Robert Hubbell – Citizen, Optimist, Realist – “While we should be concerned about the assaults on the justice system, let’s recognize that the system prevailed today—despite seven years of attacks by Trump and his enablers. The trial and verdict served as a stress test for the justice system—and it passed.”


On Monday, May 30, justice was served in a Manhattan courtroom.

A jury of twelve citizens convicted Donald Trump on thirty-four felony counts of falsifying documents to interfere in the 2016 election.

Justice was served.

Trump received a fair trial before an impartial jury presided over by an even-handed judge.

Trump had the right to testify or remain silent. He chose to remain silent—as permitted by the Fifth Amendment.

He had the unlimited right to challenge jurors “for cause” if he demonstrated that a juror could not render an impartial verdict. Trump challenged only one juror for cause—a juror who had once been the houseguest of one of Trump’s attorneys. That juror was later excused on a peremptory challenge by Trump.

Trump had ten “peremptory challenges” that allowed him to excuse jurors without providing a reason. Trump exercised all ten peremptory challenges.Trump was able to object to the testimony of witnesses and the introduction of exhibits. He objected continuously. Many of his objections were sustained, and most were overruled (because they were baseless).

He cross-examined every witness offered by the prosecution. He offered two witnesses in his defense. They sealed his fate.He made an opening statement and a closing argument to the jury.

He was able to submit and object to jury instructions.

After the jury began deliberations, its requests to review key evidence and important jury instructions indicated that it took its charge seriously.

The length of the jury’s deliberations and the unanimity of its verdict on thirty-four counts demonstrate that they were persuaded beyond a reasonable doubt that Donald Trump was guilty as charged.

Justice was served.

The verdict matters because it demonstrates to Americans that the core of our democracy is strong and true.

One fair verdict will offset a dozen compromised and corrupt judges and justices. The verdict demonstrates what justice looks like—and reminds us of what we can have again if we gain control of Congress and retain the presidency.

The verdict is important because it reminds Americans that no person is above the law in our democracy. That bedrock truth must be reinforced periodically, or it will lose its animating force.

The verdict also speaks to the world. It reminds friends and foes alike that the audacious American experiment is robust and secure. Convicting a former president in a fair trial is something few other nations would attempt—much less accomplish in a peaceful and orderly manner.

The verdict gives Americans much to be thankful for:

A fair jury composed of twelve Americans willing to perform the simple but extraordinary task of sitting in judgment over a former president.

A District Attorney willing to carefully review the evidence and follow the law.

Competent and diligent prosecutors willing to do the hard work necessary to achieve justice.

An honorable, fair, firm judge willing to protect the rights of the defendant and the interests of the people in seeing justice served.

Court officers, law enforcement officers, clerks, paralegals, and court reporters who ensured that the court proceeding unfolded in an orderly and safe manner.

Given the fundamental fairness of the trial and verdict, Republicans are reduced to attacking the justice system itself. In a coordinated effort, Republican members of Congress issued statements that called the trial “rigged,” insulted the integrity of the jury, compared the proceeding to “show trials in Cuba under Castro,” and said that May 30 was “the most shameful day in American history.”

While we should be concerned about the assaults on the justice system, let’s recognize that the system prevailed today—despite seven years of attacks by Trump and his enablers. The trial and verdict served as a stress test for the justice system—and it passed.

There will be time to assess the political ramifications of the verdict. Today, we should celebrate that the justice system worked despite enormous efforts to obstruct and undermine it.

That is a remarkable, glorious achievement that stands alone.

Sit with that truth for a moment before returning to the urgent task of preventing Trump’s reelection. We deserve a moment of calm reflection and sober relief that justice was served.


May 31, 2024 – From Today’s Edition Newsletter by Robert Hubbell.

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