June 30, 2022

Will Trump be charged with a crime?

This is your big chance to think about an array of options and rank them in order of likelihood. I'm sure I'm forgetting some possibilities and that you will tell me about them in comments. I'm deliberately leaving out the possibility that he could die before things are resolved. That's too morbid. I'm also leaving out the possibility that the United States itself could pass away. That's too remote, though perhaps not all that remote to those who are inclined to believe in coups.

Here are your options, identified by letter so you can use numbers to rank them. I'm putting them roughly in order of severity.

A. Trump is never charged with any crime.

B. Trump is charged with a crime but President Biden — perhaps observing that "we are not a revengeful people" — immediately pardons him, so he is never brought to trial, and the government is never challenged to prove the charges.

C. Trump is charged with a crime but issues of law take precedence and, ultimately, Trump wins on the legal merits in the Supreme Court. The case never goes to trial. The government never faces the challenge to prove the charges.

D. Trump is charged with a crime, the case goes to trial, and the jury finds him not guilty.

E. Trump is charged with a crime, the case goes to trial, and the jury finds him guilty, but he appeals, and he wins on appeal, and the government declines to retry him. 

F. Trump is charged with a crime, the case goes to trial, and the jury finds him guilty, and before he appeals, he is pardoned by whoever is President of the United States at this point. 

G. Trump is charged with a crime, the case goes to trial, and the jury finds him guilty, he loses all appeals, but the sentence does not entail any prison time.

H. Trump is charged with a crime, the case goes to trial, and the jury finds him guilty, he loses all appeals, and he actually goes to prison.

131 comments:

deepelemblues said...

A.

They aren't so stupid as to actually indict him.

Or are they?

WWMartin said...

I'll offer a quibble. Trump will be 'charged' by the Jan 6 committee, which has no force of law. The Justice Department, not being complete idiots, quietly lets the moment pass without taking action. The whole thing fades as an unpleasant memory, like an undercooked bit of potato passing through the system.

Dave Begley said...

A is number 1.

I rank them in your order.

What crime would he be charged with? Speaking imprecisely? Revving up a crowd? Refusing to believe he lost? Being mad that the Dems stole the election from him?

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

A.

It's theater. Preceded by years of theater. If the last 7 years show anything, it's that the audience this is intended for will gobble this up and never expect anything of substance. In four short months it's going to be moot anyway.

Michael said...

I. Trump is charged with some phony-baloney crime but the Dems suffer losses of such magnitude in the Midterms that they finally decide to "move-on" and spend some time on things that voters actually care about.

PB said...

I'm betting that the "committee" refers to the DOJ. The DOJ investigates and then declines to prosecute "for the good of the country" and refers to him as an "unindicted insurrectionist". Biden will issue a pardon after dilly-dallying a while while the media goes berserk.

Even if it goes to trial and there is some movement towards the Supreme Court, Biden will issue a pardon while still calling an insurrectionist, so the SC doesn't have to rule.

The whole opera is to muddy the waters to keep him from running.

Tim said...

Trump is never charged with a crime, because they cannot get a Grand Jury to return a true bill. Then Trump is reelected in a landslide too large to hide, and appoints a new AG who goes after pretty much every Democrat in a leadership position in a horrible example of vengeful lawfare. Instead of everyone learning their lesson from all this, the country Balkanizes into 4 or maybe 5 different nation states....who get along together in different ways, from allies to actual enemies with militarized borders.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Does "the Trump resistance" still mean resistance to Trump, or is it Americans resisting the anti-Trump witchfinders?

Ann Althouse said...

"I'll offer a quibble. Trump will be 'charged' by the Jan 6 committee, which has no force of law. "

Clearly, I'm excluding that. It doesn't count.

Buckwheathikes said...

You forgot:

I: Trump is indicted by Congress, tried by the same secret court that approved the Carter Page warrant, and convicted by a jury of Hillary Clinton's largest donors and most ardent supporters. He's held for life in the prison which sits under the Capital building. A modern day Tower of London.

Which would be some real karma. Trump deserves everything he's getting right now because he promised to, but then didn't put Hillary Clinton in prison. So now they're going to put him in prison. To teach ya'll a lesson.

We're not playing tiddlywinks here, folks.

NCWilliam said...

Any attempt to charge Trump would founder on the Dem's unwillingness/inability (politically) to provide the reciprocal discovery to which a defendant (even Trump) would be entitled. Pelosi subpoenaed. Thousands of hours of video taken and never yet disclosed. Untold numbers of federal agents participating in the scene disclosed. if they cant do any of that, this effort dies.

Scott said...

A. Letita James' case against Trump seems to be collapsing. And unless the January 6 committee can refer something to a federal prosecutor before the November elections, that's going to be a dud too.

If he does get charged, then C. No way will it ever be B, unless Biden sees it as a way to blunt the momentum toward his own impeachment or post-term prosecution.

Iman said...

Will Trump be charged with a crime?

Anything is possible with the thoroughly corrupt Democrats and NeverTrumpers allowed to run roughshod. Abu Ghraib would be too good for many on this committee.

whiskey said...

A. 2

B. 8

C. 1

D. 5

E. 3

F. 4

G. 6

H. 7

Paul said...

A. sort of.....he will be charged with making mean tweets.

God of the Sea People said...

I doubt he ever really gets charged with anything, at least not on any of the "evidence" that has been presented thus far. But if he does, I lean towards Biden pardoning him. Pardoning him smears Trump with the stain of criminality, and Biden gets to look magnanimous. Could Trump refuse a pardon? Or Trump could accept the pardon, and then run for President and beat Biden "again!"

TickTock said...

A is most likely, though there seems to be an implicit assumption that any charge would be brought on the federal level and involve "insurrection" on some level. I wouldn't put it past some state or local prosecutor to charge him with a crime and for one of the other lettered scenarios come to pass.

