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‘Intentional Misfeasance’ Makes Show Trial Conviction Ripe For Reversal, Legal Experts Say

‘If I were the court of appeals, the moment this case came in, I would overturn the conviction,’ von Spakovsky said.


Leftist District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s show trial delivered the Democrat Party’s dream: A felony conviction against their most hated political enemy. 

The prosecution and the trial also were also littered with legal landmines and “reversible error” that should make former President Donald Trump’s looming appeal a slam dunk, legal experts say. 

Historical and stunning but not surprising to many who have closely followed left-wing lawfare in recent years, the 12 angry Manhattan jurors after two days of deliberations found Trump guilty on all 34 trumped-up felony counts against him. Judge Juan Merchan has scheduled sentencing for July 11, just four days before the Republican National Convention is slated to begin in Milwaukee, where the GOP is poised to again nominate Trump as its presidential candidate. He will face President Joe Biden in the rematch of 2020’s mess of an election. Trump also is facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison, depending on the vindictiveness of a New York judicial system that has already proved to be quite vindictive. 

But the appeals process is certain to stall any sentencing, probably until after the election. And there is nothing currently stopping Trump from continuing his third presidential run, even with the kangaroo court felony conviction cheered on by his incumbent opponent. 

‘One of the Craziest Things’

Constitutional law expert Hans von Spakovsky says the conviction isn’t likely to stick, for an array of reasons. Chief among them: Merchan’s convoluted jury instructions, in which the Biden campaign-donor judge framed the jury’s deliberations in a way that, according to legal expert Jonathan Turley, “seemed less like a jury deliberation than a canned hunt.” Merchan told the jurors they didn’t have to agree on the three possible “unlawful means” prosecutors vaguely alleged Trump had employed to “influence” the 2016 election. 

“The jurors were told that they could split on what occurred, with four jurors accepting each of the three possible crimes in a 4-4-4 split. The court would still consider that a unanimous verdict so long as they agree that it was in furtherance of some crime,” Turley wrote in the Hill before the verdict was handed down. 

Accomplice media outlets running interference for Biden and his minions — and attempting to influence the 2024 election — collectively wailed that conservative news outlets have been misrepresenting Merchan’s jury instructions. But there’s no denying the unusual nature of the judge’s explanations at the end of a deeply legally flawed trial. 

Von Spakovsky said Merchan’s instructions point to reversible error — “an error in trial proceedings that affects a party’s rights so significantly that it is grounds for reversal if the affected party properly objected at trial,” according to the Legal Information Institute. 

“This is such a mistake. … If I were the court of appeals, the moment this case came in, I would overturn the conviction,” the former Federal Election Commission member and Heritage Foundation fellow told me before the verdict this week on the Simon Conway Show. “That is one of the craziest things I have ever heard and it is a complete violation of President Trump’s substantive due process rights.” 

Von Spakovsky said the standard in like cases is that jurors come to a unanimous agreement on each of the charges they are deliberating. He said Merchan added an absurd twist to the proceedings after handicapping Trump’s defense throughout the trial. 

Threw the Constitution ‘Out the Window’

Defense attorney Randy Zelin told CNN that Merchan’s jury instructions contained a “key flaw.” 

“Whether you are driving in a Ford or a Ferrari, if someone gives you bad directions, you’re going to end up lost. And those jury instructions were just a complete, just take the Constitution, throw it out a window, burn it, shoot it and hang it,” the attorney said on “CNN Special Report.”

Turley told Fox News that the “trial is a target rich environment for appeal,” although he said the appeal will likely “stretch beyond the election.”

Speaker Mike Johnson has called on the U.S. Supreme Court to quickly take up the case because of its unprecedented constitutional implications. The state appeals courts in line to preside over the Trump case are lined with Democrat-appointed judges. 

Von Spakovsky said the courts should act as expeditiously as the Supreme Court did in the Colorado ballot access case in which it unanimously overturned the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling kicking Trump off the state presidential primary ballot. 

As for Merchan, von Spakovsky said the judge is either one of the most incompetent judges he has ever seen or his curious instructions to the jury was “a sign of intentional misfeasance.” 

“In fact, I think it’s the latter because throughout this entire case he has acted as if he is an alternate member of the prosecution team,” the legal expert said. 

Listen to the complete interview with Hans von Spakovsky here:

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