Trump Trial Punditry Evades Punishment

Indignity Vol. 4, No. 94

Trump Trial Punditry Evades Punishment
Photo by Mason Hassoun / Unsplash


WHAT OUGHT TO happen to Donald Trump, now that he's been convicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records? "I do not have the information that Justice Juan Merchan will have at sentencing—the presentencing report about Mr. Trump prepared by probation officers and the arguments from the prosecution and defense," the former judge Nancy Gertner wrote in the New York Times. Nevertheless, there Gertner was, holding forth on what the sentence should be, as part of a point/counterpoint on whether or not Trump should be imprisoned.

Right beside the question of whether any consequences will ever stick to Donald Trump is the question of whether any consequences will ever stick to people who write about Trump. The success of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's felony case was a debacle for opinion-havers, who had managed to be wrongfully cynical and hopelessly credulous about it at the same time—dismissing the effective state prosecution as a misbegotten sideshow, and pointing to the bungled and obstructed federal prosecutions as the majestic theater of law done right. Yet the Times opinion desk absorbed the verdict and kept on going, with Gertner—and, for the lock-him-up side, Norman Eisen, "special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee for the first impeachment and trial of Donald Trump" —putting on a show of considered debate.