Chances of jail time are very remote. The vermin that inhabit public office these days primarily want to keep him from running again. Ballot stuffing worked last time to keep him from office, this time they want to destroy his prospects with a sufficient portion of the public such that the vermin will win again in 24, or keep Trump so tied up in lawsuits (including those to just get on the ballot) that he no longer has the time, inclination or money to run. Others have made this observation before me and I think it obvious it is true.

I'll vote for Trump in the election over anyone else, but I feel slightly better about DeSantis' prospects and would vote for him in the primary if he is on the ballot.

I've come to hate the Democrats more than I love Trump.

Ann Althouse said...

I really don't want to talk about what the congressional committee will do. They are trying to influence the Justice Department and it's obvious what they want. That's not an interesting topic and not the topic I want. Please don't raise it here.

holdfast said...

Based on the testimony of Madison Cornbread, they couldn’t give him a jaywalking ticket.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

"They aren't so stupid as to actually indict him.

Or are they?"

Ask:
Gov Rick Perry
Ted Stevens
Gov of Missouri(?)

I'm sure there are plenty more examples. But the Dems have been doing this crap for years and they have never paid a price.

tommyesq said...

I'm also leaving out the possibility that the United States itself could pass away. That's too remote, though perhaps not all that remote to those who are inclined to believe in coups.

I'm not sure that we are not already beyond this point - Biden's installment could fairly be called a non-violent coup.

Ann Althouse said...

"I wouldn't put it past some state or local prosecutor to charge him with a crime and for one of the other lettered scenarios come to pass."

Yes, this post is just about what the Justice Department is going to do.

I should have excluded that NY tax investigation (or anything like that).

tommyesq said...

Whiskey - you sank my battleship!

JK Brown said...

I go for A. He'll never be charged as such an act, absent something not found yet, would bring the legitimacy of the government into the dock. And the government isn't the United States. The government can fall and the Constitution remain as the framework of the new government.

We already see hints of the career "survivor" DC bureaucrats hedging their bets since they know the scythe is coming and any heads high in the weeds are going to get lopped off.

And should actions be taken to stop the peaceful remaking of the government, well, the American people have the capability to ensure that even the US military can't operate outside their secure bases except in force. Hell, the Iraqis and Afghanis were able to do that and they weren't pissed off rednecks who when asked their historical national origin identify as American.

I will grant that recent revelations about the corruption of DOJ, Judge Sirica and the Watergate committee counsel do tell us they will violate all legal, ethical and constitutional norms to "get their man" but many many people are alert these days. We've already seen the corruption in the deals and prosecutions in the Durham investigation.

Geoff Shepard, author of "The Nixon Conspiracy: Watergate and the Plot to Remove the President,"
https://www.spreaker.com/user/10614200/watergate-at-50-is-everything-we-know-wr

tommyesq said...

"I'll offer a quibble. Trump will be 'charged' by the Jan 6 committee, which has no force of law. "

Clearly, I'm excluding that. It doesn't count.


Problem is, the media will play this scenario up like it is not just a criminal charge, but an actual conviction, and too much of the country won't see through it.

tim in vermont said...

If the Department of Just Us can get a jury like the one that nullified the charges against Sussman, sure, they can convict him whatever the evidence. I hope they do and like Sussman, make the actual evidence a historical record, so as to make it plain for history what a joke our justice system has become/

Butkus51 said...

I

never underestimate the idiocy of democrats and their horde of lemmings.

J Melcher said...

A.

narciso said...

why wouldn't they, it's not like they care about law or ethics or facts, when the stakes were less, mcdonnell stevens delay, they pulled the trigger, so I say yes,

rcocean said...

"Trump is charged with a crime, the case goes to trial, and the jury finds him guilty, but he appeals, and he wins on appeal, and the government declines to retry him."

This is my first choice. The idea that Biden would pardon him is laughable. And he will not a fair verdict from a DC/Manhattan jury. I would suspect it would go all the way to the SCOTUS before he wins. Perhaps I'm giving the 3 judges he appointed too much credit. So, I'm only giving this a 50-50 chance.

Of course, if a Republican DoJ tried to do this to Obama/Clinton, the world would be on fire. You'd have violence in the streets. But with Trump, the Republican Establishment will silently cheer, and the average conservative/republican is passive, cowardly and refuses to take organized action.

Remember: In Feb 2021, Chicom mitch said that while Trump shouldn't be impeached/convicted, he'd be OK with criminal charges.

rhhardin said...

Trump will be held in solitary confinement like the Jan 6 participants. No particular charge.

George Leroy Tirebiter said...

A: no DOJ indictment.

dbp said...

Normally, I would say A because it would be so incredibly stupid for Democrats to push the AG into charging him. But, they've done so many other, incredibly stupid things, like impeachments 1 and 2, that all bets are off.

If he is charged, then one of the letters which amount to Trump being found innocent, probably on appeal, will take place. Biden is too venal to pardon Trump, who would properly reject the pardon.

Inga said...

H.

I will change the ending. Before he is arrested he escapes and spends the rest of his life in a comfortable and luxurious dacha in the Russian countryside. Or he is given a special wing in his buddy’s mansion. Melania divorces him and Barron changes his identity.

Misinforminimalism said...

Inciting a riot is a misdemeanor that carries a max 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Where else is this headed? Any serious charge (treason, insurrection) would almost certainly lead to acquittal.

I'll say this, though: whatever he might be charged with, the case rises and falls with his motion to change venue.

cubanbob said...

Nothing will happen. The downside for the Democrats is horrific. They have actually done everything and more of what they accuse Trump of. There real question not asked by Althouse is what will the Republicans do with the J6 committee next January. Especially if Trump and those his coattails got them elected push the revenge is best served cold dish.

