The presumption of innocence in the case of Donald Trump applies only to his trials and eventual criminal convictions. It does not apply to political judgments about his actions.
There is a common misconception is that it is improper to speak of an individual as having committed a crime unless and until he is convicted of a criminal offense in a court proceeding.
The ‘presumption of innocence”, however, applies only to the trial and criminal conviction of a defendant charged with committing a crime.
It is entirely appropriate, outside of this criminal trial context, to speak of individuals as having committed a crime, particularly when there is abundant evidence in the prublic record of the individual having committed the crime.
Consequently, we don’t need a court of law to declare Dondald Trump guilty of the many crimes he has apparently committed, often in broad daylight, and which appear confirmed by the public evidence, including that contained in the criminal indictments against him.
Trump is the political equivalent to a mafia boss, using bevies of lawyers to delay all criminal proceeds against him until after the November 5, 2024 election. If he wins, he will discontinue federal proceedings against him and his accomplices, and he’s said that he would pardon those who have been convicted of criminal offenses related to the January 6, 2021 attempt to overthrow the results of the November 2020 presidential election, including the physical attack on Congress.
Trump is a mega-criminal. In the political view of the public and the voting electorate he should be considered guiltywhere the pubilc evidence is strong. He is a mega-felon, and if justice is allowed to run its course, he is extremely likely to be convicted of the crimes with which he has been charged.
The American electorate should not be misled to believe that they may not consider Trump to be a criminal until he is formally convicted of criminal offenses in a court of law. The American people, and our political system, are not so stupid.
Moreover, Trummp should not even be allowed to run for the presidency, given the express wording of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which provides:
Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection and Other Rights
Section 3 Disqualification from Holding Office
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
See James Rowles, “Trump appears barred by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment from running for president,” Trenchant Observations, January 4, 2024.
If, despite the plain wording of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court allows Trump to run in the November presidential election, and if he wins, we will have elected a mafia-style crime boss and his henchmen to run the United States. They would likely do so as a giant criminal syndicate.
A further word regarding Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is in order.
It would appear to apply not only to Trump, but also to all of the Senators and House Members and other federal and state officials who, having taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States), “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the (Constitution of the United States), or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
Consequently, all such officials should be barred from running for public office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
If citizens are paying attention, a large number of lawsuits should be initiated to prevent such persons from running for public office.
The issue here is whether the citizens of a democracy such as the United States will act to defend that democracy against those who would overthrow both the Constitution and the Rule of Law.