The Getting of Donald Trump

Forgive the foggy memory, for I can’t quite place the sign that announced in carefully painted white-on-black block letters just a single word, ‘BELIEVE’. Tennessee or Kentucky maybe, because the road it was beside wound through narrow valleys and hillsides waiting winter-naked for the first green sheen of the northern spring. And there it was, on the other side of a low fence fronting a roughly cleared plot, this handmade testament to … what exactly? This was in the South, albeit only just below the Mason-Dixon line, where churches large and small are regular as milestones along the way and almost as common.  Around the next turn, no doubt, there would be another little billboard instructing the passerby where belief is best invested, with Jesus or the Bible seeming most likely. But there was nothing, no second sign to deliver the expected one-two punchline. Just ‘Believe’, and that was that.

Until an oncoming 18-wheeler switched the focus to evasive driving and self-preservation, it was a riddle to occupy for a mile or two the thoughts of a solitary motorist. What species of rustic obsessive would go to such trouble and for what purpose? Today, though, with some seven months to run before the 2024 election and a criminal trial like no other getting under way, belief for the sake of believing seems almost to make sense. To abandon the comfort of delusion would mean chewing over some deeply unpalatable truths, not least about the full machinery of the law being deployed in the selective and unprecedented prosecution of one man, a former president and current White House contender.

But believe what you want to believe. Everyone is doing it, and why not? Your ‘truth’ is as valid as that of the next they, zim or zey. If the facts disagree, if the evidence contradicts, well there’s the handy expedient of not really being required to care too much. You have your belief and that’s enough. An eager willingness to believe the unbelievable, it’s all that’s needed anywhere and everywhere. The more what is obvious and unhidden goes unremarked and unquestioned, the better for a troubled nation’s peace of mind, at least in the short term.

At the New York Times such belief demands what is unfolding in a southern Manhattan courtroom be painted as a triumph for American fair play, as laid out in a recent editorial built upon a believer’s ‘truth’ that, as usual, simply isn’t true:  “Donald Trump, who relentlessly undermined the justice system while in office,”  the editorial begins. No examples of Trump’s alleged perfidy, no names or cases are cited, and certainly there is no mention of the many harassing and vexatious lawsuits brought against Trump, for that might ruffle what the Times prefers to perceive and present as a moral crusade in which its editorial voice speaks for all the noble traditions of courtroom probity and decorum. Trump, the leader column assures the core readers its authors know are equally eager to believe, “is enjoying the same protections and guarantees of fairness and due process before the law that he sought to deny to others during his term.”

The Times has published some rank nonsense over the years, from the liar and Kremlin propagandist Walter Duranty winning a Pulitzer in1932 for his dispatches about how wonderful things were under Stalin to the more recent years of Russiagate misreporting. But this claim about Trump getting a fair trial is tommyrot of a much higher order, for there has never been a prosecution as nakedly political or so overwhelmingly stacked against the defendant. Despite the massive weight of evidence contradicting the Times’ claims of inviolate “protections and guarantees”, Trump is getting what the Left rates the sweetest kind of justice — the sort inflicted good and hard on an enemy singled out for special treatment.

Here, again, is to be seen the comfort of taking refuge in preferred belief. To watch with approval the business of justice in the US as it relates to Donald Trump demands absolute faith in the proposition the former president is such a wicked specimen, so much a threat to the Republic, that any means justify the end of bringing him down. This extends even to swearing Times-style there is no thumb on the scale of justice when it is blindingly obvious District-Attorney Alvin Bragg’s clenched fist and a judge’s partisan foot are tipping the matter into a kangaroo court travesty.

Given there has been so far little to report other than the vetting parade of potential jurors, the world has been reading and hearing an awful lot about not much, and this is certain to continue over the two to three months the hearings are expected to run.Much of that coverage will be at best half-right and half reported. Pardon the cynicism, but if the Fourth Estate has demonstrated anything since being floored by Trump’s astonishing 2016 victory, it is that it can be trusted only to omit what doesn’t mesh with its liberal preferences and preconceptions. So expect bulk reports of sheet-sniffing, headine-worthy scandals, with plenty of news-cycle updates about porn gals and Playmates and payoffs, plus even more salacious details if a slut called Stormy Daniels gets to testify about her career as a carnal consultant. We’ve already seen gag orders and threats from the bench to hold a truculent Trump in contempt, plus Bragg’s suggestion that only a spell behind bars will persuade the accused to submit in silence “to the rule of law”. Plenty more of those are coming in the weeks ahead.

