The timing of the third round of Trump indictments caught everyone by surprise yesterday. I briefly considered posting last night but decided against it. I wanted to read the indictment carefully before opining. I don’t do hot takes or make wild claims. I try to be as fact based as possible, especially about important things. A Coup Case indictment qualifies.
I stole the post title from MSNBC’s Ari Melber without missing a beat. It’s a play on the term talking indictment. In this instance, Team Smith raised their voices to a shout, not a scream. As Cassandra pointed out this morning, screaming is what former President* Pennywise and his supporters do. The reality based community is obliged to shout in order to be heard over the cretinous cacophony of Trumpers.
The basic facts of the case should be familiar to everyone who watched the J6 Committee hearings or read its report. I must admit to being vexed by those who want to give the committee ALL the credit for the legal course set by Jack Smith. They’re like roadies who set the stage then want to take credit for the music. The committee did a great job BUT I’m tired of hearing about the awesomeness of Liz Cheney on MSNBC daytime. I’m looking at you Andrea Mitchell, Nicolle Wallace, and Claire McCaskill.
There’s a misconception about the respective roles of the J6 Committee and DOJ. It is NOT UNPRECEDENTED for DOJ to build on the work of a Congressional Committee. It happened with Watergate. Many key facts were unearthed by the Senate Watergate Committee including the existence of the taping system. Some in the pundit class slather the word unprecedented over everything like mayonnaise on overdressed potato salad. Enough already.
I, for one, am glad that Team Smith didn’t try to indict the Kaiser of Chaos for inciting an insurrectionary riot. Trump’s speech at the Ellipse was just vague enough to give the defense decent arguments rooted in the First Amendment and the line of cases beginning with Branzburg v. Hayes.
Team Trump’s defense to this and all the other indictments is a political one. He’s running for president to squelch the prosecutions and any verdicts reached in the federal cases against him. That’s why nobody who cares about democracy and the rule of law should vote for a third party candidate. It’s also why we should be grateful to Alvin Bragg and Fani Willis for proceeding against Trump in state court.
The co-conspirators were not named in the indictment because Team Smith wants to put Federal Defendant Trump in the dock before the next general election. I expect Rudy, Eastman, Sidney Powell, Clark, Cheseboro, and the rest will be indicted and tried separately. None of the co-conspirator descriptions matched Mark Meadows confirming my hunch that he’s flipped like a flapjack in a diner kitchen.
One of the stars of the 44 page indictment is co-conspirator 1 who is, of course, Rudy Giuliani. As US Attorney and NYC Mayor, Rudy used to be the man, now he’s a sidekick: Ed McMahon to Trump’s Johnny Carson or Andy Richter to Trump’s Conan O’Brien.
I hereby apologize to Ed, Johnny, Andy, and Conan for this analogy, but it works. Of course, Conan’s hair is naturally orange. The Rudy-Ed analogy is apt because BOOZE.
The thrust of the indictment is that there was an ongoing coup plot and the Dipshit Insurrection happened because everything else failed much like the Trump presidency itself. Team Smith pared the Coup Case down to its essentials. It feels like a winner to me.
A closing note on DOJ’s slowness to move against the former president* and his minions. There’s an excellent reason that has nothing to do with Merrick Garland’s weak chin or supposed timidity. We don’t want our country’s political system to be like Brazil’s. It’s a wonderful country populated by many wonderful people BUT they’re inclined to prosecute former presidents because the current government dislikes them. That happened to former and current president Lula da Silva. It’s not an example I’m eager to emulate.
I spent the last three years telling people that, if the facts warranted it, Trump would be prosecuted for his crimes. It’s time to quote Gore Vidal again:
Let’s circle back to the title. I stole it from Ari Melber whose show is called The Beat. The last word goes to beat songs from Grateful Dead, Asleep At The Wheel, and Sonny & Cher: