The New York Times yesterday, rather belatedly I think, published a piece by their Editorial Board calling for the prosecution of Donald John Trump called Donald Trump Is Not Above the Law.
The argument they make is mostly based on the events of January 6th, 2021, and the subsequent revelations about the genesis of the insurrection uncovered by the J6th committee, but they did tack on, at the last minute, a sentence or two about the search for, and seizure of, damning evidence at Mar-A-Lago this week…
“Over the course of this summer, the nation has been transfixed by the House select committee’s hearings on the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and how or whether Donald Trump might face accountability for what happened that day. The Justice Department remained largely silent about its investigations of the former president until this month, when the F.B.I. searched his home in Palm Beach, Fla., in a case related to his handling of classified documents. The spectacle of a former president facing criminal investigation raises profound questions about American democracy, and these questions demand answers.”
The question I have about American Democracy is not whether its institutions have the capacity or will to prosecute a former President who has shown by his every action for the past six years that that is precisely what needs to occur, I believe we do, but whether from that constituency it can assemble twelve men and women, tried and true, that will convict him.
The Times while not wavering from its editorial position seems to have the same concern…
“This board is aware that in deciding how Mr. Trump should be held accountable under the law it is necessary to consider not just whether criminal prosecution would be warranted but whether it would be wise. No American president has ever been criminally prosecuted after leaving office. When President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, he ensured that Nixon would not be prosecuted for crimes committed during the Watergate scandal; Ford explained this decision with the warning that such a prosecution posed grave risks of rousing “ugly passions” and worsening political polarization.
That warning is just as salient today. Pursuing prosecution of Mr. Trump could further entrench support for him and play into the conspiracy theories he has sought to stoke. It could inflame the bitter partisan divide, even to the point of civil unrest. A trial, if it is viewed as illegitimate, could also further undermine confidence in the rule of law, whatever the eventual outcome.
The risks of political escalation are obvious. The Democratic and Republican parties are already in the thick of a cycle of retribution that could last generations. There is a substantial risk that, if the Justice Department does prosecute Mr. Trump, future presidents — whether Mr. Trump himself or someone of his ilk — could misuse the precedent to punish political rivals. If their party takes a majority in the House of Representatives after the midterm elections, some Republicans have already threatened to impeach President Biden.”
My further fear is that there is not only “risk” of political escalation in our current situation – but only a excruciating certainty.
Donald Trump has perhaps 40% of the population of this country in his iron grip, and almost the entirety of the political apparatus of the Republican Party. The first factor just might ensure that nowhere in the country, least of all perhaps Florida – though I contend that any trial should be held in D.C. where his crimes had their genesis – can we seat a jury that will dispassionately hear the evidence and act on it judiciously. No MAGA adherent, which scumbag’s lawyers will move heaven and earth to seat at least one of, will find him guilty, no matter how persuasive the case against him.
And unless the Republican Party emerges from the fever dream that Trumpism has cast it into – the chances of which I judge are just slightly less than a giant meteorite slamming into the Earth and rendering all of our current discords moot – there will be no political solution to the scourge of Donald Trump.
So, if there is not to be a judicial or political resolution what are we left with?
In 424 BC the Greek playwright Aristophanes, known by us moderns as The Father of Comedy, though many of his contemporaries did not deem him humorous, said this of demagogues in his play The Knights:
“You [demagogues] are like the fishers for eels; in still waters they catch nothing, but if they thoroughly stir up the slime, their fishing is good; in the same way it’s only in troublous times that you line your pockets.”
The fishing will be good, folks, and many eels will be caught, but the one doing the stirring up may be beyond the reach of our net, save Devine intervention.
If you believe in that sort of thing.
If you do I most fervently wish success to your prayers.
I have my doubts.