Michael K said...

The DOJ will never beat the election. Too late. The only possibility is the SDNY coming up with a phony indictment

cubanbob said...

The NY tax investigation is also going to go nowhere. Question is could Trump find a way to sue the prosecutor and the state?

Critter said...

Answer is 1.

It's all political calculations by the Dems. Their strongest political play is to tout the false narrative that Trump is guilty of something but never have to define the crime and put their evidence on the table because that evidence is laughable.

Mr Wibble said...

A.
C.
B.
E.
F.
G.
H.
D.

The Dems want him indicted, frog marched out of Mar a Lago at 5am, and then thrown in prison for life. That ain't happening. My guess is that they don't indict him, although Garland either resigns, or is fired for refusing to indict. If they do indict, it's symbolic, with Biden signing a pardon minutes before his resignation for "health reasons." Either way, the goal will be to deny him ballot access in 2024.

My most wished for scenarios are either a) they indict but are quietly told by governors that any attempt to arrest him will result in open rebellion. Trump runs in 2024, wins, and the establishment is humiliated; b) they indict, don't attempt to arrest, and instead use it as an excuse to try and keep him off the ballot. This ends up as a massive mess, and SCOTUS has to eat a huge bowl of shit trying to sort it out, or c) They indict, attempt to arrest, and we get to see Feds and Florida staties shooting each other on live TV.

Jim at said...

That's too remote, though perhaps not all that remote to those who are inclined to believe in coups.

The only coup that's going on is being perpetrated by the left.

Wince said...

Like I've said for years, Althouse needs a "Trump is like Jesus" tag.

After the Sanhedrin trial, Jesus was tried before prefect Pontius Pilate. It is unclear what the charges against him may have been under Roman law. Still, scholars know that Jesus was executed for crimes against Rome, not God, because of the manner of his crucifixion on a cross. Crimes against Judaism would have been punished by stoning. Whatever the charges, it is established that they were serious since Rome reserved crucifixion for what it regarded as the worst criminals.

Possible Charge of Sedition
One possibility is that Jesus was a Jewish nationalist who was linked to violent political uprising against the Roman occupation led by the nationalist Zealot movement. The sign placed on his cross, which read "King of the Jews," may support this interpretation. If Jesus were linked to violent insurrection, this would have resulted in charges of sedition and punishment by crucifixion. This perspective was advanced by Jesus' brother James after his death.

Lyle Smith said...

1. B - Democrats impeached him twice on frauds of their own creation, and could easily go for B since all they're doing is trying to write history now to influence all their immediate futures.

boatbuilder said...

Trump is charged with a crime.

Trump gets 97 million votes, including 37 million write ins in states that keep him off the ballot. Biden gets 40 million votes.

What now?






Ignorance is Bliss said...

If the DoJ requests/subpoenas evidence gathers by the J6 committee, is Congress obligated to comply, or can they use some co-equal branch privilege and say no?
If they say no, and it goes to trial, wouldn't DJT be able to get it as part of discovery?
If so, I 'm guessing this never goes to trial.

Lucien said...

Trump is charged by a politically ambitious DA in a blue jurisdiction for something (NY tax evasion?), and the outcome depends on how silly the charges are.

rcocean said...

Anyone who has ANY faith in the Justice Department or the DC Federal Judges should look at (1) How General Flynn, Roger Stone and other Trump associates were treated and (2) the sentencing and Trials of the J6 Capital Hill protestors.

All this, the Impeachment, trial, the J6 Pelosi Committee "Investigation" has been part of an orchestrated plan. The question isn't will Trump be indicted, its when. Biden and the Garland run DoJ may wait till October 2022, for the maximum impact on the elections. Or they may do it sooner, so Trump is tied up in court, instead going on the campaign trail.

rcocean said...

Conservatives/Republicans always make the same mistake. They're always imputing "Good Faith" to the Democrats/liberals. They assume the D's care about Traditions/Norms/The rule of law, etc. They don't understand that the rules don't apply when the D's want to destroy an opponent.

They do NOT care. "Oh, they Can't do it because of blah, blah". No, they CAN do it. They have the power, and they're going to use it. And they don't care that it will "make them look bad" or "backfire on them" or "They'll be sorry later".

When your only obstacle is a lot Conservatives making wry comments, or telling you "You'll be sorry" - you push the pedal to the metal.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

it wasn't a real trial.

Michael said...

A
But if charged venue will matter. If DC then guilty. Des Moines he walks. He cannot get a fair trial in a blue state.

chickelit said...

What kind of trumped-up charge(s) would he face? This matters to your scenarios. Charging him with something trivial might easily backfire politically. There are a a lot of women--livid women--who'd like to see him charged with complicity in overturning Roe and challenging their right to play God with life and death.

stutefish said...

A, but if charges are laid there's no way Biden pardons him at any point thereafter. DOJ might slow-play the prosecution, or decline to appeal or re-try if it doesn't go their way, though. So maybe a "soft pardon" or "process pardon".

Mike Sylwester said...

A. Trump is never charged with any crime.

For sure, the FBI knows whether there is any relationship between Trump and the mob that entered the Capitol.

Before the event, the FBI had infiltrated those organizations. Since the event happened, the FBI has questioned many of the participants.

It's very likely that the FBI has found no such relationship.

=======

Even if the FBI has found such a relationship, however, the FBI will not want to reveal the agent apparatus that infiltrated those organizations.

Furthermore, the FBI will not want to subject itself to aggressive discovery procedures. What a can of worms might be opened!

Therefore, there never will be any prosecution of Trump.

henge2243 said...

Moves to Russia to become a full time cock-holster for President Putin and lives out his days there out of reach of US law and law enforcement.

who-knew said...

I think the most likely result is A. But, I think B is the Democrat's dream scenario. But it won't happen because Biden would never pardon him and the base would explode if he did.

AlbertAnonymous said...

A

Can’t imagine even the “moderate” Merrick Garland choosing to bring charges in this sham of a political witch hunt.

Then again, I never thought ol’ Joe would be the frickin President.

chickelit said...

Mr. Wibble wrote Either way, the goal will be to deny him ballot access in 2024.

That is the best determiner of Althouse's choices. And they can't not try to keep him off the ballot. So, another trumped-up charge and trial/conviction by Dem partisans and their media? That's what they've done before; that's what they'll do again.

Andy said...

C. The DOJ is that stupid and full of swamp creatures, The Chief Justice whatever he may think of Trump will think this a horrible president to set.

RoseAnne said...

C

Trump wins on point of law allows the claim that the rich get away with stuff because they can afford better lawyers.

The Supreme Court can be blamed as partisan.

The government never has to present evidence of anything.

Triple win for those who focus on grievance.

Leland said...

I think there is a modification to E that can't be ignored. Trump is charged with a crime, he is tried in court, the jury is hung, after a second retrial with the same results, then the government declines to retry him citing too great a division in the country.

I think a hung jury is very likely because I think both sides will have good lawyers enough to get at least one person with strong opinions on either sides. As the process is the punishment, they only need to run the process a couple of times to discredit Trump, even if they fail to get a conviction.

Mostly though, I think it is A, because not enough people are buying the story to lead to a trial. But I expect Nancy Pelosi to try all she can. Maybe C wins out. Then maybe my version of E.

John henry said...

Ann,

Since it is your hypothetical, you need to answer this before we can select one of your answers

What specific crime(s) do you think he could be charged with?

For years commenters have been saying that he needs to be tried and convicted.

I keep asking but they NEVER answer "for what?"

In this country you have to be charged with a crime before trial can occur.

So your question, you need to tell us what the crime might be.

John LGBTQ Henry

Static Ping said...

If a trial was held in D.C., Trump would be convicted regardless of the facts. You know that line that Trump said that he could shoot someone and get away with it? In D.C., Biden could get away with that. Trump would be convicted as soon as the jury went to deliberate. They might wait an hour so they get a free meal.

Indicting Trump on this would be extremely foolish. But given Biden's regime is the most extreme, not to mention most incompetent, in the history of the country, they might just do it. It will end poorly, probably in several different ways.

Steven said...

A is most likely, but C is a possibility.

Unfortunately, the Democrats' fear of Trump is so great that they may perceive that his indictment is the only way to keep him from winning in 2024, and their fear may well drive them to desperate and illegitimate measures. If they thought that any of the possible charges could stand up to legal scrutiny they would not have been afraid to accept the Republicans who were actually named to the January 6 committee. And the DOJ would have already indicted him.

Should Trump ultimately be indicted, I suspect the courts will drag out the hearings and appeals to ensure that Trump's vindication will come only after the 2024 election, thus precluding Trump from running. For the Democrats and the anti-Trump Republicans that outcome will be better than an actual trial, since they will never have to present their evidence to a court of justice or the court of public opinion. John Roberts will be happy to help achieve this outcome since he will be able to claim that the court's vindication of Trump proves it is nonpolitical, and that he, of course, regrets that the vindication came too late for Trump to run.

farmgirl said...

Every comment, I think: yeah- this. Then I read the next one- this!
Which means I have no idea except to ask: guilty of what?
It’s all such a stretch of reality from the very beginning. From before the beginning when Trump recommended the National Guard. It’s such 3rd world, shithole tactic, alternative reality delusion. On TV.

You forgot the option of doing what they want, lawlessly, b/c laws are for the little people.

Be best.
America last.

Maynard said...

Why are we talking about "A crime" rather than a specific charge?

By now we should have some idea of the supposed crimes, not just the general category of "crime".

Of course we all know that the crime was defeating Hillary and confronting the Deep State and the DNC Media. The sentence is to hang him, then have him drawn and quartered. His head will be placed on a pike outside the Capitol to let any other pretenders know what their fate will be.

Charles said...

What WWMartin said but if that is excluded.

A

Mike Sylwester said...

Elaborating my own comment at 4:56 PM
-------------------------------------

If Trump is indicted, then his attorney will determine the specific organization and officials inside the FBI who investigated the mob attack on the Capitol.

* those who investigated before the event

* those who were present, collecting information inside the event

* those who investigated after the event

That FBI organization's records will be obtained, and those officials will be deposed.

=====

During the trial, the key FBI officials will have to testify:

* Did the FBI find any relationship between Trump and the mob?

* Did the FBI find that the culprits were motivated primarily by Trump's statements?

* Did the FBI know that the culprits intended to break into the Capitol building?

* If so, how long before the event did the FBI know?

* Did the FBI inform the US President before the event?

* How did the FBI use that information in order to prevent the event?

And so forth and so on. The trial would be a months-long circus!

Therefore, there will not be any prosecution of Trump.

Balfegor said...

Re: Ignorance is Bliss:

If they say no, and it goes to trial, wouldn't DJT be able to get it as part of discovery?

I don't know about that . . . I'm not sure this has been litigated, but I would think that if Congress wanted to withhold certain documents (e.g. exculpatory documents), they would at least be able to argue congressional immunity based on speech and debate and separation of powers. But it may be a moot point if the House flips to Republican control in January, since mainstream Republicans will probably have the opportunity to publicise gaps or deficiencies (e.g. failure even to attempt to corroborate the widely publicised hearsay about Trump grabbing the limo wheel or whatever) in the committee's work. I don't think one Congress can conceal materials obtained by subpoena from the next Congress, although I must admit I don't know exactly how this stuff works. Maybe they can? Or perhaps they'll have paper shredders and bulk erasers running all day and night after the election returns come in. Can congressmen or their agents be prosecuted for spoliation of evidence gathered in connection with their congressional duties? I think you could argue speech and debate / congressional immunity there too, since it's not like bribery or campaign finance violations, where the relevant evidence is technically outside the scope of their legislative work, even if they sometimes try to conceal it in their offices. Maybe it becomes a political question if one Congress tries to conceal evidence from the next Congress.

