United Utah Party Statement on Conviction of Former President Trump

United Utah Party Statement on Conviction of Former President Trump

The conviction of former President Donald Trump brought predictable responses from the two major parties.  Republicans claim that the trial and our entire justice system are “shams,”[1] but of course the justice system is not a sham to Republicans when the 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court (that they engineered by denying a hearing to President Obama’s nominee) rules in their favor.  Democrats are gleefully plotting how they can use this conviction to campaign against their arch nemesis[2] while glossing over the fact that the prosecuting attorney appears to have campaigned for election on the idea that he would prosecute Donald Trump[3] and used novel legal theories to raise the charges from misdemeanors to felonies[4].  Recent rhetoric from both parties, and particularly from prominent Republicans under former President Trump's influence, has been to undermine the historic and sacred institutions that form the bedrock of our democracy - a fair and impartial judicial system, free and fair elections, and the peaceful transfer of power. 


The responses from the two major parties hint at the larger issue which is lurking below the surface – the deterioration of how Americans perceive our judicial branch of government, a deterioration both parties have encouraged when it suits their purposes.  Like a three-legged stool, our system of government depends on healthy and independent legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government to provide checks and balances that preserve all of our rights.  When frustrated with the inability to pass legislation to advance their causes, both major parties have sought to turn the judicial branch of government into an extension of the legislative branch.  This pressure must stop.

The United Utah Party Platform rejects the cynical use of political power for judicial advantage: “We oppose efforts to politicize and impose partisan politics on the judicial branch of government.”[5]  We support reforms that can fortify the independence of the judicial branch, including:

  • The appointment, not election, of judges and prosecutors, coupled with the establishment of respected independent review bodies to advise executives making such appointments on the qualifications and political independence of the potential appointees
  • The adoption of non-partisan races for judicial and prosecutorial positions in States in which judges and prosecutors are elected
  • Urging and advising all attorneys who are pursuing such positions to immediately and completely disassociate themselves from any political party and political advocacy group

Any criminal activity, fraudulent act or willful dishonesty from our elected officials and candidates is unacceptable.  The concerns about the motives of the prosecuting attorney do not, in our view, outweigh the fact that former President Trump was convicted by a jury of his peers after a full trial in which he was given the opportunity to raise every possible legal defense.  We must respect the outcome of the legal proceedings, including former President Trump’s right to a full and fair appeal.  We must also take this opportunity to renew our focus on putting reforms in place to strengthen the independence of our judicial branch of government.

[1] https://www.deseret.com/politics/2024/05/30/utah-politicians-react-to-trump-verdict/

[2] https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-conviction-biden-comment-legal-troubles-forcefully-sources/story?id=110694711

[3] https://www.newsweek.com/did-alvin-bragg-promise-trump-prosecution-hush-money-guilty-conviction-1906705

[4] https://www.lawfaremedia.org/article/charting-the-legal-theory-behind-people-v.-trump

[5] https://www.unitedutah.org/platform

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