What you will hear very little about is the background to the case and the personalities involved. You will be told – the few who still read the Age and SMH have already been so informed – that Trump’s attacks on the judge as a partisan agent and witnesses as liars and perjurers are symptoms of his bellicose degeneracy. Neither of these two accusations among many is in the least untrue, but better to believe the Times than your lying eyes. To do otherwise might raise uncomfortable questions about the state of American justice and, indeed, America itself. So it’s Trump the cad, a monster so beneath contempt that he has even made the judge’s daughter a target of his slurs and vitriol, forcing her father to add her name to the long list of people and things, including the trial itself, about which this gagged defendant is prohibited from speaking. Outside the court others are free to throw considerations of sub judice to the winds and weigh in on Trump’s undoubted guilt. But he can’t respond – not, mind you, that it has stopped him.


SOME on the Christian Right, where the preferred belief holds a three-time divorcee with a string of scandalous liaisons to be a good and upright man, have likened Trump’s ordeal in the courts to the tribulations of Job, but a better likeness can be found in poor old Lot, who was much frustrated in his quest for a righteous man. Trump, who has lately been raising campaign cash by flogging God Bless America Bibles, must surely sympathise because, as the popularly mis-labelled ‘hush money trial’ commences, the very idea he can get an impartial, open-minded jury in Democrat-voting Manhattan is far less likely than finding a straight arrow in Sodom. Hillary Clinton claimed the borough with 92 per cent of the vote in 2016, and four years later Biden romped with 88 per cent. Try finding a fair jury, let alone a  pro-Trump one, in light of those sort of odds.

Three days have already been devoted to jury selection and, as of this morning (April 20), of seven panelists initially selected, one has bailed, claiming fears for her safety, while another was booted for reportedly failing to reveal an arrest 20 years ago for tearing down political campaign signs.

As to fairness, let’s start with Judge Juan Merchan. His fellow jurist, Arthur Engoron, who presided over Trump’s now concluded “fraudulent loans” civil trial, is a hack of the first order, straight from the Democrat clubhouse. He demonstrated as much by summarily  finding Trump guilty in the trial’s opening minutes, before a single witness had been called or exhibit lodged. But at least Engoron had the decency to observe the law and suspend his nickel-and-dime contributions to Democrat candidates and their party upon winning election to the bench of New York City Civil Court in 2002.

The same can’t be said Judge Merchan, who openly donated to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign and has made other contributions to several Democrat-aligned political action committees, including one that states its business in its letterhead, Stop Republicans.  Admittedly the sums were small — $15 here, $10 there – but that’s not the point, as New York law specifically forbids judges giving even a red cent to any politician or party lest they be seen as biased. “The contribution to Biden and possibly the one to ‘Stop Republicans’ would be forbidden unless there is some other explanation that would allow them,” notes New York University’s Stephen Gillers, a professor of legal ethics. Forbidden in the statutes and law books, but not in practice. Trump’s calls for Merchan to step down have been rejected with no explanation forthcoming from the authorities charged with overseeing the conduct of the bench. It’s Trump on trial in a dark blue Democrat city, so one gathers the masters of the courts are of the belief that, in this instance, exceptions need to be made.

Other time-honoured conventions have also gone by the board. It is customary, for example, for prosecutors to inform defence counsel of the witnesses they intend to call and to do so at least a couple of days in advance, but not in Judge Merchan’s courtroom. Immediately before jury selection began, he ruled that Trump had thrown away that right by questioning the credibility of Stormy Daniels and others. So, come Monday, when the trial is likely to begin in earnest, his lawyers will have had no chance to prepare for their cross examinations. More irksome for Trump is that, rather than being on the hustings, Merchan has ordered him to attend every day of the trial. This, as the New York Times chooses to assure its true believers, is “fairness and due process before the law”.

Then there is the matter of the judge’s daughter, Loren Merchan. Readers of the Age and SMH might have noticed a throw-away line about Trump stopping at nothing, not even attacks on a judge’s child, in his efforts to have the case dismissed or, at the very least, to see a fresh judge appointed.  What they wouldn’t know is that Ms Merchan, by her own 2019 admission, discussed with her father Trump’s use of social media and “mean tweets” of which Daddy was highly critical. An innocent conversation? That is difficult to accept given that she is the principal and president of Authentic Campaigns, a lobbying and fund-raising firm that has used the current trial to raise some $93 million for its Democrat clients, among them Vice-President Kamala Harris and Congressman Adam Schiff, who served as lead prosecutor in Trump’s first impeachment and has used the latest trial to solicit a very handy $20 million to underwrite his hope of moving from the House to the Senate.

“Authentic Campaigns, and thus the judge’s daughter, is actively making money from this sham attack against President Trump, rendering Judge Merchan conflicted out,” a Trump spokesman said at the end of March. The judge, however, begs to differ, having flatly rejected Trump’s demand that he quit the case. “The court has examined its conscience,” he wrote in response, “and is certain in its ability to be fair and impartial.”