Anyhow, I'm not sure it's open and shut.

Beasts of England said...

Outcome ‘C’ is closest to my prediction. Although, McCarthy signaled that he’d start his own hearings in seven months. Maybe that’ll be enough to dissuade this show trial…

Mike Sylwester said...

Relatively few people are watching the House's show trial.

EVERONE will watch the Trump trial.

Trump will insist that his trial be televised, and he himself will testify.

Trump himself will cross-examine the prosecution's witnesses.

Trump will insist that FBI Director Wray be called to testify, and Trump himself will question Wray.

Does the US Justice Department want to conduct such a trial? No way!

Rollo said...

Too risky now. Dems want New York cases against Trump. If those go well, they might move against him in DC. But the point is more to tie him up in litigation, rather than to put him in prison.

Mark said...

I choose I:

Trump is charged with a crime, the case goes forward, and in the zeal to show ourselves a Third World country, the Chinese attack Taiwan, Iran attacks Israel, North Korea attacks the South, and Tim's pals in Russia attack Poland and Finland.

Wa St Blogger said...

The goal of the Democrats is to clip Trump's wings. I am not sure a conviction is necessary. Given the Dems propensity to try on false claims and known exculpatory evidence for the purpose of kneecapping Republicans, I think something more like C could happen. They will attempt to try but ultimately fail to get a conviction. The goal is to undermine him, not put him in jail, though if jail becomes necessary they will push for it (though fail to prove it.) All they need to do is generate enough smoke to sour the public on Trump (as is evidenced by a number of conservative commentators on this blog who want to move on from Trump precisely because he has been slimed. That is the goal, thin the herd.) They want to make the Trump candidacy toxic.

My order:

1. Charge, but delay and eventually drop it
2. Charge, put on a show trial, but slow walk it
3. Charge, run the trial, and get a conviction on some minor charge, let him appeal and drop the case. (this is a big risk. It is possible to lose the narrative and energize the resistance.) But they had such success with lesser figures, that they will expect to control the narrative.

So in summary, if the J6 does not slime Trump enough, they may opt for charges, and depending on how the country reacts, take it a particular distance and drop it as soon as they decide the goal is achieved.

At no point will Trump be convicted. He will either eventually win, or charges dropped.

Robert Cook said...

I doubt Trump will be indicted, or, if he is, that he will be convicted. However, if he is indicted, tried, and convicted, Option B will be the likely result: Biden will pardon Trump.

No president wants to be actively or passively involved in allowing a prior president to be convicted and sentenced to prison for his crimes, as this would demolish the hitherto unspoken but understood guarantee that no American president will ever pay for his crimes in office. Every living president would henceforth live in terror, dreading when it would be his turn to be rousted roughly from bed, to be ultimately interned in a Supermax facility, sealed from the world forever or otherwise prevented from ever being able to spill the beans on other powerful people in Washington and around the world.

cubanbob said...

Trump gets even. Unless the Dems have a real smoking gun then they have nothing. If the county's situation stays the same or worse it is highly improbable the Republicans won't control Congress and the Presidency in 2025. If Trump is the Republican president he will revenge himself on the Democrats and the FBI and DoJ and the Trump Republicans will cheer him on. The Republican leadership in Congress won't stand in the way.

Blair said...

You fools. Der Process is the punishment. It's also known as the Pig Fornication strategy of politics, in which the damage is all in the accusation.

I'm amazed they haven't charged him with anything yet. What is staying their hand? It sure ain't morals, decency, or respect for the system.

Mike Sylwester said...

A couple weeks I published in one of my blogs an article titled Was President Trump Told About the FBI Investigation of Him?.

There I speculated that President Trump fired FBI Director Comey because Trump was informed by an FBI insider that the FBI indeed had been investigating Trump for several years.

Whether or not my speculation is correct, it raises the possibility that DOJ/FBI officials who support Trump (there are some such officials) might secretly provide him with embarrassing information about DOJ/FBI shenanigans that would be relevant to the trial.

We have seen how much public interest there has been about Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony to the House Committee.

Now imagine that a Trump trial is taking place, and some DOJ or FBI official volunteers to testify about DOJ/FBI shenanigans intended to undermine Trump and his Presidency. This whistle-blower's testimony will be televised and will be discussed by the entire country.

There might be more than one such testifier during the televised trial. Maybe there will be a half-dozen.

Jamie said...

They don't want to indict. They want to stain. That's all. Was it Johnson who supposedly made the "official statement" during some state-level election that the didn't believe for a moment that his opponent had been caught f***ing a pig?

Lem said...

Today, I listened to NPR's Terry Gross interview the NYT Jan6 beat correspondent and spoiler alert, this guy had nothing. I expected if Terry was bringing Jan6 to the show, it was because there was something to put on. It was a big nothing. The same journo branding people who question the 2020 election as conspiracy theorists, is awash in Jan6 Trump tied conspiracy theories.

Link to audio

Omaha1 said...

A - no charges. They want a permanent black cloud over Trump's head, but they don't want him to actually go away, because he is all that they have to run against in 2024. If he is gone they are totally doomed.

traditionalguy said...

Depends upon George Soros owned prosecutors. My guess is yes. The goal is bankrupt the man with legal fees and try into a DC jury panel. Than the country gets DeSantas who pardons DJT.

Lem said...

The answer is ONE of the above.

Dave64 said...

