Many progressives fall into one of two camps when it comes to holding Trump criminally liable for the crime committed against the United States last January 6th and the crimes committed leading up to January 6th, which are quite distinct. One camp could be called the “Adam Schiff” camp, which is the one frustrated to the point of open anger that DOJ has yet to hold anyone in the administration responsible for anything. Then there is the camp that emphasizes that we cannot know what is going on inside DOJ and that if you’re going to prosecute an ex-president and staff, you best do it right and that takes time.
That is fine as far as it goes, but some of us in the Schiff camp might point out that Robert Mueller left ten charges of obstruction of justice that could be filed as indictments today. It doesn’t apply to January 6th but it does speak to whether the current DOJ has much interest in getting to the top with respect to criminal liability.
CNN’s John Avlon emphasized that accountability is part of healing and that there are many paths to accountability,
“Just as truth needs to precede reconciliation, we need to see legal accountability for the coup plotters, before we can really heal as a nation. But so far, despite more than 700 pro-trump rioters being charged and 30 going to prison, there has been little to no legal accountability for the people who plotted this insurrection attempt.”
Correct. Additionally, while A.G. Garland is right in that criminal investigations start at the bottom and work their way up, that is not true in cases where the mob boss shoots someone on 5th Avenue in broad daylight in front of four detectives. One doesn’t need to start with the runner in such a case.
Whether it has been seen in books authored after the administration, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, or by the spectacular work done by the Select Committee, the public has seen a lot of evidence that could be used directly against Trump now, before his political power grows, even more, coming up upon elections.
Additionally, Peter Navarro essentially outlined what Ari Melber (a good lawyer himself) called a “coup” on live television two days ago as their “plan.” Thus, it would seem as though some quick and sophisticated investigation into communication between the White House and the war rooms at the Willard Hotel is in order to determine what Trump knew about this plan to “pressure Pence.”
Incidentally, there are many that believe Trump’s relentless pressure of Pence to commit a crime by tossing aside the Constitution to send electoral college votes back to the states is a crime in and of itself.
Regardless, Avlon discussed a crime that few people consider; Conspiracy to defraud the United States.
“Now, typically this law applies to financial fraud against the U.S. government. but that’s only one of its intended applications. In a 1924 opinion, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Howard Taft explained that ‘It also means to interfere with or obstruct one of its lawful government functions by deceit, craft or trickery — or at least by means that are dishonest.”
The crime described above certainly fits Trump’s attempt to have acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen sign a letter saying that the DOJ found fraud in the election but so do a half dozen other crimes. It would also apply to January 6th.
This might also be as good a place as any to point out that if the State of New York is about to indict Trump on charges of tax evasion, it would seem almost impossible for those exact same crimes to not be committed at the federal level. Tax crimes have been used to take out organized crime before. But for now, both camps mentioned above, the “hurry” and the “don’t worry,” simply want to see some criminal accountability for the crimes Trump committed seemingly in front of our eyes. Avlon passes on a pretty clever idea.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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