Judge Merchan’s ability to deal fairly with Trump, he believes, is unsullied, and he expects his fellow Americans to believe it too. It’s such a small but standard thing he seeks — belief in the improbable.


AND THEN there is DA Alvin Bragg, who campaigned for office with the same promise to “get Trump” that helped Letitia James win the post of New York State’s attorney-general and led directly to the civil case in which he was found liable for inflating the value of his properties in loan applications.

The first thing to know is that, while commonly referred to as the “hush money trial”, it is nothing of the sort. It is entirely legal to buy someone’s silence, as anyone who has agreed to a non-disclosure clause when signing an employment contract will be aware. So why is this matter in court at all? It’s quite the story, a saga of torturing the law in the belief —  that needed faith again – that America’s safety and future demand Trump be convicted and, or so the Democrats seem to think, fatally hobbled in the eyes of voters come November 5.

Rather than buying Stormy Daniels’ silence, what Trump has been charged with arises from petty bookkeeping violations which, if the defendant were anyone else, would be misdeamenours. Yet even that would be a stretch because the seven-year statute of limitations has long since expired.

Bragg wasn’t daunted, nor was New York’s Democrat-dominated state legislature, which immediately obliged his request to extend legal liability for a further 12 months, the rationale being that Covid had slowed the business of the courts to a crawl and the guilty might well go unpunished. Worth noting is that the extension was aimed at one man and one man only, Donald J. Trump.

But Bragg still had a problem: how to turn misdeamenours for which the penalties would be slight into a federal case carrying the possibility of a stiff prison sentence?  Critics deride the tubby prosecutor as ‘Fat Alvin’ and seldom fail to mention that his election campaign was generously backed by George Soros. What also goes largely unmentioned is his recruitment of ex-Obama aide Matthew Colangelo, who has made a career of stalking Trump through the courts. He first came notice when working for Letitia James, helping her prepare the asset-inflation civil case. This proved a sound career move because the Biden administration next appointed him to the third-most-senior job at the Justice Department, where Trump was once again his target and fixation.  When Bragg won the state legislature’s approval to target Trump for the alleged payoffs, Colangelo was given leave to join Bragg’s team. Between them they cooked up a highly imaginative prosecution that goes something like this:

Had Stormy Daniels sold her story of a one-night stand to the supermarket tabloids for $150,000, as she was attempting to do, the publicity would have done grievous harm to Trump’s  chances of beating Hillary Clinton. Therefore the stay-schtum cash passed to her by Trump’s personal attorney at the time, convicted perjurer and former jailbird Michael Cohen, was a bona fide election expense — hence listing the repayments as Cohen’s retainer for legal services is no mere misdeamenour but a full blown federal crime.

Believe that and, well, you’ll have plenty of company, starting with the New York Times and 90 per cent of the New Yorkers available for jury duty.

18 thoughts on “The Getting of Donald Trump


    If God wants Trump to lead then no other power can stop His sovereign will. They’ll all be thwarted and shamed.
    Daniel 20:21 says: “He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;”

    • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

      But what about the assassin’s blade or piece of speeding lead, for that is quite on the cards if Trump looks like beating the “system” and of course any fair minded person would fervently hope that he does beat the system for the alternative doesn’t bear contemplating.

      • Ceres says:

        My thoughts too. The Democrat power brokers have shown by their demonic pursuit of Trump they don’t care it is obvious to all, they are engaged in blatant persecution style lawfare against Trump. A Congressman has proposed removing Trump’s Secret Service protection if he ends up in prison. Happy to see him dead.
        Glad that kevlar was invented and hope Trump is using it.

        • ianl says:

          ” … if he (Trump) ends up in prison”

          Yes. He will be categorised as an active suicide just one day after being taken off suicide watch, and by sheer coincidence the CCTV cameras will have inexplicably stopped recording that day and the rostered guards will have both called in sick.

          Sounds too deplorable to be considered ? Well, it’s apparently a tried and true sequence, though.

  • Paul.Harrison says:

    I am merely an average reader of these papers, and their content fascinates me. It is easy for me, at 72 years of age, to detect the overwhelming odour of truth, and I detect that in every essay, paper, comment, etc., that are presented to me through this medium. I note Quadrant as the dim light on the far horizon, a light of reason and rationality, and truth, but alone in a sea of filth. I feel that one of the myriad answers to the sense of despair I, and others, feel is that the worldwide and long lasting push for anti-discrimination has alone won the battle for the filth of the left, our mortal enemies. The anti-D push was never about the feel good of our downtrodden brothers, rather it was about unlearning the essential skill of discrimination, and given that, we are now in the end stages of the result desired by our enemies. Everywhere I go, I witness the behaviour of people who have swallowed the Kool Aid of anti-D, and they are left floundering as a fish out of water. So with these words I gain somewhat of an understanding orbiting the Trump cruxifiction. People now listen only to the loudest voice, and that is certainly not the voice of reason, and it is most certainly not a voice which lends itself to a discriminating ear.