A

Stephen said...

Not possible to know yet, with any confidence. There are several potential crimes in play. For example, a federal judge has found that, on the very limited record before him, it was more probable than not that Trump violated both 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2) and 18 U.S.C. § 371, the former of which forbids the corrupt obstruction of an official proceeding and the latter of which criminalizes conspiring to defraud the United States. Those cases would be easier than incitement.

One important implication of Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony is that the obstruction and conspiracy counts have legs. It suggests that there was serious planning for Trump to go with the armed crowd to the Capitol to demand that Pence postpone the count (something that Pence indisputably lacked the legal power to do), that the White House lawyers thought going there would create a grave risk of criminal liability, that some Congress people also participated in the planning, and that the Trump to the Capitol portion of the plan was aborted, at the last minute, over Trump's strong objection.

Let's grant that the threshold for an indictment is very high. But so far the more that has come out, the more likely it seems that the government will feel obliged to seek an indictment, despite the powerful prudential reasons weighing against doing so. Let's see what happens when other people closer to him either cooperate or are forced to testify, whether because their claims of privilege fail, because they are immunized or because they cooperate in connection with a plea.

Assuming that the evidence is sufficient so that Garland determines that there is enough to seek an indictment, and that the costs to the nation of turning a blind eye to Presidential lawlessness outweighs the costs of bringing a criminal case, my prediction would be one that you don't list: a bargain in which Trump avoids prosecution, or pleads nolo contendere with no sentence, but agrees never to run for office again. Trump will hate such a bargain, but everyone in his circle will urge him to take it, because he will be a terrible witness and will face a DC jury. Moreover, at that point, hopefully, even people like the commenters on this blog will be starting to see that he is unfit, so that it won't be such a big ask for him to give up a prospect of electoral success that is already receding.

So what do folks think about that?

Koot Katmandu said...

I will go with C. I hope the court would call BS on this. I have zero faith in the AG.

Bob_R said...

I don't know enough practical law to predict much of anything - but especially the relative likelihood of the scenarios where he is brought to trial. As far as the other possibilities - I'd be willing to guess if you could tell me whether an eye witness was going to be willing (and legally able) to confirm Hutchinson's testimony.

Yancey Ward said...

Indicting Trump on this evidence would be catastrophically stupid, so it is likely the DoJ will, in fact, do it.

Joe Smith said...

At this point I don't care.

But I'd like to see the Rs subpoena every record from every politician on the J6 committee as well as every record from their personal lawyers.

I'd also like to see pre-dawn raids broadcast live on FOX News.

If they indict Trump the wipeout will be epic. There aren't enough ways to cheat to avoid getting crushed.

Bob B said...

You omit as a choice that Trump is charged but the charges are dismissed on summary judgment/disposition as the government cannot prove a crime. (Think A is most likely, followed by this.)

richlb said...

As the legal system is I say he gets charged with a crime and he dies before it ever gets in front of a jury.

Joe Smith said...

'Furthermore, the FBI will not want to subject itself to aggressive discovery procedures. What a can of worms might be opened!'

All evidence of misdeeds will be wiped, like with a cloth.

Same for the Capital footage and all of Pelosi's communications regarding security.

Joe Smith said...

'...that there was serious planning for Trump to go with the armed crowd...'

What arms?

Nobody arrested was armed.

An armed officer killed an unarmed protester.

That's the only use of 'arms' I've heard of.

Skeptical Voter said...

It's bananas all the way down as in Banana Republic. The Dims keep this stuff up, and we won't be that far off Venezuela. And Joe Biden would look good in an orange jumpsuit.

Actually we're seeing something very like what I saw in Venezuela some 25 years ago--not regime change but something the oil industry calls "political risk". At the time I was in the legal department of a major US oil company. I was working on some of the documentation for a consortium of four oil companies. The consortium was one of five such groups working on projects to develop the heavy crude oil resources in Venezuela's Orinoco River oil belt. They were massive projects with tremendous capital expenditures. Once built, the projects had an expected life of 60 years. Venezuelan politics being what they are, and they became, one by one all of the oil companies abandoned those projects. Exxon Mobil was the last to abandon the effort circa 2011.

Today gasoline and diesel prices in the USA have shot up, partly due to a reduction in refinery capacity in the United States. In 2019 on the campaign trail Joe Biden said he wanted to end the fossil fuel industry in the USA. He's just one of many progressive politicians (and or US Secretaries of Energy--dating back to Obama's Steven Chu) who have expressed such sentiments. Well guess what--as refineries grow old, they get converted to "renewable fuels" or they simply shut down. Refining has historically been a low margin business, and if you listen to Team Biden and others pushing the Green New Deal, there's not much reason to stay in the refining business. And there's not much reason to want to enter the business--or to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to restart a refinery that's been closed. Call it "political risk" but there's not much future in the fossil fuel industry in the USA---unless the political ecosystem changes. Chevron's CEO called it (it's been 45 years since the last new major motor fuels refinery was built in the USA) when he said that he doubts that anyone will build a new refinery in the USA in the future.

tim maguire said...

I can't even imagine what the charges might be. Nothing the Jan 6 committee is claiming he's guilty of is actually a crime. So A is my first choice. If he is charged, it will be purely political, so B is out. No pardon, at least not by a Democrat.

Where do we go from there? It would never go before a jury, I doubt trump would cop a plea. If they actually charge, on plainly BS grounds, the guy who is the current favorite to win the next presidential election, it will be a figurative bloodbath next election day. The Dems are done for at least a generation.

So A, sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Carol said...

It's not over yet is it?

It was already enough on Jan 6 to persuade me never to vote for him again.

Guy's got no respect.

Dude1394 said...

He will be charged with a crime because our Department of Justice is corrupt.

Krumhorn said...

