Several words beginning with the letter “I” have become more prominent since the election of Donald Trump. It can be for investigation; I’ve lost track of how many there are/have been into his activities. It can be for impeachment. Trump is the only American President to be impeached twice. In fact, there have only been four impeachments of Presidents in the history of America; Trump accounts for half of them. Lately it stands for criminal indictment. Last week Trump faced his second felony one and became the only former American president to be federally indicted. While not unexpected it has to be the biggest political story of the week just ended.
Trump is to appear in the Miami federal courtroom of Judge Aileen Cannon to answer a 37-count indictment. Any way you want to spin that, it is serious. While much has been already said about the venue, I’d like to make two points. Trump won Florida in both the 2016 and 2020 elections. It is difficult to believe that the jury will be devoid of people who voted for him. Aileen Cannon is a Trump appointee and shall we say ruled extremely favorably to the disgraced ex-president the last time his matters came before her. It will be difficult for Trump to say the court is a setup. Assuming Cannon stays on the case for any length of time – and that is far from a given at this writing – you can expect Trump’s legal team to get a lot of breaks.
Two of Trump’s lawyers have already left his defense team. Trump’s legal strategy has always been to delay. I can see the motion for delay so that the new counsel can get up to speed.
This also plays right into two of Trump’s outside the courtroom strategies. As long as the money is rolling in, (and Trump’s first fundraising appeals went out less than an hour after he found out he had been indicted), Trump wants to run the scam as long as possible. His operation is little more than an organized criminal enterprise and that’s all it has ever been. If this goes on for months – which is easy to envision – then Trump can play the political interference card (which also helps small dollar fundraising). If you are following along closely, Trump will cause the delays and then blame them raising money in the process.
As has been his past practice, Trump not the Justice Department announced the indictment. In fact, the DOJ’s initial response was, “No comment.”
I’m skeptical that even at this late date that Trump has returned everything he took. In fact, I’d bet that he has not. What else is floating around out there and under what conditions?
I’ll close with a few more I-words. You have to question both the intelligence and the integrity of a person who repeatedly refused to return classified documents that didn’t belong to him. I was thinking of writing a book this about affair and naming it after Trump but Dostoevsky already had dibs on The Idiot.
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