After reading a lot of news and commentary and watching a lot of videos of MSNBC commentators and analysis, I'm still trying to get my brain around this historic event. An ex-President will be prosecuted for attempting to overthrow the government.
What can I possibly say to my Bloggellinis about it?
ONE: YOU SHOULD READ THE INDICTMENT.
At this point, it's just business-a- usual for Trump to be indicted for SOMETHING. But I agree with columnist Charles Blow. THIS is the BIG ONE. You should read this 45-page indictment of Donald Trump. It is the first time Trump is being held accountable for the crimes he committed in his desperate attempts to overturn our democracy.
Prosecutor Jack Smith has intentionally created a document without any mysterious legal language.
TWO: THE EVIDENCE AGAINST TRUMP IS OVERWHELMING & IRREFUTABLE.
It is really amazing to read, in just a couple of hours, all the crimes Trump committed to overturn the results of a fair election. I always thought of Trump as lazy, incompetent and stupid. But he worked VERY HARD in so many different ways to try to remain in office despite haviing lost to Biden:
Pressuring election officials to manufacture ballots that didn't exist
Organizing slates of fake electors, who would vote for him, that would somehow replace the actual legal electors, who would vote for Biden
Accusing the makers of the voting machines of intentionally fixing them in favor of Biden
Accusing election workers of sneaking in illegal votes in suitcases and thumb drives
Fantasizing that there were dead people voting! There were non-citizens voting! There were people voting twice! Not just a few! Thousands and thousands!
Pressuring Vice President Pence to somehow turn his ceremonial act of certifying the election into a political act of overturning the election.
Pressuring the Justice Department into supporting these deluded ideas
And then, fomenting a terrifying but ultimately very lame insurrection.
I guess if you're a liar and a cheater yourself, it's really easy to think up ways to lie and cheat.
ALSO, THIS PROSECUTION COULDN'T POSSIBLY BE A POLITICAL VENDETTA BECAUSE IT'S BUILT ON THE TESTIMONY OF REPUBLICANS. THEY ALL WANTED TRUMP TO WIN. THEY WOULD HAVE BENEFITTED FROM HIS WINNING. THEY JUST WEREN'T WILLING TO DO ANYTHING ILLEGAL TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.
In other words, when this case goes to trial, it will be a slam dunk. There is no question that he will be convicted.
It's horrible that this person is still afflicting us. But it's fortunate that, although he is not lazy when protecting himself, he is still stupid and incompetent. An intelligent future dictator would have snuggled up to the military. But Trump insulted the top military brass from the very beginning. I was always very happy about that.
But if Trump is so stupid and incompetent, you say, why is he so powerful?
The whole thing is totally absurd, which is why it is so difficult for me to grasp that it really happened and is still happening.
Of course, the MOST absurd thing is the millions and millions of people who still support him. But that's another blog, assuming I can think of anything to say besides "Oy vey!" and "Holy shit."
THREE: MOST IMPORTANT WORDS IN INDICTMENT: "YOU'RE TOO HONEST."
When the Jan. 6 Committee was doing its thing, former Vice-President Pence refused to cooperate with them in any way. And the Jan. 6 Committee chose not to subpoena him. But he has fully cooperated with Prosecutor Smith's Grand Jury. A Grand Jury organized by the Justice Department has a lot more authority than a Congressional committee.
AND it turns out that Pence wrote extensive notes when Trump was pressuring him to commit treason (essentially). AND Pence has given those notes to the Grand Jury. Apparently, at one point when Trump was exercising his well-developed skills at arm-twisting, Trump said to Pence, "You're too honest."
Pence wrote those words down in his notes. This is crucial evidence because: Although it is totally obvious to any reasonable human being that Trump understood that he had lost the election and was intentionally lying and committing fraud -- the only time he actually admitted that he was being dishonest was when he accused Pence of being TOO honest. Those three words make Trump's intent crystal-clear. And the fact that Pence wrote it down AT THAT TIME makes the evidence more powerful. (Message to self: When someone is pressuring you to commit treason, TAKE NOTES!) (and remember where you PUT them....)
FOUR: JACK SMITH WAS SMART TO NOT CHARGE TRUMP FOR INCITING AN INSURRECTION.
Many are disappointed that Smith did not charge Trump for inciting to riot.
All the charges that Smith DOES make are very easy to prove. But, the charge of inciting insurrection runs up against the right to free speech.
Does tweeting an invitation to come to the Capitol on January 6, along with the words "Will be wild," count as inciting insurrection?
Is Trump's speech at the Ellipse before the riot free speech or incitement?
While the riot was in progress, was Trump's tweet, "Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done" an act of incitement?
These are judgment calls.
Certainly the fact that Trump waited three hours and seven minutes, before urging his supporters to leave the Capitol, proves that he was thrilled and delighted with the insurrection. But is enjoying an insurrection a crime?
Smith's previous job was as Chief Prosecutor at the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague. His job was to put vicious dictators in prison. He knows that the insurrection charges would make for a much more lengthy and complex trial. So he didn't make these charges because...
FIVE: TIMING IS EVERYTHING.
According to one of the MSNBC commentators, because the evidence against Trump is so overwhelming that he will obviously be convicted, the most consequential decision the Judge has to make is when the case goes to trial.
Trump's lawyers will try to put off the trial as long as possible, arguing that it would conflict with Trump's campaign. (Yeah, Baby!) On the other side, some say that the trial could reasonably start two months from Judge Chutkan's announcement. The Judge will announce her decision on timing on August 25.
Judge Tanya Chutkan was randomly chosen for this trial. She is an Obama appointee. In 2021, Judge Chutkan denied Trump's attempt to shield his White House records from the January 6 Committee, ruling the former president did not have the power to prevent the disclosure. "Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President," she wrote of Trump.
Chutkan's decision may appear to be politically liberal. But in fact, it's very much mainstream. When Trump appealed it to the Trump-loaded Supreme Court, the Justices supported the Judge's decision 8-1.
According to Neal Kaytal, former acting Solicitor General of the United States:
"She has an enormous, enormous reputation in Washington, D.C., among lawyers. Whether you're a Republican lawyer or a Democratic lawyer, whether you're a prosecutor or a defense attorney, she's easily one of the most respected judges in this city."
So. We don't have to worry about the Judge. She is seen by others as impartial and competent.
Isn't it nice to have something we don't have to worry about?
Bloggellinis: This indictment is all good news. Why am I not deliriously happy? Because I know Trump will use it as more evidence of the Deep State plotting against him. I still think it's the right thing to do. We have to keep going on this path of holding Trump accountable. After all, we can never know the repercussions of ANY action we take. Sometimes you just have to do the right thing, even though you're unsure of the results. Terry
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