A. Far and away, A.

No matter how rapacious and greedy the Dems are to batter Trump and retain power, they know fully well that paybacks are a mf'er. Current officeholders generally avoid indicting the previous scoundrels. The Dems know fully well that when these gloves come off, there will be savage paybacks. Two impeachments were bad enough. The next House with a Republican majority and a sitting Dem president will likely result in carnage.

This is all for political show, and the prospect of handing Trump the opportunity get discovery after an indictment is just out of the question.

One immutable lesson I learned as the chair, in a large, wealthy NY county, of a third party with automatic statewide ballot access is that politics is inevitably about grudges.

-Krumhorn

wildswan said...

Adding in a time element

Before the November elections
E. He is charged and convicted by a DC or NY jury but wins on appeal

After the November elections
A. He's never charged, they'll have other things to think abut like being charged themselves.

PerthJim said...

Two other variants:

Trump is indicted but found not guilty by reason of insanity

Trump is indicted but found not guilty and goes into exile. Is Epstein's island available?

traditionalguy said...

Soros and Obama call the shots. They own the DOJ and can impanel jurors in DC that are more political than they are. So yes, Trump will be indicted for winning elections and DeSantas will take over and pardon him.

gilbar said...

A. Pretty darned likely, since he never committed any crime
B. Absolutely IMPOSSIBLE. For Biden to do that would require political savvy, which Biden lacks
C. Could happen. More likely, the "government" tries Again and Again, and Again
D. IN Washington DC? Nope. In the United States? Sure
E. Nope, the "government" tries Again and Again, and Again
F. Absolutely IMPOSSIBLE. For Biden to do that would require political savvy, which Biden lacks
G. Maybe
H. As Group Captain Lionel Mandrake would say: "That's what the bullets are for, you twit!"

FullMoon said...

Nice precedent the dems have set. Would be great if the right also had some vicious a-holes to return the favor when they regain power.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

He will not be charged with a crime.

Instead they will throw the 2024 election* just so they can impeach him again. And again. And again...

*Can you think of a better explanation of their messaging strategy?

Kate said...

B is so far-fetched it makes me sad. I doubt even Althouse believes B.

A. Congress has its gossip, which lets it play out their theatre. Legally, they have nothing because there is nothing.

I don't think I can read any more of these posts. The whole stinking mess is egregious.

ConradBibby said...

If they had enough on Trump to make a criminal case, why do the show trial? Just indict and get on with it. I think that, at most, they'll drag out the out the specter of possible criminal charges until after the midterms, then announce no criminal charges are forthcoming.

Jersey Fled said...

I thought the NY investigations were dead. Wasn't that why the hard core lefty prosecutors quit in March?

Anyway, Trump isn't running in November. And the Dems are going to lose the House and probably Senate then big time. So I vote that Trump will not be charged, but the Left will think that he WAS due to tha constant flow of disinformation, half-truths and rumors that they will feed us constantly. Hell, half of the Lefties I know think he was already convicted of (take your pick) and wonder why he's not in jail. That's how deluded these people are.

Howard said...

Charged with what? Being too much of a fat weak ass bitch to get his rotunda out of the beast and Walk to the Capitol with his people?

Rusty said...

I don't think justice will move to indict. If only because in an open court both sides will get to present their evidence. Both sides will have discovery. There is also the fact that it just may start a real civil war.

Ralph L said...

The Dems should be more afraid of DeSantis than Trump, but they're fixated. Or do they think an indictment makes it more likely Trump will run and win the nomination but lose the election? Continuing escalation will lead to the end of the Republic, but the Dems deserve to be punished severely, enough that they can't retaliate except through riots in blue cities, which only hurts their own voters. Who will divert the Potomac through the Hoover building?

GrapeApe said...

I. Trump is indicted. Shit blows up. Even never Trumpers will have a problem with that. So go ahead granny box-wine. Watcha got to show for your show “trial?” Make a case and get the hell embarrassed. Rebuked if there is a judge with sense.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

B, C, D, or civil war

B is unlikely, the dem partisans would go nuts

C is likely, it fits in with Roberts Equivocating bullshit model

Trump will demand a change of venue. If he doesn't get it, that sparks violence.

If a couple of dead prosecutors / judges doesn't get us a judge who will change the venue, things will just get worse.

After the Sussman trial, no one trusts DC juries

The case against Trump is utter trash. I doubt any competent prosecutor wants anything to do with it.

But was with the Muller team charging a Russian company, they dont' have a choice, they have to charge

Readering said...

USSC talked pardons this morning. Guy pled to crimes and was sentenced, but statute contributing to enhancement later ruled void for vagueness. Sentence reduction effort below failed. On cert, SG willing to have court take cert, vacate and remand for new sentencing. 3 Dems and Gorsuch agree, pointing to honorable tradition, but handled as cert denied because rest say they won't go along with vacating if case accepted. Instead they say let DOJ ask the president to pardon or commute if sees error of its ways, and leave Court out of it.

Tom said...

Does the DOJ really want to go through discovery with Trump’s lawyers.

Bender said...

3 Dems and Gorsuch agree, pointing to honorable tradition, but handled as cert denied

Reading the case now. The four justices dissented.

Note that it takes only four justices to grant cert.

Meanwhile, the defendant is hardly in a position to complaint about any injustice. He hired and paid hitmen to kill six people. Unfortunately for him the hitmen were cops. While the defendant now claims an error in sentencing that warrants a reduction, he got a HUGE break in his unconditional plea agreement that allowed him to plead guilty to only one count for the murder for hire and one firearms charge. If he had been successful, six people would be dead, but he was only put on the hook for one.

The four dissenters, in a Sotomayor opinion, did not mention the six.

If the government wants to give this would-be mass murderer a break, let Biden do it.

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/21-5967_1bn2.pdf

Jamie said...

