In case you believe all that nonsense about 'no one is above the law...'
Democrats afraid to indict Trump. Here's why.
The Justice Department’s decision to charge Oath Keepers with seditious conspiracy last week makes clear that prosecutors consider the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol part of an organized assault to prevent the peaceful transfer of presidential power.
But so far the department does not appear to be directly investigating the person whose desperate bid to stay in office motivated the mayhem — former President Donald Trump — either for potentially inciting a riot or for what some observers see as a related pressure campaign to overturn the results of the election. — Boston Globe
Biden’s Justice Department appears to have all the evidence it needs to secure indictments and convictions of Trump and his grifter family. So why aren’t they moving on it? Attorney General Merrick Garland and local prosecutors are waiting for a green light from Biden before moving forward, a signal that may never come. Here’s why:
Democratic leaders are afraid of a payback when and if the Republicans take back Congress in ‘22 and the White House in ‘24.
They also fear turning Trump into a martyr and facing a violent reaction from the MAGAs and fascist gangs who stormed the Capitol on January 6th at his behest.
Biden, eschewing help from the left-wing of the Party, still pins his hopes on a bipartisan strategy to pass his fading legislative agenda. He knows that without help from Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema in the Senate, that agenda is totally dependent on his winning over a handful of Republicans who don’t want to see Trump arrested.
It was a year ago on the heels of 1/6 that some Republican leaders were joining Democrats in attacking Trump for his role in instigating the attack on the Capitol and the attempt to overturn the presidential election. But now, all but a tiny handful of Republicans (none in the Senate) have formed a solid
cult block behind Trump. One of the reasons is that their leader appears to be invincible. Another is, they are afraid of him and face the threat of being primaried out of office if they don’t go along.
A year ago, Mitch McConnell directly blamed Trump for fomenting the riot but then voted against impeachment for inciting an insurrection. It was McConnell who then called on the Democrats to file criminal charges against Trump rather than going after him politically via impeachment. McConnell said that “impeachment was never meant to be the final forum for American justice.” Instead, he noted that “We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former Presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one.”
Boy, was that turned out to be a load of crap.
South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham joined McConnell, arguing that the right way to respond to Trump’s crimes was through conventional legal means. “If you believe he committed a crime,” Graham said, “he can be prosecuted like any other citizen; impeachment is a political process.”
Another load. A complete denial of the two-tier system of justice in this country.
So far, the Democrats haven’t been willing to take up McConnell’s challenge and instead seem set on using the House Committee’s investigation of Trump’s role in the 1/6 events for some so-far elusive political gain, without risking a criminal trial.
Biden’s advisors and the liberal media and policy wonks are split on the issue of prosecuting the Republican coup makers. Progressives are demanding it. Party regulars are afraid of it.
This New York Times columnist claims the goal of an indictment would be to renew faith in our government, but its effect would be the opposite.
“An investigation and potential indictment and trial of Mr. Trump,” Eric Posner warns, “would give the circus of the Trumpian presidency a central place in American politics for the next several years, sucking the air out of the Biden administration and feeding into Mr. Trump’s politically potent claims to martyrdom. Mr. Trump will portray the prosecution as revenge by the ‘deep state’ and corrupt Democrats.”
But that seems to be precisely what’s happened with the seemingly never-ending impeachment trials and congressional hearings into 6/1. Trump, Bannon, Taylor Greene, Gosar, Boebert, and a host of Republican officials were shown to have been intimately involved in the planning of the coup. Yet all are still at large.
Austin Sarat, Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College, writes in the December issue of Verdict:
Yet I worry that going forward with even a well-grounded prosecution of Trump would almost certainly turn him into a martyr, fuel a furious attack on the Biden Justice Department for using prosecution as a political weapon, spur violent outbursts, and plunge this country ever closer to the abyss which it seems to be fast approaching
Arguing for indictment, the Boston Globe’s Editorial Board urges Garland to abandon this country’s “longstanding reluctance to prosecute former leaders.”
“It cannot be the case that there is no line — no hypothetical act of presidential criminality that would not rise to the level of seriousness that merits setting aside our qualms (about prosecution). And if one accepts that there is a line, it’s hard to imagine Donald Trump didn’t cross it.”
I obviously agree with the latter argument.
Last year, the word was that state prosecutors in New York and other states were preparing to indict the former president as soon as he left office. Then, a few months ago, we heard that former Manhattan D.A., Cyrus Vance, and New York State attorney general, Letitia James were going after the Trump family’s financial crimes.
Now, with only months before the midterm elections, Vance is gone, James sits in limbo, Republican are working to gain control of the national election apparatus, and it seems everything is at a standstill. I’m doubtful that Trump and his fellow criminal profiteers will ever be held criminally accountable.
Not holding these criminals accountable for their deadly assault on Democracy would be a tragic mistake and only encourage their fascist impulses.
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