Trump and Cohorts Now Facing Extreme Legal Peril
Since the January 6th Commission began hearings, I have had dozens of conversations in which two common questions have emerged: will Donald Trump ever be indicted for what he did, and, if so, why is it taking so long? I share the frustration inherent in the questions, but I am reassured by the words so eloquently spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King: “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
The January 6th Commission has done a masterful job exposing potentially criminal conduct by Donald Trump and his brain trust, John Eastman, Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows, in their attempted coup. According to the evidence presented, this core group made false and baseless claims that Trump won the election and that pivotal votes for Biden in swing states were procured by fraud, and they filed groundless law suits and attempted to influence legislators in swing states to reject the legitimate votes and declare that Trump was the winner. Concerted attempts were also made to influence state election officials to find that the election results were invalid and should be rejected.
In particular, Trump attempted to influence Attorney General Bill Barr and his successor to announce that an actual fraud investigation by the Department of Justice had begun, and when that failed, Trump attempted to install and incompetent Attorney General to do his bidding until he was confronted with the threat of mass resignations by DOJ senior officials and had to back off.
Finally when all else failed, on January 6, 2021 Trump and cohorts tried to pressure Vice President Pence into illegally rejecting the electoral votes from certain swing states, and then gathered and incited a mob that Trump knew was armed to storm the Capitol and disrupt the final stage of the electoral process so that the election could be thrown into the House of Representatives. The evidence further established that after the rioters stormed the Capitol Building Trump took no steps to call up the National Guard or call off the demonstrators – most of whom were present because they thought Trump wanted them to be there.
Based on the seizure of John Eastman’s telephone by federal agents and the service of other subpoenas, it now appears that a formal criminal investigation by the Department of Justice is underway. We also know that a separate state grand jury in Georgia is investigating Trump and Giuliani for attempting to illegally influence the election outcome in that state. This investigation is being run by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. According to news reports she has expressed confidence in the direction of her probe.
There is overwhelming evidence to convene a grand jury and to return an indictment for a myriad of charges, if the prosecution is so inclined. Conspiracy to commit sedition, conspiracy to obstruct the administration of justice, attempted fraud in the submission of invalid electors on behalf in Trump in the swing states, and even a racketeering conspiracy which would tie the whole scheme together from election night to January 6, 2021, are but a few of the available charges.
People have suggested to me that Attorney General Merrick Garland is too cautious and conservative to indict a former president, but in the face of the above evidence and the powerful presentation of the January 6th Commission, he almost has no choice. What Trump attempted to do would have destroyed our democracy. Garland may be cautious but he is also principled, and a failure to indict out of fear would be branded as the appeasement of a would-be dictator. Garland surely knows that a would-be dictator or cannot be bargained with – he can only be defeated and destroyed.
I have spoken to people who are exasperated by Trump’s ability to wiggle out of jams in the past. They say he is just lucky and will “luck out again.” I have practiced law for 53 years and have been involved in and closely followed politics in this state and nationally. The one thing I have consistently seen is that a person’s luck always runs out.
Always. That’s why the casinos are still in business; people stay at the table too long. Consider how different Trump’s legacy would be if he acted like an adult and conceded, rather than obsessively trying to obstruct an orderly succession.
One more point. When history reports the investigation and (hopefully) ultimate prosecution of Trump and his cohorts, chief among our heroes will be women. For it was the courage and creativity of certain women who exposed the pure evil of the Trump machinations that almost destroyed America’s democracy. I am talking about Nancy Pelosi, who created the January 6th Commission and refused to let Jim Jordan and the other Trump partisans disrupt it; Liz Cheney, who has refused to accept the big lie and who has skillfully led the Commission’s questioning; and Cassidy Hutchinson, who courageously testified about critical facts which impute criminal intent to Trump knowing that she will be viciously attacked on social media and at any subsequent criminal trial. Shamefully, many of the men in a position to shed light on what happened have looked away, forgotten, or refused to look up from their cell phones when presented with the truth.
In our post-election nightmare, the center held and I believe the moral arc of our government is bending toward justice.