If the GOP (trump and his enablers) loose in too many elections year after year (national, state and local) they will reform themselves. The ballot box is the only way.
my 2 cents
I find it curious & perplexing that everyone is worried about the supporters of fascism on our home soil. There seems to be little consideration for the sacrifices of the past in WW2 & WHERE fascism will lead. Although I am just one person, I get livid & have been so over the past years watching the rich & powerful break trust & commit multiple felonies WITHOUT PROSECUTION. Time for the keepers of the LAW to worry what’s the message if you don’t prosecute. Having 60-70% of your population stirred up over a fucking double standard is asking for more trouble than DOING YOUR GODDAMN JOB! Prosecution in & of itself at least shows you goddamn lawmakers at least tried to enforce the rules fairly. Don’t do it & you will wind up with more halfwits thinking as long as they squeal like swine they can do whatever they want. Count on unintended consequences. Fuck child killing fascists & the train they rode in on.
locking them up also helps…
too bad the rich and powerful get breaks (and forever appeals) that black dudes selling single cigs (or broken tail lights) don’t get
It’s convictions that I worry about.
THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PARTIES ARE ALREADY IN THE THICK OF A CYCLE OF RETRIBUTION: As usual, the NY Times goes both siderism. Wanting to bring a corrupt and traitorous former president to justice is not “retribution”. It’s proving our system of justice, that no one is above the law, works.
I have no doubt there will be violence if tfg is indicted, let alone convicted but we need to let it play out or we will be forever in the clutches of the fear mongering minority and their weapons of mass destruction. I’m old but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if there’s a civil war, I’ll be there with my pitch fork and pruning shears.
explaining to like minded people that they must vote every 2 years would help
in the meantime…it helps to laugh
He caught the swine flu followed by catshit fever.
Trump was the Commander in Chief of the armed forces. So try him and all of his cronies in front of a military tribunal, just like The Nuremberg trials.
I have thought about Court Marshal but MAGA is strong in the military too…
Most of the nazis walked with the help of the church. The US government, scared of the russians, also helped a few. I prefer a cigarette & blindfold…but that would be in a just world. Jail? Just as good.
I still want to see Traitor Tot in front of a firing squad for treason!!
From a CIA perspective, a hired hit makes for a very viable/plausible solution.
Fuck him. Lock him up. It’s not like his idiot, rabid-weasel pack (which I believe, and have always believed, is closer to 28% than 40%, but whatever) is going to calm down and decide to go back to being plain ol’ pissed-off citizens ever again. And it’s not like the Treason-weasel in Chief is gonna quit doing this kind of shit if we just leave his ass alone. Nope, we can confront this cancer here and now or wait till it grows to the point it’s inoperable. Pain now or certain death later–if you ask me, that’s a no-brainer.
We can’t just “lock him up”. He will have to be tried and convicted. It only takes one true believer to derail a jury.
What is stronger, TRUTH or screaming toads like Gym Jordan?
If the TRUTH is revealed in any case, with proven, under Oath, statements, videos and audio recordings, documents found to incriminate a criminal former, “president”, and any other, “person of interest”, that person has the right to shed crocodile tears, on their way to probable prison time as a punishment for their crimes as shown in the records over many years … some of these, “Criminal people”, having committed crimes of a treason class, have been executed, Trump should be reminded of the seriousness of what he has done, and the possible court actions …
Anything to make his days brighter … /s
I’m not so sure that no jury would convict Trump, especially if the trial is in Washington, DC, where Magats are thin on the ground. Remember also that he would be tried in federal court, and only four out of twenty-eight currently active judges in the DC District were nominated by Trump. The whole issue of “prosecuting a former chief executive” has been dealt with adequately by several Western democracies, including Italy and France, neither of which is known for bland, passive politics. As usual, US politicians and commentators have resolutely ignored the experience of other nations. Two cheers for American exceptionalism!
Hope you are right.
Here’s an update: Najib Razak, a former Malaysian prime minister, is now behind bars for stealing hundreds of millions of dollars as a participant in one of the world’s biggest financial scandals. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said the sentence proves that Malaysia is a “vibrant democracy with strong institutions.” Meanwhile, all the US pundits say it’s impossible for us to call our former chief executive to account for numerous crimes. We claim that we’re the world’s greatest democracy, but we’re not as dedicated to the rule of law as MALAYSIA….
