The US political and judicial system is facing a crisis of credibility due to the ongoing cases of two notorious figures: Donald Trump and Hunter Biden. Trump, the former Republican president, and Biden, the son of the current Democratic president, have both been accused of various federal and personal offenses. Instead of respecting the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, they have politicized their cases and used them as weapons against their opponents.
The cases of Donald Trump and Hunter Biden have put the US political and judicial system in a dilemma. These cases have either revealed the bias and interference of the US judicial system or obstructed or crippled the judicial system, which is meant to be founded on the law and the separation of powers. The US judicial system, which is based on the principle of the separation of powers, should distance itself from these conflicts and political and party competitions.
The Republicans have exploited these cases for two purposes. The first purpose is to present the Republican Party as the victimized party in public opinion, which is an advantage for them in the 2024 presidential elections. The second purpose is to strengthen Trump’s fan base and his support, which is indirect support for the Republican Party, more and wider. The Republicans’ tactic is to highlight Trump’s case against Hunter Biden’s verdict so that he is not exonerated of the charges. The Republicans allege that the US judiciary has leaned heavily to the left in recent years and has supported the Democrats in many cases.
The Justice Department’s behavior in the cases of Donald Trump and Hunter Biden has raised doubts about the impartiality of the American judicial system. Trump, who faces 37 charges, is being pressured by the judicial system, which is seen as a way to undermine his chances of competing against the current president Joe Biden in the 2024 election. On the other hand, Hunter Biden is being treated leniently by the judicial system, despite being accused of tax evasion. Many celebrities in the United States have been convicted of lesser crimes than Hunter Biden and even sent to prison, while Hunter was not only charged with tax evasion, but his action was regarded as a minor and insignificant crime and an indictment was issued accordingly.
Hunter Biden faced two charges: failing to pay taxes on time and illegally possessing firearms. He managed to avoid harsher penalties by pleading guilty and reaching a settlement with the prosecutors by paying a fine. This is a usual procedure in the US justice system. However, the Republicans, who are the rival party of Joe Biden, rejected this outcome and criticized the judicial system for being biased and inconsistent. They alleged that Joe Biden’s power and involvement prevented Hunter from receiving a more severe sentence.
From the point of view of Republicans, the judicial double standard does not end here. They cite Donald Trump who faces legal consequences for possessing classified documents, some of which were confidential. They contrast Donald Trump, who faces legal consequences for possessing classified documents, with Hillary Clinton, the former US secretary of state, who used a personal email service and server to handle classified documents while in office, and later erased and destroyed all the evidence. Republicans claim that she escaped indictment or conviction for this.
The matter became more complicated when the US intelligence agencies estimated that these emails were very likely to have been accessed by rivals and even hostile countries of the US. Clinton’s staff were so confident of the judges’ backing that they did not cooperate with the investigators who came to look into the matter. The outcome was nothing but a cover-up of this case.
The FBI dropped the case before the 2016 election, saying it was a bad time. But the Republicans recently blamed the judiciary for being unfair and political, helping one party and hurting the other. They said this harmed the government and the people of the US. They also said this made the judicial system biased, on purpose or not. This made many politicians, mostly Republicans, and people lose trust in the judiciary and its judges and courts. This can make the gap between the government and the people bigger and make people take justice into their own hands.
New surveys show that most US voters, especially those who are Republicans, have lost faith in the Justice Department and the legal system as a whole, unlike before, and they are reluctant to work with this agency and its branches. This problem can lead to more individual or collective actions like the one that happened on January 6th and the assault on Congress. In that event, a group that felt hopeless and frustrated about getting their rights through lawful means chose to take the law into their own hands and attempted to seize Congress and overturn the elections. Another alarming example of the enforcement of vigilante justice can be seen in the racial clashes in the US, which occasionally erupt from a city in the US and resort to violence to claim their rights.
The US legal system has lost its credibility and acceptance because it uses its power to favor specific political interests, instead of punishing offenders, protecting citizens, and creating justice. This makes citizens distrust and avoid the legal system. This is a dangerous process that can worsen the conflict between the two main US parties until the 2024 presidential election and lead to public disorder.