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The two female election workers in GA who have lost everything including their reputations and feeling of safety also need to be included in the list with Liz Cheney et al.
Finally sanity in an article I can believe.
Have a feeling the DoJ isn’t going to charge this criminal….90% of law enforcement are Trump supporters….Garland is too weak to offset that, and Biden is too timid to replace him. Great article, but why would the DoJ need anything more than what we watched on live TV on Jan 6th to charge the Orangutan?! They didn’t then and won’t now because this country always protects people like trump…he’s the mirror to our dark fascist soul…would bet my house on it frankly.
I agree with everything here except the phrase, “Finally when all else failed.” I’ve gradually come to the view that a violent invasion of the Capitol was part of Plan A from its inception, part of what Bannon and Navarro called “the Green Bay Sweep.” It never was Plan B or C. The MAGA mob had to have its day for Plan A to work.
Thank you Joe.
I am so happy to hear such an experienced lawyer be sure that indictments are in the future for Trump, Eastman, Guillani, and Meadows.
He should have cashed in his chips and slunk off to Mar-a-Lardass to think for just a minute before he acted, but that’s not the brand that Roy Cohn sold him.
Now he has to face the music, and Cassidy Hutchinson sat in the last chair.
Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
I predict house arrest, even though he DESERVES incarceration for his treachery.
If it’s good enough for his minions, it’s good enough for him.
Trump has always been untrustworthy and ruthless. He has scammed money from his charity organization, cheated business of payment, and ran slumlord apartments . It makes me ashamed to be an American to have had such an unscrupulous, filthy mouthed, racist and berating of women as our President. He has separated this country as it hasn’t been since the civil war. His love of the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and other white supremacist groups. His participation and support of the January 6th insurrection , he should be tried treason as he spouts the words about other people.
Joe Hayden, This article on Trump facing justice is geatly appreciated by many …. thousands if the count is correct. Trump has lost 95% of the major lawsuits he’s faced in the last 50 years. He’ll lose every one of those brought against him in GA, NY and by the DOJ. My dad was a Treasury Agent long ago but had a hand in convicting Dave Beck & Jimmy Hoffa. The DOJ won’t file an indictment unless they know they have a slam dunk.
About time this Shameless Shammer faces the facts against him and his cronies. But, swift Federal Prison sounds too good forthis worthless POTUS
Garland is just dealing with the tip of the Iceberg – look at what Trump did to the Lakota people at Standing Rock – every human right and murder occurred the minute he hit office. Then COVID. The recent Lancet Commission evaluated the death toll from Trump’s mismanagement of COVID AND his other policies such as cutting social programs to fund his trillion dollar tax cuts for the wealthy. In short these cost about 3 million American lives and around 1.5-2.0 million lives across the world outside of the states. America did not contribute one thing therapeutically to COVID. The people that saved us [wait for this one] – who developed the vaccine were immigrant Muslims and Jewish immigrants in Europe. What we contributed was corruption of the CDC, FDA and NIH by Trump and a incessant misinformation campaign that told people to take ineffective drugs and avoid effective masks and vaccines and the world bought it. So the Trump GENOCIDE amounted to 5 million dead, and 180,000 dead health care workers. Yet, not even a traffic ticket. That makes Trump more genocidal by far than his hero Hitler – it took him 10 years to genocide 6 million Jewish people. If Trump had 10 years he would have murdered at least 12 million or more. If the Republicans win in a couple months, impeach Biden as they will have the votes for a third Kangaroo Trial, and then Trump is back in by the end of THIS YEAR. It is far too late for any legal indictment. He will just pardon himself and all 20 or so Senators which have no right to be running this country. They should have been put on leave until their roles were clarify. Democrats are always far too weak and underestimate the evil they are up against. I have yet to see the democrats take action to secure the vote or womens rights or any other group.
I hope that Trump can never run for any political office ever he knows nothing about it so throw that man in jail!!
Trump have the worst drama baggage than any human being in history. He’s a dangerous person about to become like his friend putin. I assumed he’s an autocratic. He acts like one. Hope fbi and doj prevailed. He should be locked up for life or worst death.