Plan On Spending A Lot Of Time In Georgia

Timeline: Saturday morning August 19, 2023

The biggest political story of the week just passed was one we knew was coming; we just didn’t know the exact timing of it. Yes, I’m speaking of the indictments in Fulton County, Georgia. Much has been reported – some of it even accurate – over the past few days. Many repercussions have already been felt, and many more are to be expected. (Hence the timeline.) Over the next few minutes, I’d like to share some of my thoughts.

Much is yet to be determined. My most startling thought among those lines is that I am far from fully convinced that this particular trial will ever actually take place. It most likely will; but it’s far from a sure thing. This sweeping of an indictment is full of delay opportunities and who know what will happen given enough time.

The first observation I have is contrasting the Fulton County indictment with Jack Smith’s DC indictment. While I am not reinforcing (nor do I accept) the right-wing myth that this is all just political but political realities explain the difference. I’ll use the analogy of bombing. The DC indictment was precision bombing; the Fulton County indictment was carpet bombing. Jack Smith is basically a hired hand for one specific mission; Fani Willis is up for reelection in 2024. Smith does his job and goes on to whatever is his next stop. Willis wants to be reelected in 2024. What comes down the road for her is yet to be determined story. It appears that Willis is on the cusp of replacing Stacey Abrams in Georgia politics.  Or is it filling the gap left by her?

In any event this is more trouble for Donald Trump. He now faces 4 criminal indictments in four separate jurisdictions (and this may well still not be the end of it). In total he is facing 91 felony counts. In the Fulton County “carpetbombing” there are 18 co-defendants, a total of 41 crimes outlined and Trump is accused of committing 13 of them. In the indictment there are over 150 illegal acts cited that support the charges. Even with the 19 charged, which is a huge number, there are still 30 unindicted co-conspirators cited in the indictment. Keep in mind that prosecutors only bring charges they feel they can get convictions on; not on crimes they feel have been committed.

I found it interesting that Mark Meadows is named as a defendant this indictment and not in any previous ones. Could that be a matter of who he did or didn’t cooperate with and to what degree? I still think he is a key to the whole truth.

Credit must be given to the January 6th Committee, many of the indictments we are now seeing were built upon the work they did. Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger along with Democrats Elaine Luria and Stephanie Murphy (four of the nine members) effectively sacrificed their political careers in defense of the nation.

Most heartening to me was to see that attacks on election workers were included in the Fulton County indictments. That is some small measure of justice. Election workers – the vast majority of whom are temporary workers brought on at little financial compensation – are the backbone and ground troops of representative democracy. Without them we simply cannot have free and fair elections. For some time now I have personally thanked the poll workers when I voted. I remember one conversation I had with a gentleman (I have no idea of his political affiliation or leanings) who told me it was basically “Beer money” for him. As many of my readers know, I have held official positions in the Democratic party and in the course of several assignments I interacted with many poll workers who were Republicans, but they were Americans first. I found each and every one of them to be concerned with free and fair elections first; letting the chips fall where they may when the counting was done. That is what makes American representative democracy work and it is under attack by the right wing extremists who have taken over too much of today’s GOP.

While I have my reservations if these indictments will ever actually get to trial, these cases will be a seemingly inexhaustible sources of political news stories but it all truly commenced last week.

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