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  • Reverend James Squire

Trump Indictment: Simplified: The Importance of Context

Remember context is a driver in ethical analysis of situations. A few days ago, Michael Smerconish who is seen on CNN, asked his viewers a question for consideration. If Trump had not challenged the election of President Elect Biden and did everything by the book leading up to the inauguration and disappeared from the public view, would he have been charged by Alvin Bragg for various crimes? Mike is a former EA parent who defies political categories. He is his own person. I think that Mike was building a context with his question for us to see that Trump’s trial may be political in nature. He is making the ethical choice less clear.

I too have a context that represents the other side of the ethical coin from Mike’s question. Let’s go back to the days just before the election in 2016 when the Access Hollywood tape caught Trump on a live mike describing how he sees his access to women with his famous line, “I would just grab them by the p___y. During that short period of time just before the election, Trump’s affairs with McDougal and Daniels were also ready to enter the public domain. Bribery and catch and kill kept those issues from the public. Do you think that Trump would have survived that trifecta of his relationships with women? I think that he wouldn’t in that context. Bragg’s argument for indicting Trump rests in the belief that if those three events were known to the public before the election, Trump would not have won (by a narrow margin). it should be seen as election interference.

At the end of the day, Trump’s indictment is about context and the law.

At the heart of legal ethics is “you are innocent until proven guilty.” The burden of proof rests with Alvin Bragg.

Finally, the jury will determine Trump’s fate. They will act on that ethical notion that will include the “reasonable person standard.” What would a jury of regular citizens from different walks of life decide? It is not a perfect system, but it is the best system in the world today because it puts justice back in the hands of the people.

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