To me this is basically a case of history repeating itself; or at least I hope that is what is happening.
Trump toadies Jeffrey Clark and John Eastwood are reportedly ready to plead the fifth to the 1/6 committee. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution protects Americans from having to incriminate themselves in testimony. A lot of legal scholars will disagree with me but this is one of the rare cases where I agree with Donald Trump who said during the 2016 campaign that only guilty people take the fifth.
Clark and Eastwood both appear to be up to their eyebrows in the insurrection of January 6th and they perceive that the walls are closing in on them. If you are going to commit a crime and plan on getting away with it my opinion is that you have to do it alone and then keep your mouth shut. Donald Trump is both to lazy and stupid to successfully commit most crimes; therefore, he enlisted help and, in most cases, “farmed it out”. The problem is that he never used the best and the brightest. Sooner or later, it is inevitable that most will opt to save their own skins (in this case cut the best possible deal with the authorities) and leave Trump hanging. Also, Trump is obsessed with “proving” how smart he is (he isn’t) and will flap his jaws into self-incrimination.
In both Clark’s and Eastman’s cases the taking the fifth option seems to have come after they realized that others (we don’t know exactly who yet) have given testimony that points the finger at them. That leaves them with three options: they can tell the truth, lie or plead the fifth. (Remember what is publicly known is only a fraction of what the 1/6 committee knows.)
Telling the truth would certainly incriminate them and besides to a Trumper telling the truth is never a viable option. It runs counter to all they stand for.
Lying is second nature but they know a lie would be both ineffective and leave them liable to other charges only compounding their problems.
Taking the fifth is their only avenue. Having taken that route there are various branches on the legal “decision tree” but none of them leave them worse off than they were walking in.
This situation most closely resembles Watergate of anything in American politics in several generations. (The major difference is that the Republicans of that era were patriots that valued country and democracy over party.) In Watergate several of Nixon’s men went to prison but he didn’t. At the time I was among those who felt Gerald Ford was correct in pardoning Nixon. History has proven me to be incorrect! Had Nixon done time we may never have had Trump or 1/6.
It seems to me that investigators are handling this like a mob investigation and are looking for the guy at the top. They will cut some deals along the way and Trump may never go to prison but this much I’m sure of, many of his “boys” have federal housing in their futures fifth or not.
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