Donald Trump’s “Appeal to Heaven”

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Permit me to redefine the word “unfair” into Republican. “Unfair, adjective, any outcome of any event, election or legal process Donald Trump doesn’t approve of, or is unfavourable to Donald Trump. As in, ‘Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 felony counts by a jury of his peers. Unfair.’”

Keeping that definition clearly in mind, Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche told CNN on Thursday night that he intends to file motions challenging the verdict before formally appealing the case. Blanche said he will “vigorously fight,” and will file motions challenging “things that happened in the trial that we think just made the trial unfair.” That word again.

That’s pathetic step number one for Trump’s legal team. When that fails, for pathetic step number two, Blanche promises, “as soon as we can appeal, we will.” (Note to Todd Blanche: he can appeal the case he ineptly lost as soon as the sentence is handed down on July 11, and not a second before. Just in case he didn’t know that. I’m trying to be helpful here.)

Once sentenced, Trump will have 30 days to file a notice of appeal. He will then have six months in which to file a formal appeal. That appeal will be heard by the First Judicial Department of New York’s Appellate Division. Eventually. When,they have time on their busy docket. When that fails he can appeal to New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. When that fails he can go to the Supreme Court of the United States.

By then Trump will have already served many months, possibly years, possibly all of his sentence. So fear not. There is only one problem. Judge Juan Merchan could elect to delay implementation of the sentence until all of Trump’s appeals have been exhausted.

While that’s technically possible, I don’t think Merchan will do it. I believe this for reasons I have already stated in two previous articles. In the event you missed those articles, I will briefly summarise my reasons here.

First, Trump represents a significant danger to the public. He violated his gag order dozens of times, before and after Judge Merchan threatened him with jail time. Those violations resulted in a huge outcry of anger from Trump’s stupid MAGA claque, including intimidation and violent death threats made to the witnesses, jurors and officers of the court involved in the trial. Trump has a long, shameful history of stochastic terrorism. He is never to be trusted.

Second, Trump has shown absolutely no remorse for the crimes for which he was found justly guilty by a jury of his peers. Historically, that represents a significant influence in any judge’s impulse for leniency. Trump has made no effort to appeal to the better angels of Juan Merchan’s mercy. That is going to come back to bite him.

Third, for significant prison sentences, that is, sentences involving more than, say, ninety days, delays in implementation of the sentence pending appeal are almost never allowed. Even with short sentences it’s usually not allowed. Were it otherwise, convicted criminals would take years to finally start serving their sentences, and would be free to commit many more crimes while waiting.

A good way to avoid all this legal trouble is to mount a competent defence. A better way is not to commit the crimes in the first place. Trump has never felt the sting of consequence for any of his crimes before. He’s about to find out what that is like. He can “Appeal to Heaven” all he wants, it’s too late for him to weasel out of it now. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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