The republican party will do whatever it can to Biden regardless, just because they are rotted to the core. If the orange idiot gets away with it he will be emboldened to sell America to the highest bidder, or set himself up as a monarch. Damn the future, the rot must be gutted. If not, you may as well just tell the democrats to quit and give the traitor what he wants no and be done with it.
The end of the world. Hyperbole? Methinks not. There are numerous hellscapes to imagine, but the planetary systems will take us out once the fossil fuel industry is allowed to do whatever it wants, whereever it wants, for as long as it wants. Nope. This isn’t hyperbole. It’s called extinction. I’m sure the fascists wouldn’t dare let that happen. Right.
“FORD EXPLAINED THIS DECISION WITH THE WARNING THAT SUCH A PROSECUTION POSED GRAVE RISKS OF ROUSING “UGLY PASSIONS” AND WORSENING POLITICAL POLARIZATION.
THAT WARNING IS JUST AS SALIENT TODAY.”
No, it isn’t. Today, we are already so polarized that it’s equally possiblr the prosecution would actually relieve thepolarization – or that FAILURE to prosecute would INCREASE the polarization. That was not the case in Nixon’s day. Yes, I am old enough to remember.
I’m also old enough to remember. Ford didn’t pardon Nixon in the interest of the US. He did it in his own interest. Nixon was all over the front pages of every newspaper (and there were a ton more then than now) and sucking up all the oxygen. Ford only had about a year before beginning his reelection and did not want to compete with Nixon for coverage. He probably also felt a prosecution of Nixon would kill any chances the GOP had to do well in the next general election.
I think you are wrong about Ford. My first job was with the Legislature of Michigan’s D.C. office. I ended up.having lunch with a bunch of legislators from both parties. They knee him.from his days in the legislature. They agreed on one thing:they all.genuinely clicked him. He was they said, a good,decent guy,,Dutch Reformed Church, honest as the day was long, honorable, a straight shooter, b
ut completely unimaginative. In many ways, he was the GOP version of Jimmy Carter.
It is quite clear that having tried NOT prosecuting him for his many crimes over the past 60+ years, hasn’t worked in terms of reforming his behavior.
So it’s now time for prosecutions to commence. Let’s see if that stops the criminality.
I think since his crimes occurred in both D.C. and in FL, D.C. has jurisdiction over 1/6 matters, perhaps the packing up of the documents,but FL likely has jurisdiction over the continued concealment of the documents. I doubt FL will try him,unless DeathSantis thinks it will get him the nomination by putting him on trial. Donnie will.fight extradition.
D.C. will.be harder to get a ringer MAGA in. Staffers of either party will.automatically be eliminated for cause because of bias, so much whites will.be ekiminated. We’ll just have civil.servants and PoC. He might get found guilty there. FL? Fugeddabodit. Too many rich retirees and it only takes one to.hang a jury.
A note of hope: DeathSantis cannot pardon home because it us a federal crime!
Trump has been a crook all his life , he has screwed over so many people and nothing has ever been done about it because he plays the system . It’s time for some pay back . He’s a despicable Con.
It wil take at least a generation for this country to heal from the conflict that Trump has fomented. He is stone cold guilty and culpable for the degeneration of our democracy. 100 years from now historians will look back on this period of life in America and wonder how we survived, if we do. I have my doubts.
The enormity of every subversive and devisive thing he has done requires indictment and prosecution and a trial outside of the United States (The World Court, perhaps) with a judge and jury who by definition would be completely impartial.
They will also wonder how the mountain of crimes & treason by Trump & the nazi party, formerly called the gop, went unpunished for so long, while average citizens got locked up for laws that were unjustifiable, like the cannabis laws put into place by the treasonist president, pardoned by his lackey. They will also wonder how this country killed children by the power of the state while a majority believed they were followers of Jesus.