Trump guilty of assault? Republicans shrugged. Only principles get in the way

By downplaying the ruling against Trump, Republicans are taking another step in a risky direction, where fact is nothing but opinion.

Michael Pearson

It’s official: Donald Trump, the former president of the United States, assaulted a woman in the dressing room of a New York department store. At the very least: nearly three decades after the act, and four years after E. Jane Carroll described in the book how he began riding against her against her will, the nine-member jury unanimously decided that it did happen and that he should be awarded $2 million in damages. dollar.

So much for the news

No news is the answer to that. Republicans from low to high sneered and went about their business. “I don’t think that’s the focus of the American people,” said Mike Pence, Trump’s former vice president, who echoed party chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. She said immigration and inflation are more important. Pence said this was just a media thing.

In doing so, they reaffirmed Trump’s control of the party — for eight years no statement, action, accusation, impeachment or violation of the law could shake him. Since 2016Pussy grabThe recording became known and Trump won the presidential election, and Republicans discovered that he gets away with everything with his constituents and that criticism is not appropriate if they want to stay on top of things themselves. Only principles get in the way.

However, Republicans are now going one step further with laconic nihilism. It is the first time they have ignored a legal ruling on Trump’s misconduct. So far, one line of defense (from the Mueller investigation to the two indictments) has been that he was not convicted, and thus the charges never happened. But now that he’s been found guilty, they still dismiss that ruling as irrelevant, or even biased because the trial was in New York.

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Yes, it was a civil case, in which a “preponderance of evidence” would suffice, not “beyond a reasonable doubt.” But contemporary testimonies, additional statements from women who had similar experiences, and Trump’s own statement that he liked to grab women by their genitals were persuasive enough for the jury. Trump did not appear in court to defend himself.

The fact that Republicans misunderstand or downplay the statement is another step in a perilous direction, where fact is nothing but opinion. Only one Republican presidential candidate, former Attorney General and Governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson, has dared to call it that. “In my 25 years in the courtroom, I have seen firsthand how an arrogant disdain for justice can backfire,” he said.

Trump, who, as president, was still enlisting his attorney general Bill Barr to sabotage Carroll’s trial, appears to be made stronger again by his party’s compliance. In an interview on CNN, he made exaggerated statements that no presidential candidate would have gotten away with in the past. He praised the January 6 uprising, said Pence should have cooperated in the coup, and said he would pardon the rebels. The hall applauded and cheered.

For example, Teflon Don seems to remain the guy that nothing sticks to. The big question is which people or institutions a potential future president will tarnish.

The Volkskrant Komentar expresses the newspaper’s position. It comes after a discussion between commentators and editors-in-chief.

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