The two questions that I most frequently hear about Trump are: 1) will he run in 2024? 2) is he going to wind up in jail? On the first question, the jury seems to be split about 50-50, which reflects the fact that in today’s political environment, 2024 is a long way out.
On the second question, a new spark has been added to the tinder by the opinion of a Federal judge this week who refused to let one of Trump’s lawyers, John Eastman, withhold documents from the January 6th Committee because the attorney-client privilege being claimed by Eastman doesn’t work if it’s being used to obscure or hide evidence about a crime. The judge in this case, a Clinton appointee named David Carter, believes that “more than not” Trump was consciously trying to prevent the electoral vote from taking place and therefore committed at least one and possibly more crimes.
I love, by the way, how the lawyer representing Eastman says his client will comply, as if this is some kind of favor being done for the court. What’s he going to tell a federal judge? That he’s not going to comply?
Every time some Wall Street scammer is forced to hand over documents to the Southern District which will show that he defrauded customers out of this and out of that, his attorney always says that he will ‘cooperate’ with the feds. Even Madoff’s lawyer said his client would cooperate in the investigation which eventually yielded evidence about more than $60 billion (not million, billion) that Bernie Madoff made off with over some 20 years.
So, now we have another attorney saying that his client will cooperate, but Eastman isn’t the real target of this criminal inquiry – the real target is just another citizen named Donald Trump. And Trump no longer has any of the Constitutional protections afforded the President under what is called ‘executive privilege,’ which means that he could keep certain things secret when he was President but not anymore. Trump tried and lost that argument back in January and the only Supreme Court Justice who backed him up was Clarence Thomas, who is a conservative that Trump did not appoint.
I wouldn’t mind seeing Trump trundled off at some point to do a couple of years in the federal pen at Otisville, NY. The facility is only a couple of hours from New York City by car and maybe Trump can have the same cell that Michael Cohen occupied from 2019 through 2021.
But I wouldn’t want to take the short odds on whether Trump will end up having to cut his hair and trade in his custom-cut clothes for the striped prison duds. And that’s because it’s always more difficult to convict someone of planning[MW1] a crime than actually committing that same crime, particularly when you’re dealing with someone who is as much of a big, fucking blabbermouth as Trump.
So, for example, Trump evidently had discussions with Mike Pence about whether the Electoral College vote was going to take place. But it did take place, it was officially recorded by Pence, and unless Trump gave Pence a direct order to halt the proceedings which Pence then ignored, guess what? No criminal case.
Right now Trump is being investigated for an alleged attempt to get the then-Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, to change the vote count, the quoted text from the phone call: “I just want to find 11,780 votes.”
I have actually taken the trouble to read the complete transcript of that telephone call. Now I’m no criminal prosecutor or defense attorney, but if what Trump said in that sentence convicts him of engaging in a ‘criminal solicitation’ to overturn the vote in Georgia, I’ll send a hundred bucks to his defense fund right now.
First of all, there were – ready? – eight people listening and/or talking on that call, three of them in Georgia and four others standing or sitting around Trump. At least three or maybe four of the group were attorneys representing both sides. Now I know that 10,000 lawyers under the sea would be a good start, but does anyone really believe that you’re going to put together an attempt to commit federal crimes when half the people are attorneys at the meeting where the plan is being hatched?
And the best statement of all is that although he only needed 11,780 votes to win Georgia by one vote, he knew that he actually won by more than – ready? – three hundred thousand votes. Trump repeated that number on the call several times. Three hundred thousand legal votes for Donald Trump disappeared.
You going to indict someone for conspiracy or criminal solicitation who says and maybe even believes such crazy things?
Want to lock up Donald Trump? Get him into a suite for mental patients at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in West Hollywood. Cost? Only $3,000 a day.