The New York case is far from the first time Donald Trump was caught in a crime

April 12, 2023

The New York case is far from the first time Donald Trump was caught in a crime:

On April 4, Donald Trump was indicted and charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Even before the charges were officially read, Republicans were in high dudgeon, screaming about the unfairness of it all and the unprecedented nature of these charges. On the one hand, they’re right: It’s unusual for a former resident of the White House to be facing charges that could potentially end with years in prison. On the other hand, they’re dead wrong. Because if there’s anything that we know about Donald Trump, it’s that “crime” might as well be his middle name.

Trump first appeared on the national stage in the middle of a Justice Department investigation in 1973. Two decades later, he was tangled in another federal case with more than 100 charges. On the eve of the 2016 election, he was dealing with New York state, plus a class action lawsuit. Less than a year after taking office, he was involved in another criminal investigation case involving multiple crimes.

The difference between what happened then and what’s happening now is the difference between how our justice system deals with most crime, and how that same system deals with most rich people’s crimes. In every one of those previous cases, Trump was guilty. In some cases, he was guilty in ways that benefited him to the tune of millions of dollars. And in every case, he was able to write a check and walk away, often while still making a profit off his crimes.

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