Former President Donald J. Trump was an accessory before and after the fact to a felony that involved the injury and death of police officers. He also instigated an attempted insurection upon our government. He also obstructed justice and tried to tamper with witnesses in a Congressional investigation. There’s more, as you know, but that’ll do for the purposes of this post. He needs to be immediately arrested, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and, hopefully convicted and jailed…for a long time. This political monster has managed to weaponize a significant portion of the population, who operate with impunity hurling extremely intimidating death threats at politicians, election officials, judges, FBI officers, former Trump staffers–anyone who they deem oppositional to their cult leader. Trump has become a kind of de facto Mafia boss skulking around in the dark and dank understory of our nation, operating the puppet strings of his minions both in Washington and across the countryside.
We have the goods on him, but Teflon Don is slippery. They resorted to tax evasion to get Al Capone, another mafia Don, but you wouldn’t think it would be as hard to nab Trump. Thing is, this country hasn’t seen anything like Donald Trump ever–a slick, carpetbagging career criminal who manages to get himself elected president and who won’t accept defeat after he loses his reelection bid. It’s like a whole new strain of cancer that doctors have no idea how to handle. Joe Biden is back in the 1980s around what to do with Trump. Meticulous Merrick Garland is no match for the con man. The FBI may have Trumpsters on board. And the Democrats in Congress? Well…they’re still the cautious Democrats in Congress nervously wringing their hands, at a loss for dealing with a raging political bully.
What we do have is Liz Cheney and the January 6th Investigation Committee. They have just issued a subpoena to Trump. That’s highly significant, whether he complies or he refuses. Either way, he loses. We have, too, the criminal case in Fulton County Georgia as per the phone call to Raffensperger demanding he find some 11,700 + votes to illegally sway the election in that state to him. We have, too, the DOJ’s case of the missing national security documents that Trump carted off to Mar a Lago instead of giving them to the National Archives where they were legally required. Garland and the FBI did raid Trump’s house but the case has bounced around legally due to Trump’s chronic delaying tactics. Thankfully, the Supreme Court has chosen not to take up Trump’s request to help him oppose the DOJ.
As for the 14th Amendment and its clause that bars public officials who have participated in any insurrection against the government from running for public office for the rest of their lives, there has been no significant move from the Congress to do so. And, yes, it is either the Congress or the courts that can do so. I have contacted my representatives in Congress asking them to take such action via an appropriate bill, but was completely ignored. When the Bill of Rights are ignored, our democracy is headed down the drain.
So where does that leave us with regards dealing with this individual? My first job out of college was a social worker in a state prison. Some of those men I counseled were convicted of being accessories before and/or after the fact, as the driver during an armed robbery, for example. Trump’s crimes were far worse. Garland hesitates because the perp is an ex-president, but he’s also stated that no one is above the law. Like the guys in the prison I used to work in would say, “When you do the crime, you do the time.”
The integrity of this country is at stake. The whole world is watching. Garland soon comes to a fork in the road. Does he prosecute? Does he absolve? Does he let it fade off into the sunset?
And what of our democracy? Will the country let it go and replace it with an authoritarian at the head of one party, such as Russia, China, Cuba, Hungary, Belarus, Myranmar, Syria, Iran…? This next election will tell us how much danger the canary in the coal mine is in.
One more thing: the Oath of Office of the President is as follows:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Donald Trump seriously violated that oath. If the oath means anything, there must be severe and significant consequences. If not, as Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said today at the latest session of the House January 6th Committee Hearing on the Insurrection, “That, my fellow citizens, breaks the republic.”
Or as Speaker Nancy Pelosi said when she heard Trump was on his way to the Capitol with his rioters on January 6, “I’ll punch him out… I’ll go to jail, but I’ll be happy!”