American voters have just two choices – frypan or fire

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Americans, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Biden, Trump
Image credit: Wall Street Journal

If something like that would happen with any politicians in non-Western nations – which they see as “third world”, people would simply dump him or her, without hesitation. On November 5, Americans will have to cast their votes either in favor of Joe Biden or Donald Trump. It is now known to all – Biden represents one of the most corrupt political families in the world, whereas members of Biden family also are facing series of scandals and allegations of sexual perversion and drug addiction. President Biden himself also is accused of having illicit sexual relations with his wife Jill, when she was married to her previous husband. On the other hand, Donald Trump faces allegations that includes extreme sexual scandals and financial discrepancies. In a Netflix docuseries, Trump is portrayed as a “con man”, narcissist and a fraud.

As the United States is nearing the November 5 elections, political environment in the country is becoming increasingly hot and volatile. Recently, in an interview to Fox News, Trump acknowledged the possibility of jail time or house arrest following his historic criminal conviction in a hush-money trial. He said, “My revenge will be success. These are bad people. These people are sick, and they do things that are so destructive… if it weren’t me, they’d be going after somebody else, and I know a lot of the competition. They wouldn’t do so well”.

Trump did not elaborate the nature of public reaction once he is jailed or put on house arrest. Instead he said, “I’m OK with it. I am not sure the public would stand for it.

“I think it would be tough for the public to take. You know at a certain point there’s a breaking point”.

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11, four days before Republicans gather to formally choose their presidential nominee to face Democratic President Joe Biden.

Commenting on Trump’s conviction, a constitutional scholar said, the Supreme Court will eventually rule that Donald Trump is protected by the First Amendment in the payment of hush money to adult movie star Stromy Daniels to influence an election outcome.

On June 1, Steven Calabresi, a Clayton J. & Henry R. Barber Professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law said, “Altering business records under New York State law is only a crime if it is done to conceal the violation of some other law. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleged that the documents were allegedly falsely altered to conceal a contribution of money in violation of federal campaign finance laws or in pursuance of winning the 2016 election by defrauding the voters of information they had a right to know. Neither argument passes First Amendment scrutiny…”

Calabresi pointed out that federal campaign finance laws “were partially upheld in Buckley v. Valeo, 424 US 1 (1976). In that case, campaign expenditure limits were ruled to be flatly unconstitutional as a violation of the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech. Under Buckley v. Valeo, an individual like Donald Trump can spend an unlimited amount of his own money promoting his own campaign. But, the Supreme Court in Buckley did uphold contribution limits on how much an individual or a group could contribute to influence an election”.

Bragg argues that the Trump Organization’s contribution of $130,000 to pay Stormy Daniels hush money exceeded federal campaign finance limits on contributions.

“The federal government itself has adopted a policy of not prosecuting hush money payments as illegal campaign contributions in the wake of its embarrassing loss of such a prosecution brought against Democratic Vice Presidential contender John Edwards”, Calabresi noted.

Edwards had paid hush money during the 2004 presidential election to a mistress he had had a child out of wedlock with.

In 2010, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 US 310, the Supreme Court held 5 to 4 that the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for political campaigns by closely allied corporations and groups like The Trump Organization.

“Under Citizens United, it was perfectly legal for The Trump Organization to pay Daniels $130,000 in hush money to conceal her alleged affair with Donald Trump”, Calabresi noted.

The First Amendment Freedom of Speech Clause also rules out of order Bragg’s argument that Trump defrauded American voters by preventing them from hearing about Trump’s affair with Stormy Daniels.

“Theories as broad as this one is, of ‘defrauding voters’ would end up eliminating the freedom of speech in American elections. Voters had no ‘right’ to know about Donald Trump’s sex life. He was obviously not monogamous being married to a third wife, and voters who adhere to traditional values voted for him anyway because of the kind of stellar conservative justices he went on to appoint to the Supreme Court”, Calabresi noted.

“There was thus no predicate crime that Trump could have been concealing when he allegedly altered business records at The Trump Organization. Trump’s convictions in the Manhattan trial are unconstitutional because they violate the First Amendment as it was originally understood”, Calabresi added.

Calabresi said the Supreme Court needs to take up the case as soon as possible because “voters need to know that the Constitution protected everything Trump is alleged to have done with respect to allegedly paying hush money to Stormy Daniels. This is especially the case because the trial judge in Trump’s Manhattan case wrongly allowed Stormy Daniels to testify in graphic detail about the sexual aspects of her alleged affair with Trump. This testimony tainted the jury and the 2024 national presidential electorate, impermissibly, and was irrelevant to the question of whether President Trump altered business records to conceal a crime”.

The Supreme Court, Calabresi added, “needs to make clear what are the legal rules in matters of great consequence to an election to a federal office like the presidency. A highly partisan borough, Manhattan, of a highly partisan city, New York City, in a highly partisan state, like New York State, cannot be allowed to criminalize the conduct of presidential candidates in ways that violate the federal constitution”.

Calabresi concluded: “The Roman Republic fell when politicians began criminalizing politics. I am gravely worried that we are seeing that pattern repeat itself in the present-day United States. It is quite simply wrong to criminalize political differences”.

In another development, Georgia Court of Appeals on Wednesday put a hold on Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s prosecution of former President Donald Trump while he appeals a decision on her disqualification from the case.

The court order says, “The proceedings below in the Superior Court of Fulton County are hereby stayed pending the outcome of these appeals”.

One of the many Democrat lawfare cases against Trump hit a major brick wall amid allegations that Willis maintained an inappropriate relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, whom she hired to pursue the case and who subsequently held meetings at the White House to discuss the case. The pair have admitted to the relationship but insisted it began after Willis hired Wade.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee in March ruled that either Wade or Willis must leave the case, resulting in Wade’s stepping down.

On the other hand, Joe Biden’s scandal-plagued son Hunter Biden currently is facing trial which could result in 25 years imprisonment, if found guilty.

Meanwhile, the Committee on Oversight and Accountability has accelerated its investigation of the Biden family’s domestic and international business practices to determine whether the Biden family has been targeted by foreign actors, as if President Biden is compromised, America’s national security is threatened. Records obtained through the Committee’s subpoenas reveal that the Bidens and their associates have received over US$20 million in payments from foreign entities.

While American voters will have to decide – who runs the show in White House from January next year, they still don’t find answers to many questions including if the next president can recover country’s already wrecked economy and if he can end Israel’s ongoing war in Gaza and Rafah as well as proxy war in Ukraine. To my understanding, while Donald Trump may take some effective steps in compelling Ukraine’s date-expired president Volodymyr Zelensky in sitting with Russia and reach into a peaceful settlement, Trump may not exhibit any softness towards Palestinians or exert pressure on Israel in enforcing a ceasefire before Hamas is “totally annihilated”. Although a significant portion of Americans are currently demanding a ceasefire in Gaza and Rafah – they equally are embarrassed when the issue of Hamas holding a large number of Israeli, American and Western citizens as hostage.

Whether it is Joe Biden or Donald Trump winning November 5 elections, Washington’s policy towards Israel shall not change. At the same time, although it is until now anticipated that Trump would be tough on Ukraine and Zelensky, he may also be forced to shift his position and follow the path of Biden on this crucial issue as Russia is increasingly being cornered through massive media assault – where Russian media is miserably failing in countering any. Moscow also does not enjoy support from Western or non-western media throughout the world, mostly because, policymakers occupying cozy chairs in Kremlin possibly are not realizing the importance and value of media’s role in modern-day warfare.

With these eerie scenarios, American voters have no alternative to choosing between frypan and fire.

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