Donald Trump doesn’t know how anything really works. And he knows that his MAGA followers don’t know either. Therefore, so much of what he says on television or on Truth Social is sheer BS calculated to get a visceral response from his followers and further his agenda of being persecuted. Trump’s letter on Truth Social a few days ago, signed by two of his lawyers and addressed to Merrick Garland, is the perfect example. It was utterly bogus and a gimmick. There is no world where Garland would have agreed to that requested meeting. Jack Smith is in charge of the investigation, not Garland. The letter was merely a gimmick and the lawyers who signed it knew that. Ergo, when the meeting’s refused, then Trump can wave it around and say, “You see? You see? Garland wouldn’t meet with my lawyers. That proves this is a witch hunt.”

Barbara McQuade, who is an MSNBC contributor dissected the letter and her analysis is spot on. She talks about the “tells” the first one being that the letter was addressed to Garland and not Jack Smith.

The second tell is the tone. The letter states, “No President of the United States has ever, in the history of our country, been baselessly investigated in such an outrageous and unlawful fashion.” No serious lawyer seeking a meeting with opposing counsel would make the request while attacking their integrity. That line was written for, if not dictated by, Donald Trump himself. […]

The third tell is the aforementioned publication of the letter on social media. If Trump’s lawyers really wanted a meeting to discuss the investigation, they would not post the letter on a public website — a phone call to a member of the trial team would do. When I served as U.S. attorney, defense attorneys would periodically request a meeting with prosecutors before charges were filed. We were generally open to the idea, because the attorney may have a proposal for resolving the case or new facts to share. These are key details when deciding whether to file charges. But instead of picking up the phone to communicate their request, the lawyers instead published a vitriolic missive on social media. This is not a serious request for a meeting.

The final tell in the letter is its motive — fear. Sources familiar with the case told The Wall Street Journal that a charging decision in the case may be near. MSNBC hasn’t confirmed this specific reporting, but defense lawyers involved in a lengthy grand jury investigation can tell when it is nearing completion, especially one like this in which they have litigated privilege issues for witnesses subpoenaed to the grand jury. This letter is a pre-emptive strike that Trump can use if he is indicted. He will cite the letter to show that even before he was charged, his lawyers were on record complaining of unfairness.

That’s the long and the short of it. Trump is telling his followers that he’s being treated unfairly when the fact is, he’s asking the system to work in a way that it simply does not work. Ultimately, doing that results in disaster. Ask Stewart Rhodes and all the others incarcerated for doing the same thing on January 6. They were lawbreakers, plain and simple, and the fact that they thought or felt that the system should see it differently is irrelevant. So is Trump’s latest cry for help on Truth Social.

It may sway the MAGAs to kick out money into a defense fund, that’s likely, but as far as affecting Trump’s actual legal standing in the matter, the letter was an act in futility. Interesting to note that he’s squirming badly enough to even act out that way, isn’t it? He’s scared and he should be.

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  1. I could be wrong, as IANAL, but I never thought “they’re being so unfair and picking on me” was a valid legal defense or anything.



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