Analysis of the News: “Donald Trump and the “Hague” process in New York”

May 2024.

As part of the program Regional Initiative for combating disinformation “Western Balkans Combatting disinformation Center: Exposing malicious influences through fact-checking and Analytical Journalism“, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.

Donald Trump and the “Hague” process in New York

On May 31, Donald Trump, the former American president was found guilty for falsification of business documents, after the termination of a long multi-month and media-covered justice process. With that process, Trump became first and only president of United States in history who was convicted for criminal act. Manhattan court has decided that Trump is guilty on every 34 counts of indictment for the criminal act of falsification.

The formal pronouncement of the verdict is expected in July when possible specific sanctions against the former US president and re-candidate in this year’s US presidential elections will be announced. From a legal point of view, even possible sanctions will not be an obstacle to Trump’s candidacy in the presidential elections. However, the big question is how the court verdict will affect the status and support of Donald Trump in the upcoming period before the November elections.

The American and world media intensively dealt with this topic and its potential repercussions. Numerous domestic pro-government and pro-Russian media reported on the court verdict against Donald Trump in a negative tone, insisting on the political background of the entire process, and even (unfoundedly) pointing out parallels with the judgments of the Hague Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The analysis of the Serbian service of the Russian state media Russia Today under the title “Donald Trump and the “Hague” process in New York” is illustrative in this regard.

RT emphasizes that “Trump declared the trial a politically motivated witch hunt so that the Democrats and President Joe Biden could get rid of him as a serious opponent.” The author suggestively tries to point out the potential bias of the Attorney General in the entire process, as well as other judicial officials and the jury, and questions the legal basis on which the indictment rested. It claims that “everything about that trial, from the indictment itself to the identity of the judge and the prosecutor, was in favour of Trump’s thesis.”

In RT’s analysis, it is further written that the indictment “rested on an extremely creative interpretation of the law” and draws a very questionable conclusion about the similarity of the entire process with the trials of Serbian citizens in front of the Hague Tribunal. “All this sounds familiar because it reminds of the behaviour of the infamous Hague Tribunal for war crimes, which invented laws, procedures and standards of guilt on the fly, as long as it was supposed to judge the Serbs… now that “Hague justice” has become a tool of intra-American political battles,” the text of RT emphasizes.

Trying to strengthen his claims, the author refers to the statements of sympathetic political commentators and journalists, such as Tucker Carlson. The statements about how the verdict is “a terrorist bomb that blew up the legal order,” as well as that “this will not stop Trump…but it is the end of the fairest legal order in the world,” have been conveyed.

The political effects of the court verdict against Donald Trump will be able to be adequately considered and fully understood only in the coming months and after the presidential elections while on the legal side, experts familiar with the entire process state that there are no problematic aspects. Time magazine analysed and convincingly contested all unfounded legal accusations made by the milieu and members of the public favourable to Donald Trump at the expense of the verdict for a criminal offence, including those referred to by the author of the analysis on RT.

Author: Igor Mirosavljević