Judge Merchan Threatens the American People

by Newt Gingrich

Judge Juan Merchan’s dictatorial behavior in rigging the trial against President Donald Trump is not only a threat to the former president.

President Trump is only one person. While the threat to him is real, Judge Merchan is also threatening 332 million Americans.

Merchan threatens the entire structure of the Constitution and the rule of law. He clearly violated the Eighth Amendment requirement that citizens have the right to know with what crime they are being charged.

Of course, Trump was told he was being charged with falsifying business records (normally a misdemeanor). However, neither in the indictment nor in the prosecution’s case were the underlying crime or crimes which elevated the charges to felonies ever clearly explained.

Without those amorphous other crimes, the prosecution could only charge that Trump had filled out papers incorrectly. Further, without the mysterious underlying crimes, the statute of limitations on the misdemeanors had run out years ago.

In fact, without these underlying crimes, President Trump could not have even been indicted. District Attorney Alvin Bragg insinuated the underlying crime was a campaign violation, but that would be a federal crime (and no federal charge exists against Trump). The State of New York has no authority over federal elections, and the American Supreme Court has been clear that states cannot enforce federal law.

More importantly, Mr. Merchan violated the rights of every American citizen who is entitled to a fair opportunity to support a candidate of his or her choice for president. There are 332 million Americans, and they all deserve the right to an open campaign, a clear choice, and a fair election.

The American President is the chief executive officer of the government and the commander in chief of the military. From George Washington to today, the president has been the key figure in defining issues and guiding the country in making big decisions.

So, manipulating the law to cripple and weaken one candidate for president, damages that person – and the rights of every American.

As legal expert and American Enterprise Institution Senior Fellow John Yoo asserted on Fox News’ Life Liberty & Levin:

“The Supreme Court has made clear, not just in one offside comment, in three very clear decisions that only the federal government can enforce federal law. Only the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission can prosecute and bring suit for violations of federal election law. They’re the guardians of how federal election should run. And so what happened here is that the DA approved by this judge, Judge Merchan, grabbed the authority away and basically decided to prosecute his own interpretation of federal law. That’s not permissible under our separation of powers and federalism and the Supreme Court will reverse … if they get a chance to hear this case.”

Speaker Mike Johnson, a renowned constitutional lawyer before his election to Congress, said clearly that he believed the American Supreme Court should step in and review the case against Mr. Trump.

In fact, on the day Trump was convicted, Mr. Johnson condemned the entire proceeding:

“Today is a shameful day in American history. Democrats cheered as they convicted the leader of the opposing party on ridiculous charges, predicated on the testimony of a disbarred, convicted felon. This was a purely political exercise, not a legal one. 

“The weaponization of our justice system has been a hallmark of the Biden Administration, and the decision today is further evidence that Democrats will stop at nothing to silence dissent and crush their political opponents.”

Merchan’s assault on the rule of law – and denial of President Trump’s constitutional rights – are serious threats to the American people’s rights to have an open, honest election. Americans must have an unrestricted right to free speech, and there must be clear opportunity for the candidates to campaign.

Only the intervention of the Supreme Court can right Judge Merchan’s wrongs. And there is clear precedent for the high court to do so.

In the 2000 election between then-Governor George W. Bush and then-Vice President Al Gore, there was a serious question of who won the key state of Florida – and how to reach a final decision acceptable to the American people.

The Florida Supreme Court, dominated by Democrats, had ordered a selective recount in four counties. The outcome seemed rigged and inevitable.

Then, the Bush campaign petitioned the American Supreme Court for a stay of the recount order, which was granted. Treating the petition as a writ of certiorari (a formal request for review), the high court agreed to take up Bush v. Gore.

The outrages of Bragg and Merchan are far greater and more destructive of the election process than any chicanery that was tried in Florida.

The Supreme Court must intervene to reassert the constitutional rights of President Trump and the American people.

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