August 29, 2023


August 28, 2023 (HEATHER COX RICHARDSON, AUG 29, 2023, Letters from an American)

Those charges are not about anything Trump said. The 45-page indictment acknowledges Trump's right to speak about the election and even to lie that he had won, and the Department of Justice did not charge him with incitement. The indictment charges Trump with being part of three conspiracies: one to defraud the United States by "using dishonesty, fraud, and deceit" to stop the lawful government function of determining the results of a presidential election, a second conspiracy to obstruct the lawful January 6 congressional proceeding to count and certify the results of the presidential election, and a third conspiracy to take away from other Americans "a right and privilege secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the United States--that is, the right to vote and to have one's vote counted."  

Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith's office had asked the judge for a January 2 start date, saying the date "serves the public's interest and the interests of justice, while also protecting the defendant's rights and ability to prepare for trial." (A Politico Magazine/Ipsos poll from August 18-21 bears out this position: it shows that 61% of the American people believe that Trump should go to trial for election subversion before the Republican primaries.)  

Trump's lawyers countered with a proposal to start the trial in April 2026, an extraordinary request that they attributed to the need to sift through enormous amounts of evidence--12.8 million pages worth--but which might well have been an attempt to get the judge to split the difference and give Trump a court date in 2025, after the 2024 election. 

Trump has told his aides he intends to solve his legal problems by winning the next election. 

Today, Department of Justice prosecutor Molly Gaston responded to Trump's request by noting that 7.8 million pages of that material either came from Trump himself--tweets, for example--or from those associated with him, or had been public for months already. She noted that Trump's lawyers themselves have publicly called the case a "regurgitation" of the report from the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, and noted that the Department of Justice had been careful to make sure the new material it provided is easy to review. 

Trump lawyer Alina Habba didn't help the Trump camp yesterday when she told Fox News Sunday that Trump wouldn't need to prepare for his many legal cases because he's "incredibly intelligent."

Posted by at August 29, 2023 12:00 AM