Friday, February 16, 2024

A Venial Sin

The English poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744) first declared, "To err is human, to forgive is divine."  Defendants apparently are of a different mind.

After some four years of investigation and litigation, the only error ("inadvertent," of course) that they acknowledge is the tripling of the size of the Trump Tower Penthouse, which cannot be gainsaid.  Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological.  They are accused only of inflating asset values to make more money.  The documents prove this over and over again.

This is a venial sin, not a mortal sin.  Defendants did not commit murder or arson.  They did not rob a bank at gunpoint.  Donald Trump is not Bernard Madoff.  Yet, defendants are incapable of admitting the error of their ways.  Instead, they adopt a "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" posture that the evidence belies.

-- New York Judge Arthur Engoron ruling in People of the State of New York v Donald J. Trump and The Trump Organization, fining defendants roughly $350,000,000, 16 February 2024

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