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Editorial: Felony in land of the free

Interestingly, both Hunter Biden and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Trump, are being convicted by jurors in an election year that has been as much about the drama transpiring in the courtroom as it has been about the action panning out at campaign events

Editorial: Felony in land of the free
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Donald Trump

The spectre of felony hasn’t evaded Donald Trump’s chief political rival, the incumbent Joe Biden, whose son Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018. Six years ago, the president’s son had lied on a mandatory gun-purchase form by saying he was not illegally using drugs. Jurors had found Biden Jr guilty of lying to a federally-licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

This month, Trump, the disgraced former president of the US, also returned to the campaign trail with a stopover at Arizona, his first appearance in a battleground state since he was convicted in a hush money scandal, repeating his critiques of the case against him as politically motivated and calling for his conviction to be overturned on appeal. Trump will appeal last month’s conviction on all 34 charges in his New York hush money trial, in which he became the first former American president to be convicted of felony crimes. The development infuriated his supporters, who pumped millions of dollars into his campaign in the immediate aftermath. Trump blamed his conviction on Joe Biden, and many of his allies are calling for revenge. Trump has cited a litany of problems, from inflation to the long-term health of Social Security, on illegal immigration, and characterised Biden’s policies “a deliberate demolition of our sovereignty and borders.”

Interestingly, both Hunter Biden and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Trump, are being convicted by jurors in an election year that has been as much about the drama transpiring in the courtroom as it has been about the action panning out at campaign events. Hunter and Trump argued they were victims of the politics of the moment. While Trump falsely claimed the verdict was “rigged,” Hunter argued he was charged on account of the Justice Department bowing to pressure from Republicans who alleged that the Democratic president’s son was getting special treatment. Nevertheless, Biden Sr said he would accept the results of the verdict and not seek to pardon his son.

The implications of these high profile convictions, in a year when the world’s sole superpower goes to the ballot box are manifold. President Biden has steered clear of intervening in a criminal matter brought by his own Justice Department. His allies are rightfully concerned that the trial will exact a heavy emotional toll on Biden Sr, whose anxieties pertaining to his sole surviving son’s well-being is no secret. But, the 81-year-old, whose ‘mental health decline has jeopardised national security’ (as per Fox News), was given a clean chit by his doctor in February.

On the other end of the spectrum is the billionaire real estate mogul, who dreams of running the country, even in an orange jumpsuit. Trump getting pulled up is an ace in the hole, as far as the notion of accountability vis-a-vis public servants is concerned. Trump’s conviction is proof that someone once considered the most powerful man in the world cannot consider himself immune, thanks to the scrutiny of America’s law and order machinery. A vindication of the system depends on members of the Republican party, who are yet to nominate him formally, as well as the US citizens who are set to vote come November.

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