March is Trump Indicted
If you have read this blog for a long time, you may have noticed i name my months. This is inspired by the revelation that the Slavic languages do not name their months after Greek and Roman gods, but rather important things happening in the natural world around them.
And every so often when i am feeling reckless and clever i will name the month after a forecast of something which i think will happen. In February of 2011, i predicted Egyptian dictator Mubarak would fall. He did. In October of 2011, I predicted the closed reactor at North Anna, shuttered by an earthquake, would not restart and i got this one right as well. In May of 2012, i correctly predicted Japan would close all its reactors. In March 2011 and Sept 2011 i predicted Lybia’s Qaddafi falling and got it wrong, tho he did fall in Oct 2011, so i was pretty close.
In August of 2012, i predicted Syria’s dictator Assad would fall. I was completely wrong, and he reigns comfortably today.
I’ve waited two years to make the leap, but i am calling this March “Trump Indicted”. And i actually have placed a $100 bet on this with my old friend Amanda.
Why do i think Trump will be indicted this month particularly? Well, when i first made the guess it was based largely on the progress of the District Attorney Fanni Willis of Fulton County Georgia, who late in January said, “decisions are imminent ” in the Georgia election fraud case (where Trump said “find me 11,780 votes”). She said this when asking a judge to wait on releasing the grand jury report, because it might adversely affect the criminal case against Trump and others.
I was recently alerted to the effort by the Georgia legislature (which passed some of the most racist and restrictive voting laws in the nation after Jan 6th, with the intention of giving the legislature the power to throw out the popular vote in future election) to allow it to actively interfere in state criminal investigations like the Trump investigation in Fulton County. In the worst case, these criminal charges against Trump, recommended for indictment by two grand juries might get dropped if Georgia governor Brian Kemp signs this bill (approved by the lower houses) into law.
And since i have made this prediction, new developments in the Manhattan case against Trump’s crimes connected with the payoff of hush money to Stormy Daniels may have put reluctant DA Alvin Bragg at the front of the list of possible indicting state attorneys. Specifically, Bragg has invited
Trump in to answer grand jury questions in the hush money case. This is not a subpoena, which is largely useless because of 5th amendment protections. And it is unlikely Trump will choose to testify, but this step of inviting the likely target of an investigation to answer questions for the grand jury (before being charged), is an excellent indicator that this case is ready for trial, because the DA would not do this until all the other evidence is processed.
The hush money case will focus on the testimony of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen who has already done 3 years in prison for these crimes he admitted to. Because Trump sloppily tried to take the repayment of Cohen as a business expense for legal services, this relatively minor business fraud charge might then also acquire an additional tax fraud component. But this entire case is viewed as somewhat extraordinary, and might not go forward for political reasons.
And given all the other tremendous illegal things Trump has done (conspiring to overthrow the government, endless emoluments violations, stashing secret documents, threatening elected leaders both domestic and international, and more) it feels like a cheap shot to go after such a relatively small charge given his large and impressive collection of crimes.
There are other criminal investigations of Trump. Most importantly, perhaps, are the two being handled by Special Counsel Jack Smith. The first is the basically open and shut case of Trump stealing classified documents and then refusing to give them back when caught. The law is clear, his violations are clear, he was given lots of chances to cooperate, and he blew it off completely, making public statements admitting his guilt and basically demanding the stolen documents be returned.
The other case is the conclusion of the Jan 6 insurrection charges. This is a very complex case, where literally hundreds of people have already been tried, and most of them convicted, of storming the Capitol following Trump’s request. This case is complex, because it involves conspiracy charges, which require proving both intent and an organizing effort by multiple people. Important convictions of Oath Keepers and Proud Boys are the building blocks for this case. And what may well be happening is Special Counsel Smith is waiting until both cases are completed before indicting Trump on either. This could easily put the Department of Justice indictments off until 2024.
It is worth pointing out that Trump has already gotten away with a tremendous number of crimes, which he is not being punished for. The Muller Report famously provided a complete road map for indicting Trump on 10 counts, including multiple obstruction of justice charges. Nothing seems to be being done with this collection of crimes. Alvin Bragg stopped the process for indicting Trump and the Trump organization in the Manhattan district, which led to two of his top prosecutors resigning in protest.
Trump has been exonerated for emoluments crimes because he was no longer in office, despite ample evidence he is guilty. It is worth pointing out that Trump and his corrupt Justice Department did everything they could to slow these cases in the courts until after he was out of office and could dodge responsibility. Trump’s unusual frequency of law breaking has been one of his shields.
And Trump is breaking new laws every day. Recently, he said he would release everyone who had been arrested in relation to the Jan 6 insurrection. This is material support of insurrectionists, which is itself a criminal offense. And an offense which includes the option, if convicted, to bar Trump from seeking political office. He also recently wrote that Biden is hiding part of his border wall which was “sitting there waiting to be installed,” and “put it in a hiding area.” Which is not in itself illegal, just crazy.
[All the images for this post were created using OpenArt.AI using the prompt “Trump in prison surreal”. Interestingly, the new fancy DALLE 2 program rejected this prompt as too political.]