Nancy Pelosi posted a tweet Thursday night that suggested former President Donald Trump has the burden of proving his innocence after being indicted in New York on what many are calling a political prosecution.
Pelosi posted: “The Grand Jury has acted upon the facts and the law. No one is above the law, and everyone has the right to a trial to prove innocence. Hopefully, the former President will peacefully respect the system, which grants him that right.”
However, it seems lost on Pelosi that no defendant is obligated to “prove innocence,” as she put it. The US criminal justice system assumes the innocence of the defendant until it has been proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that they are guilty of a given crime. This post raises questions about Pelosi’s apparent desire to see Trump found guilty of his charges.
Twitter’s Context feature was quick to supplement Pelosi’s blatantly inaccurate tweet, adding an article from Cornell Law Schools, which states: “A presumption of innocence means that any defendant in a criminal trial is assumed to be innocent until they have been proven guilty. As such, a prosecutor is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the crime if that person is to be convicted.”
“To do so, proof must be shown for every single element of the crime. That being said, a presumption of innocence does not guarantee that a person will remain free until their trial has concluded. In some circumstances, a person can be held in custody.”
However, it appears that Pelosi has no interest in assuming Trump’s innocence, suggesting that he now has an opportunity to prove his innocence. Assuming Trump’s guilt raises serious red flags about the motive behind the indictment from the outset.
Trump has referred to the indictment as “political persecution,” and he has garnered significant support from senior Republicans in Congress.
Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has suggested that the indictment has “weaponized our sacred system of justice” against Trump. Elise Stefanik, another member of the House leadership, called the indictment a “political witch hunt and a dark day for America.”
Yahoo reported that Rick Scott (R-FL) referred to Trump’s indictment as a “political vendetta against President Trump,” with Ted Cruz (R-TX) calling the debacle “a catastrophic escalation in the weaponization of the justice system.”
Twitter users did not take too kindly to Pelosi’s overtly biased tweet, with multiple Twitter accounts drawing attention to the former Speaker’s dabblings with insider trading in 2021, when members of her own party pushed back against her suggestion that Congress members should be able to trade stock while in office.
"'Prove innocence,'" James Linsdsay say, "oof they admit it."
The Libertarian Party Twitter account tweeted: “If you truly believed no one was above the law, you would have called for the prosecution of the Epstein clients and presidential war criminals. You didn’t, and you never will.”
Author and behavioral scientist Gad Saad put it more bluntly, tweeting: “Are you truly this ignorant? This imbecilic? This misguided? This fascistic? A ‘trial to prove innocence’? Are you familiar with the concept of presumption of innocence as the DEFAULT a priori position? You are a disgrace. [I'll retweet.]”
Trump is expected to run for president in 2024, and there are some who believe that his indictment will only increase his chances of re-election. Following raw video footage from January 6, it seems clear that there has been a concerted effort by Democrats to place blame on Trump in an effort to crush the possibility of seeing him back in the White House.