Good news. Jack Smith isn’t screwing around and knows that he has to move fast with an artificial deadline built in, “before the campaign begins in earnest,” whatever the fffff that means, according to the New York Times and Maggie Haberman’s new article.
They believe that the target to indict or not is… summer. Go ahead, scream. I am. We heard the same thing back in October, “Wait until after the midterm election; the indictments are coming, and we’ll have something for which to be thankful and a Christmas present.
Didn’t happen. Instead, Garland played right into Trump’s tiny little hands. Trump announced he is running. Garland started over. Genius. Despite assurances that appointing Smith wouldn’t slow anything down, even a third grader could figure out; “If you bring a new person to be in charge, it will take longer since he has to learn what has happened and then do it how he wants it.”
Now Haberman assures us that Smith is moving rapidly and aggressively. Pffft. Great. A crime committed on live television in January of 2021 may be charged, not tried, charged by the summer of 2023. When Biden wins in 2024, one of the first things on his agenda better be installing a competent A.G. who is not afraid of his own shadow.
But various developments that have surfaced publicly in recent days show his team taking steps on multiple fronts, illustrating how he is wrestling with multiple and sometimes conflicting imperatives of conducting an exhaustive investigation on a strictly circumscribed timetable.
While there may be multiple fronts and imperatives, there is one mission, accountability, and even this attorney knows that a criminal complaint can be amended to add charges discovered down the road. It would seem that there is at least one front, one crime, they could charge today. Hell, Mueller’s charges are sitting out there… and have possibly passed the statute of limitations. My god.
The intensified pace of activity speaks to his goal of finishing up before the 2024 campaign gets going in earnest, probably by summer. At the same time, the sheer scale and complexity and the topics he is focused on — and the potential for the legal process to drag on, for example in a likely battle over whether any testimony by Pence would be subject to executive privilege — suggest that coming to firm conclusions within a matter of months could be a stretch.
No shit, Maggie? If the sheer scale and complexity are holding Smith back, then decrease the scale and charge some of the more simple stuff. The goal is to get some form of accountability. The global investigation into January 6th was done by Congress. We can take a quick and easy “Defrauding the United States,” or “Obstruction of justice” with the files, adding a charge for downloading classified documents without authorization. Such charges would at least make it such that Trump faced 10-20 years if convicted.
I am not even 1% of the lawyer that Jack Smith is, but I know that no one told him he must examine every angle, every branch, follow every lead and charge every crime. His job is to find out whether laws were broken and, if so, bring charges, not necessarily all possible charges. Thanks to Garland’s 18-month nap, time is of the absolute essence now because a trial date beginning November 15, 2024, is meaningless.
“The impulse to thoroughly investigate Trump’s possibly illegal actions and the impulse to complete the investigation as soon as possible, because of presidential election season, are at war with one another,” said Jack Goldsmith, a former assistant attorney general and current Harvard Law professor. “One impulse will likely have to yield to the other.”
Correct. And that’s exactly why you trim down the investigation into something lean and mean to get the indictments started and then amend complaints over the next two to three months. If the judge says it’s too late to amend the complaint with such critical charges, well, get the accountability that you can.