Members of the media continue to discuss how extraordinary it would be for the Department of Justice to indict a former President, and how disruptive it will be if he is indicted for the multiple crimes he was openly and repeatedly committed. Even while trumpeting (sorry) the line that no one in the United States is above the law.
I want to state that it is precisely because Donald Trump was president that he must be brought to justice, the same as any thug or other criminal. It may be unprecedented but being unusual or even one of-a-kind is no excuse for allowing a criminal to walk free. This is particularly true when that criminal continues to spread the same blatant lies that led to the January 6 insurrection. Trump repeats his falsehoods about the 2020 election multiple times a week. He actively endorses the candidacies of election deniers around the country.
Now he has gone the last mile. He has stated that the [false] claims of election fraud justify disregarding all the rules and regulations governing elections, including the Constitution itself. https://bit.ly/3iqMZkU and https://bit.ly/3HeSkGB and https://bit.ly/3ulG1QY
There can be no clearer indication that Trump is not an American patriot but is a self-interested traitor. He promises to continue promoting his lies about the 2020 election even as he runs in the 2024 presidential election. He literally wants to be “installed” as president, leading, obviously, to the removal of the elected President Biden, the replacement of the entire leadership of the federal government and, effectively, the collapse of American democracy. That is what Trump demands and that is why he should be indicted now.
The fact that most of Trump-endorsed election deniers were rejected in the 2022 midterms is irrelevant. That outcome may suggest that to a large extent the voters have had enough of election-denial, but the money keeps rolling in to finance Trump’s legal fees and his announced candidacy for President in 2024. Grotesquely unqualified candidates like Herschel Walker continue to be promoted by Trump and by the Republican Party and are considered serious threats against candidates like Rev. Warnock in Georgia.
Despite everything that has happened since Trump took office, MAGA Republicans and so-call Christian Fundamentalists continue their fanatical loyalty to him. They claim that the events that led to two impeachments (also unprecedented) and the insurrection were all fake. You can show them a video of the Capitol attack and they will say (1) it never happened, (2) it was staged by paid actors, (3) it was really antifa, not Trump supporters, or (4) they were just patriots fighting to correct the theft of the election (for which no evidence has ever been produced).
Trump’s supporters still say that his phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State demanding the “finding” of just enough votes, by exactly one, to give Trump the win was nothing to be concerned about. Same for his attempt to extort from the president of Ukraine an investigation of his political opponent in the 2020 election. And on and on.
Trump’s crimes are so numerous and his uses of the judicial system to stall and deflect so common and well-financed that a degree of indifference may have set in through the body politic. See MEDIAite at https://bit.ly/3Vt9Bjt Whatever that may be, the fact remains that Donald Trump, while President of the United States, attempted to overthrow the government by preventing the transfer of power to his duly elected successor. His financial crimes and other abuses of power pale in comparison to that unprecedented attack on the very democratic process that elected him.
And that is the reason he must be prosecuted. Trump violated his oath of office, abused his power, and led an insurrection attempting to end democracy. If he had succeeded, it is likely we would never have seen another real election in this country.
So, members of the media, please just stop with the “OMG, it’s unprecedented that a former president would be indicted.” The lack of precedent simply highlights how grotesque Trump’s conduct was and is. I see now that some of his lawyers have testified before the criminal grand jury and that’s good, although we don’t know, and likely never will know the extent to which they avoided telling the truth by citing attorney-client and/or executive privilege. It is well-established law that such privileges cannot be used to shield communications involved in the planning and execution of crimes, but Trump has succeeded many times in deflecting and deferring consequences with similar claims.
There are some suggestions that Trump’s evasion of responsibility for his crimes is running out of legal room, but he still has allies in Congress and on the Supreme Court who may yet come to his aid. Whatever that future may hold, nothing should stand in the way of indictments for Trump’s many crimes. The most important, of course, is his instigation of the January 6 attack, but there are many others as well. The government should focus on the one or two that have the clearest evidentiary basis and that would certainly include the Capitol assault. Make clear to all future political leaders, in both parties, that crimes in office will not be tolerated. We are approaching the two-year anniversary of the Capitol attack.
It’s time. Past time. Indict him, arrest him, and try him.