The two leading candidates for the U.S. presidency are currently under investigation or facing legal cases, either directly or indirectly. This week, former President Trump was charged for the fourth time, this time by a state prosecutor in Georgia. Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney General appointed a special prosecutor to investigate Hunter Biden concerning his and his family's business dealings. The current president is also being investigated by a Congressional Committee. Today, we delve into their association with constitutional lawyer Rafael Peñalver.
This is becoming increasingly difficult to explain and more embarrassing for the United States. Currently, the two main political figures are under scrutiny for corruption, law violations, and obstruction. This situation benefits no one. If charges are brought against Trump, it breaks the tradition of never prosecuting a former president. If not, it sets a precedent that someone can attempt a coup and face no consequences.
What has been lost is the American people's faith in their government system. The damage being done to the country, alleging electoral fraud without being able to find or demonstrate any evidence to support this claim, is terrible. On the other hand, we see what has happened in Hunter Biden's case, where an agreement was initially announced to close the case. This was retracted at the last minute, but the investigation continues.
Is there anything still pending? The prosecution says no, that the agreement only covers tax matters and a purchased weapon. This indicates they intend to go to trial.
A special prosecutor was appointed because the jurisdiction of the previous prosecutor was limited to one state. David Weiss, now with expanded jurisdiction as a special prosecutor, can bring cases anywhere in the country. One thing that happened here was a Congressional hearing where two FBI officials recommended that cases be presented in New York and California. Weiss had said he did not have jurisdiction, so local prosecutors showed no interest. This complicates things further because a trial is forthcoming.
The investigation focuses on Hunter Biden, President Biden's son, and his dealings with foreign companies. Questions arise about his qualifications to receive thousands of dollars for advice to these foreign entities when he lacked experience in those areas. This could get complicated.
As for the special prosecutor, some suggest he was appointed to prevent a Congressional testimony. Peñalver disagrees, expressing trust in the justice department and its leaders. Many unproven claims have been made, like the witnesses before Congress that could directly affect President Biden. One witness claimed that when Hunter was meeting with foreign individuals, he would call his father, then-Vice President Biden. Although the call was unrelated, it suggests influence.
Jack Smith, the special prosecutor designated to prosecute former President Trump, holds significant power. The danger with a special prosecutor is that they can start investigating one thing and end up on a completely different topic. Like with Bill Clinton, where Ken Starr began with a real estate investigation linked to Hillary Clinton and ended with the Monica Lewinsky affair.
What was presented in Atlanta is historically significant. The indictments from Washington and Mar-a-Lago were specific to unauthorized document actions by the president. This case traces back to before the election, alleging fraud if the election was lost, up to the events on January 6th at the Capitol. It lists 161 events, all leading to an attempted coup after losing both the popular and electoral vote. The RICO law is also invoked.
If convicted under the RICO law in Georgia, there's a minimum five-year prison sentence. No presidential or gubernatorial pardon can intervene in a state case. In Georgia, pardons are granted by a special citizen board but can't be reviewed until after five years of imprisonment have passed. This is serious, and recent polls show a substantial decline in popular support for Trump.
The problem is that the trials and accusations will overlap with the primary process, and in Hunter Biden's case, it could extend to the presidential election. We're in a situation with four trials before the elections and not enough space for them. One of these trials, Peñalver believes, lacks merit – the New York indictment. He wouldn't be surprised if it's dropped. The other cases will each take 2-3 months of trial and need preparation time.
The attempt by the Washington prosecutor to start the trial on January 2nd is unfair. If the government has been investigating this for two years, they should provide ample time for defense. In any case, having two candidates with such legal baggage is shameful; this country deserves better.
Trump's lawyers argue he was exercising his First Amendment rights, but this might not be their only defense. When reviewing the document presented in Georgia, it becomes apparent that there was preparation before the election to claim fraud without evidence. Calls made to leaders of the legislature of Wisconsin and Arizona and pressuring the Secretary of State of Georgia could be decisive.