  • Geoff Sherrington says:

    After another Trump presidency starts, the conduct of his past friends and foes will the thrilling to behold. Now is not a good time to be making predictions about what will happen in the US, should it happen. Geoff S

  • Daffy says:

    Obama: wars, Biden: wars. Trump: peace. Internationally speaking.

    Is the US electorate infatuated with its warmongers?

  • Podargus says:

    Nothing new about corruption in the good old US of A. Especially Democrat corruption in pursuit of power.
    The past 30 years have seen a steady downward trend in public morals and ordinary sense exemplified in successive federal administrations – Clinton, Bush jnr, Obama, Biden.
    Trump was the just barely exception. As in America so it fashionably goes in Australia.

  • Sindri says:

    The idea that the payment was a concealed or mis-declared election expense has always struck me as conspicuously bogus.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    “At the New York Times such belief demands what is unfolding in a southern Manhattan courtroom be painted as a triumph for American fair play … the truth that simply isn’t there”.

    Yes, that NYT editorial is beyond belief. Do they really believe their own lies?
    They lie with such sanctimony. It is self-deception. With the intent to deceive others.

    Thanks for this account, Roger, of some very unappealing people and behaviours that the US now has to suffer in the ‘get Trump’ arena. We need to know who to blame, and we will not forget. With luck and the good judgement of the American people some real justice can prevail in America again with President Trump once more in the White House. The Democrat machine can’t be allowed to win this time.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    Meantime, I’ve been travelling too, in South America for me, with at least one political eye open. Anyone interested in a timeline set of travelogues as some light relief is welcome to read my 1-4 sequence at the link below, if I may so indulge in this manner in commentary here:

  • Dallas Beaufort says:

    So much for American Sanctuary Cities.

  • Searcher says:

    Which do you believe, ‘Quadrant’, or ‘The New York Times’?

  • favfern says:

    I have been a Quadrant reader for quite some time (and a conservative thinker for even longer) but cannot believe the number of otherwise intelligent people who have been sucked in by this sociopathic, lying narcissist! Trump is being pursued by the law because for decades he has been a LAW-BREAKER — and about time the damn law caught up with him too!
    No, I am NOT fussed on the alternative, and cannot believe that from 340 million Americans, no better candidates can be found — but to believe that a potential despot like Trump — who does not believe in the voting outcome of the people — is the best choice as leader of the free world is absolutely deranged!

    • Sindri says:

      I’m very much of John Howard’s forthright and commonsense view of Trump – he’s entirely unsuited to be President. Just one of the reasons is that he continues to push and trade off the “stolen election” nonsense, which I doubt even he really believes. There are a crowd of poor schmucks, gee’d up by Trump, serving appalling jail sentences because of his provocations on that subject. The damage this is doing to the US polity must be vast. However, some of the legal shenannigans that he is facing are highly suspect. The current criminal proceedings in New York, brought by a prosecutor elected on a get-Trump platform, are frankly bogus, as were the extraordinary civil proceedings he has just faced. I don’t doubt they will be overturned in due course, but that’s no comfort whatsoever. And as for the idea that state courts could exclude him from the ballot, even the liberal judges on the Supreme Court threw that one out.
      Millions upon millions of hugely talented people, and the US comes up with Trump and Biden.

      • Winston Smith says:

        Sindri, please leave your partisan nonsense in the New York Times where it belongs. If President Trump had been guilty of anything at all after the investigations of him, they would have come out in an honest courtroom.
        That it takes these bought and sold for hacks to conjure up such rubbish charges, makes not only them, but you look like the fools you are.

        • Sindri says:

          Do explain why my opinion of Trump’s suitability for President makes me partisan, but your opinion does not make you partisan.
          As to what I wrote about the charges Trump is on trial for, if I’m a fool on that subject, so are you!

  • Alice Thermopolis says:

    Thank you RF. Most enlightening. Something very rotten in the state of Denmark and Manhattan. As Sindri comments above: “the current criminal proceedings in New York, brought by a prosecutor elected on a get-Trump platform, are frankly bogus,” Yet a listener to the ABC today comes away with the opposite view. No surprise, of course, when the interviewer’s sole guest, a “legal attorney”, was clearly a Democrat. We are very fortunate to have you over there. So please watch your back.

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