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Opinion | Donald Trump’s conviction: You were warned

There was really only one way the Trump presidency could end. With a conviction.

Donald Trump podría enfrentar hasta cuatro años de prisión al ser declarado culpable por pagar sobornos a una actriz porno. Sin embargo, los expertos consideran improbable esta pena para alguien sin antecedentes penales. GDA via AP Images
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You should have seen this coming. 

By late Thursday evening, the onslaught of Alabama politicians bemoaning the Trump verdict had dipped into the city council levels of government. From our U.S. senators all the way to our county commissioners, they all agreed, those 34 felony convictions are a grievous miscarriage of justice, the worst abuse of the court system in decades, a most heinous political persecution, a travesty so great the Founding Fathers are rolling about in their graves and an injustice so sickening that they don’t even recognize this country anymore. 

Because, how could you possibly hold any other opinion of the trial over … um … whether or not the hush money payment to the porn star mistress was legal or illegal? 

It appears that we have lost the tether to basic decency, common sense and the rule of law. And by “us,” I mean America. Because we lost it in Alabama long ago – so long ago I don’t even expect it anymore. 

But you can’t say you weren’t warned that this was coming. I warned you. My friend Kyle Whitmire, at al.com, warned you too. He predicted the “Alabamification” of America. I called it the “Alabamization” of America. I think I like “Alabamification” better, but they both mean the same thing, and I believe we both wrote about them around the same time. 

I won’t speak for Whitmire, but I’ll say that my warning was this: Alabama has a long and sordid history of electing con men with no intention of serving the greater good, but with an eye instead towards self-preservation, self-enrichment and self-service. They are far too often indifferent towards laws and ethics and they utilize various tactics (typically involving racism) to distract citizens from real issues and from the politicians’ utter failures of governance in order to push through beneficial-to-them legislation. 

And the people are always “shocked” when many of these elected officials are finally prosecuted and convicted of something, even though they, and many others like them, have been doing the said something for decades.  

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Sound familiar? 

If that’s not the Trump administration – from which seven members were sent to prison during his four-year stint – in a nutshell, I’d like to hear a better description. As a matter of fact, I’d like to hear anyone seriously explain why Trump – or anyone else for that matter – shouldn’t have been prosecuted for these crimes. 

Falsifying business records is a crime. So is conspiracy. Hundreds of New Yorkers have been indicted on those crimes over the past few years, and many of those people have been convicted and sentenced for those crimes – some of them very similar to the crimes (minus the porn star) that Trump was convicted of. 

I’m sorry, party of law and order, are some people now above the law? 

By the way, can we please stop acting as if Trump’s legal troubles are somehow new? This guy has been sued more than cigarettes. And most of those lawsuits, and criminal prosecutions, took place long before he decided in 2016 that he was a Republican candidate. 

Look it up. Fraud. Tax evasion. Unfair business practices. Discrimination. More than 4,000 cases in all in the years prior to 2016. 

But because he became a cult leader for you goobers, now I’m supposed to believe that the guy who bragged on tape about sexually assaulting women was somehow railroaded by the Dems or believe that the guy who has openly touted his ability to defy tax laws was persecuted by the Biden administration for overvaluing his properties? 

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Spare me. 

The fact is the jury that found Trump guilty of 34 felonies on Thursday did exactly what everyone should have expected.  

If there’s one thing you get plenty of experience in while covering politics in Alabama, it’s political corruption trials. That experience has taught me that juries in political corruption cases – no matter their makeup or political leanings – take the job seriously and follow the laws. They also really, really don’t like political corruption, even the common kinds. If you doubt that, ask Mike Hubbard. 

See, when you’re around the wheelin’ and dealin’ of politics all the time, you get immune to the icky side of it. The money trickery. The secret payoffs. The switching of accounts. The exchanges of cash – much of it minor and unimportant. 

But regular folks on a jury … they don’t like it. At all. And if a prosecutor puts in front of them a scheme to pay off a mistress, with evidence that the money was improperly transferred and illegally masked, that jury is going to convict that politician. Doesn’t matter if it’s Joe Dog Catcher. The Speaker of the House. Or the former president of the United States. 

That’s what Donald Trump is experiencing right now. He didn’t get railroaded by George Soros and he’s certainly not the victim of a political prosecution. 

He got convicted of crimes because he committed them. 

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Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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