Trump’s criminal case also puts democracy and criminal justice system on trial: analysis

Trump’s criminal case also puts democracy and criminal justice system on trial: analysis
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Donald Trump and his personal valet aren't the only ones on trial in the criminal case brought against him over alleged mishandling of classified documents, according to a news analysis.

The stakes are high for Trump in a case where he could face years in prison, but there is even more on the line in this case, writes Peter Baker of the New York Times. Baker has covered the White House under the past five presidents, including all four years that Trump was in office.

Baker says that, if Trump winds up in front of a jury for these allegations, "it is no exaggeration to suggest that American justice will be on trial as well."

"History’s first federal indictment against a former president poses one of the gravest challenges to democracy the country has ever faced," according to Baker's analysis. "It represents either a validation of the rule-of-law principle that even the most powerful face accountability for their actions or the moment when a vast swath of the public becomes convinced that the system has been irredeemably corrupted by partisanship."

Baker goes on to suggest that Trump and some other Republicans have caused the issue to worsen by turning their sights on the DOJ and the FBI.

"Few if any of them bothered to wait to read the indictment before backing Mr. Trump’s all-caps assertion that it was merely part of the 'GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME.' It is now an article of faith, a default tactic or both," he wrote.

The article further quotes David Jolly, a former Republican congressman from Florida who left the party during the Trump presidency:

“I think the verdict on democracy ultimately comes down to Republican leaders and Republican voters," Jolly said. “Their current weaponization narrative is dangerous and destabilizing, but seems to reflect the party’s early consensus. If they don’t pivot soon to due process and faith in the system, I think we could have very dark days ahead. I do worry.”

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