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ROBERT L. MARONIC: The Mug Shot Heard and Seen Around the World

August 24, 2023 will become an infamous date in U.S. history. That was the day when 77-year-old former President Donald J. Trump became the first U.S. president to pose for a mug shot, which took place at the notorious crime-ridden Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia.

In the ancient Roman Empire, the Praetorian Guard most likely would have either assassinated or quietly poisoned a former Emperor merely accused or found guilty of state crimes. Fortunately, for Trump he is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in these more “civilized” United States.

Unfortunately for Trump, a political “assassination” or “execution” may be just as effective as a real one with prison substituting for death.

I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat, but I believe that the timing of Trump’s unprecedented ninety-one indictments, which began on March 30 in Manhattan and could total approximately seven hundred years in prison, is highly suspicious.

For example, Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington D.C. now wants Trump to appear in court on Monday March 4, 2024, which is the day before Super Tuesday. That is when a whopping sixteen states stretching from Maine to California will be holding their presidential primaries or caucuses representing approximately 40% of the U.S. population. In my opinion, this is election interference, and has nothing to do with a speedy trial as Chutkan proclaims.

I fully agree with retired law professor and lifelong Democrat Alan Dershowitz, who states that these ninety-one indictments are an attempt by Biden’s Department of Justice to interfere with next year’s presidential election as explained in his latest book entitled Get Trump, which I highly recommend. I also agree with Dershowitz that Biden is seeking to felonise many of Trump’s political opinions and unfortunately his fabrications.

The day after Trump’s arrest I initially saw his mug shot on my smartphone using a BBC News app. I could have searched for his booking photo on a New York Times or Washington Post app, but I curiously wanted a foreign opinion in English. The BBC did not disappoint.

I was immediately struck by Trump’s facial expression, which unequivocally conveyed that he will not go quietly into the night. The former president’s quasi-villainous facial displeasure was palpable. His aquiline scowl with his dyed V-shaped blond hair covering his tilted forehead and almost touching his eyebrows, epitomized his belief in his own innocence.

His mug shot conveyed that he was ready for a heavyweight fight.

Winston Churchill – The Lion that would never surrender.

I soon realized that Trump’s defiant scowl was somewhat reminiscent of the famous “Roaring Lion” photograph of Winston Churchill taken by Yousef Karsh at the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa on December 30, 1941. If nothing else, his mug shot might make for a most interesting presidential portrait at the National Portrait Gallery or perhaps the State Department embassies and consulates in Communist China if Trump becomes the next U.S. president!

However, I thought that his mug shot unlike his smiling Atlanta codefendant Jenna Ellis, who was a senior legal advisor for the former president from 2019 to 2021, looked rather practiced and wisely so.

In the past seven days Trump’s mug shot has started to be a big moneymaker for funding his presidential campaign on (Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee) by appearing on T-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, posters and other campaign merchandise accompanied by the phrase “Never Surrender!”

The New York Times has labelled his mug shot as “potentially lucrative” while the Trump Campaign stated that it has raised $7.1 million since last Thursday as of 9:22 p.m. I predict that his campaign could easily raise another $50 million or more from that mug shot in 2023.

After Trump’s arrest while vacationing in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, President Biden, the vacationer in chief, stated on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the former president’s mug shot was an “Apropos of nothing” and “a great day to give to my campaign.” He later sarcastically commented that the former president was a “handsome guy, wonderful guy.”

Unknown to Biden and his White House puppeteers is that they may have created a more powerful Trump. The president and his handlers may have failed a timeless lesson: be careful what you wish for.

I believe that both Fani Wilson (the district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia) and Biden have unknowingly made Trump into something much worse: a sympathetic martyr. The Biden administration’s attempt to prosecute him will only enhance his 2024 presidential campaign. I predict that their attempt along with the other three prosecutors in Manhattan, Washington and Florida to humiliate or convict him will not succeed.

Trump now views August 24, 2023 not as a day of infamy and shame but as a day of fame and pride. His defiant mug shot tells the world that he is determined to fight these ninety-one indictments, win the Republican nomination and become the forty-sixth president of the U.S. on January 20, 2025.

His mug shot will continue to become a huge moneymaker attracting both political sympathy and more votes outside of his base whether the Democratic presidential nominee is leftist Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA), moderate Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) or someone else.

Unfortunately, I predict that the U.S. is possibly headed toward a major Constitutional crisis because Trump will inevitably get convicted on at least a few of his federal or state charges, especially in the three highly Democratic jurisdictions of Manhattan, Washington and Atlanta, but his federal convictions may be overturned by a Republican Supreme Court.

Assuming that Trump wins the presidency there are two big questions among others facing him and the nation both before and after January 20, 2025. The first one is can he be elected president while in a prison cell? The second one is he legally allowed to pardon himself (of any federal charges)?

If the Supreme Court were to rule in his favor on either question or both of them, his scowling mug shot might turn into one big smile – unless he is only convicted of state charges.

  • Robert L. Maronic


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