent president is seeking re-election in his 80s, independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is putting up numbers similar to that of Ross Perot in 1992 and if former President Donald J. Trump is nominated by the GOP, it will only be the fifth time that a former president is on the ballot for a non-consecutive term. However, Trump is in a situation unlike any of the four former presidents before him. 

The former president has been indicted four times and is facing 91 felony charges. 

Trump did not lie about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or drag us into decades-long foreign wars in Asia, Europe or the Middle East like his blood-soaked, war-hungry predecessors or his successor did.

Instead, he allegedly committed white-collar “crimes” that many of his predecessors also committed. I do not condone criminal behavior by any elected officials. 

However, it is impossible for one to argue that justice is being applied fairly when war criminals like former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, just to name a few, have not seen the inside of a jail cell.

Kissinger, who died last week, is often seen as the most influential statesman in the history of the United States. Kissinger is often credited with helping to build relations between China and the West, as well as helping to build the international stage post-WWII. Throughout his time as Secretary of State, Kissinger’s policies contributed to the deaths of up to four million people, including civilians, as a result of bombings in Cambodia and Vietnam that Kissinger approved of. He later won a Nobel Peace Prize.

Bush and Cheney lied to the world about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to justify sending the U.S. into the Middle East, which destabilized the entire region, diminished the credibility of U.S. intelligence and killed innumerable men, women and children over multiple decades. 

Obama, throughout the entirety of his administration, approved 563 drone strikes in the Middle East, which killed anywhere between 384 and 807 civilians. He embraced the use of drones by claiming that they were the most precise method of attack, but as evidenced by the high numbers of civilian casualties, his claim is wrong.

Instead of committing war crimes to win Nobel Prizes like his predecessors, Trump made the grave mistake of allegedly falsifying business records, mishandling classified documents and attempting to overturn the 2020 election.

However, Trump is not the only government official to engage in this type of behavior. President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence both mishandled classified documents as well, but unlike Trump, never had the authority at any point in time to declassify said documents.

With regard to election denial, Trump took a play straight out of the Democratic Party’s playbook. For years, the DNC peddled lies and misinformation about the Russian election interference hoax. Democrats insisted that the election was stolen and staged protests and riots all over the country. Even over 18 months after the election, Nancy Pelosi sent out a tweet that read, “Our election was hijacked. There is no question. Congress has a duty to #ProtectOurDemocracy & #FollowTheFacts.”

Trump, much like the democrats before him in 2016, believed the election was stolen and denied the results due to the COVID-era voting policies that were enacted. On Jan. 6, 2021, the president encouraged his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make their voices heard,” playing a role in the protest at Capitol Hill. After Trump’s election in 2016, as well as throughout his presidency, many celebrities, including Snoop Dogg, Kathy Griffin and Johnny Depp suggested killing Trump. Madonna even went as far as suggesting she thought about “…blowing up the White House.”

Instead of resorting to death threats and violence like many on the left did in 2016, Trump encouraged his supporters to take a peaceful approach. While the protest was mostly peaceful, it did escalate to violence. This likely would not have happened if Trump’s request for National Guard troops at the Capitol was granted. Instead it was denied.

As a result of Trump encouraging Americans to use their constitutionally protected right to free speech and assembly, he was charged with conspiring to defraud the government and disenfranchise voters and corruptly obstructing an official proceeding.”

It is abundantly clear that justice is not being fairly applied in this case. Blood-soaked war criminals that have destroyed entire regions of the world are revered and respected while Trump is facing nearly 718 years in prison for crimes that virtually every single one of his predecessors have engaged in as the American people sit back and watch our democracy crumble.

To add insult to injury, Trump and his team have received gag orders in the state of New York and Washington, D.C. With these gag orders in effect, Trump is essentially forbidden from criticizing the witch hunt against himself and his fellow defendants. This is especially problematic when one considers that Trump is in the middle of a presidential campaign that would normally require large amounts of public appearances, debates and campaign events, at which he would normally comment about something like these legal cases to win favorability among voters.

If Trump sees the inside of a jail cell, virtually every single politician should proceed with caution, because according to the precedent, they will be soon to follow.

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About the Contributor
Harry Murphy
Harry Murphy, Staff Writer | he/him
Harry is a senior broadcast journalism major from Walpole, Massachusetts. Harry is an Eagle Scout who enjoys being outdoors, and loves spending time with family and friends. In his free time, he enjoys running around the city, or watching any of Boston’s four major sports teams. After graduation, Harry hopes to work as a political correspondent.
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    JoelJan 14, 2024 at 5:31 pm

    An absolutely ludicrous commentary that shows why we are in danger of sliding into tyranny. I agree with all the comments on the terrible willingness of past presidents to go to war over specious — and in the case of George W. Bush, non-existent — evidence, but the idea that Trump, who has railed against foreign powers to the point of suggesting possible nuclear weapon use, who expressed a desire to have a military parade like North Korea’s, and who (pre-presidency) said he the way China handled protesters showed “strength,” will keep us out of international conflict is crazy. That he did not lead us into world conflict had more to do with the few sane voices (most fired later) in his inner circles and that a global pandemic came around to to distract him. The Russian election interference was not fiction. Yes, they could not legally connect Trump to it, but all you need to do is look at any real reporting on the Trump campaign officials and some future administration officials who visited Russia prior to the election and the social media targeting that occurred afterward to see the connections. Trump is on record for more provable lies than any president in history, his business history is checkered with cheating contractors, racist landlord practices and, of course, his massive overstatement of property values and wealth. And for all the war crimes previous presidents could arguably be held accountable for, this is the first president in modern times to work overtime to inspire domestic terrorism — and not just the attempted insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. More than 54 cases have showed people charged with violence, threats, alleged assaults invoking trump’s name. Perhaps worse than all his criminal activity and lack of ethics is what he has done to our social fabric. Nearly half the country seems fine with a man who likes bullying, putting his political opponents in physical danger, and making statements that echo dictators past. Anyone saying “I alone can fix it” is to be feared. It is beyond belief that anyone doing their homework as a citizen or trying to claim a love of democracy would support this man. I am not fan of the Democratic Party, but if the option is that or what the Republican Party has become in recent years, it is no choice at all. Another Trump term will be utter chaos.