It suggests that there was serious planning for Trump to go with the armed crowd to the Capitol to demand that Pence postpone the count

etc., etc.

WHAT suggests that there was "serious planning"? Trump grabbing the wheel of a vehicle that - if it's like any armored, defensive vehicle I've ever heard of - he would have no access to the steering wheel of? (That piece of "testimony" sounds to me like her having overheard someone saying, "He was spitting bullets, I tell ya, he was so mad. He pretty much grabbed the wheel. You should've seen him.") His throwing a plate at the wall?

A serious question - what am I missing? I am not watching any of the coverage nor reading any but our host's and a literal couple of other bloggers' excerpts - am I missing some actual "bombshell" evidence or testimony (if it is evidence or testimony)?

Bruce Hayden said...

To start with, the radical Dems want an indictment - badly. They control the national party. And Biden, which is why he wouldn’t pardon Trump - they wouldn’t let him. The 1/6 Congressional investigation is idiotic, and is ultimately going to cost them, because after the Nov election, the Republicans are going to get payback, and the easiest way is to just open up all of the evidence, including the 14k hours of video. It was a setup all the way down - Pelosi turned down Trump’s offer of additional security, including National Guard troops. The Capital Police, under Pelosi’s complete control, allowed many/most of the protesters into the capital, then turned on them, and went violent, ultimately executing two of the female protesters. The Dems (and two former Republicans) on the committee are seriously cherry picking the evidence, and ruthlessly suppressing anything exonerating. It’s a political show trial, little different than those in vogue at one time in the USSR, PRC, and 3rd Reich.

I don’t see Garland being strong enough to resist the pressure to indict. He hasn’t been able to resist the pressure to indict Trump confederates who are clearly innocent, with SWAT teams, MSM cameras, etc. Revenge all the way. Not enough for the gun safes across the country to be unlocked - yet. But indicting Trump would be the the one thing that just might cause the guns to come out. They shouldn’t cross this line, but I fear that they are so crazed, and so stupid, that they do. And remember, there is evidence that some of this may be being pushed by those, like Soros, who do want to see this country fall. In any case, I put the odds at an indictment at over 50%. It would be stupid, but they are acting stupid dumb right now.

As I noted, there is very likely going to be payback I the next Congress. But at the Executive Branch level, if they indict, I see a bloodbath in the DOJ and FBI. Esp DOJ. They have violated the previously accepted norms for quite some time, with the RussiaGate and Mueller investigations. This is more of the same - Career DOJ prosecutors violating the ethics of their jobs, for political advantage. Some of this could be a result of embedding political operatives in the DOJ by the Oaa Administration.

I don’t see a conviction, because there is nothing there, and Trump can afford, and will have, the best legal team that money can buy. And he and his Republican predecessors put too many judges on the courts. Cutting corners to make convictions isn’t going to work. That means significant discovery. Besides, he will have Executive Immunity for much of what he did 1/6 - he was still President for another couple weeks at that point. That is going to be a big hurdle for them to overcome, however badly they want to wish it away. That means, probably no conviction, and if there is a biased guilty verdict, a rapid reversal.

veni vidi vici said...

"Trump is never charged with a crime, because they cannot get a Grand Jury to return a true bill. Then Trump is reelected in a landslide too large to hide, and appoints a new AG who goes after pretty much every Democrat in a leadership position in a horrible example of vengeful lawfare. Instead of everyone learning their lesson from all this, the country Balkanizes into 4 or maybe 5 different nation states....who get along together in different ways, from allies to actual enemies with militarized borders."

I would support this 100% in light of the manner in which the Dem leadership et al. have conducted themselves these past few years.

Narayanan said...

on Barrayar sentence for Treason is death by exposure while chained between two posts : also wittily termed dieting for the Imperium

sun's rays hitting Trumps golden locks!!!

Narayanan said...

need to include

z: Putin launches rescue attempt of his boyfriend

Narayanan said...

Howard said...
Charged with what? Being too much of a fat weak ass bitch to get his rotunda out of the beast and Walk to the Capitol with his people?
=====
good point and well made

Narayanan said...

B. Absolutely IMPOSSIBLE. For Biden to do that would require political savvy, which Biden lacks
=====
I asksed in a cafe while back : how does such application for Pardon get to a President to sign? who will prepare one ?

wendybar said...

henge2243 said...
Moves to Russia to become a full time cock-holster for President Putin and lives out his days there out of reach of US law and law enforcement.

6/30/22, 4:56 PM

Why do you hate Biden so much?? He really is Putins cock-holster...and Iran's and Saudi Arabias, and CHI-NA's...especially Xi's. Biden is guilty of everything they blamed on Trump. Enjoy the downfall.

JPS said...

I agree entirely with Leland at 5:13. Hung jury, and each side in this drama gets to carry this travesty forward for any of their followers who still find the drama enthralling. I wish them joy of it.

henge2243, I keep wishing for one of you to tell me what Trump did that was so wonderful for Putin. It seems to be settled wisdom among a chunk of the left that Trump was the bestest buddy Putin could have ever asked for, but I can't find any action he took, any policy he enacted, that bears that out. Besides saying nice things about him, which I always hated his doing, and engaging in the kind of US-Russia moral equivalence talk the left specialized in through the second half of the Cold War. (Sorry for the "whataboutism," I guess.)

Anyway I loved it when some of the Twitter left responded to the Russian invasion of Ukraine with, Can you imagine if they had done this on Trump's watch? We wouldn't be supporting Ukraine at all! (Left unimagined was why they hadn't.)

mikee said...

Trump is gonna die of a stroke, leaving Dems with no issue to drive their base insane, and their vote harvesters with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Brian said...

Either way, the goal will be to deny him ballot access in 2024.

Is there some qualification that only un-indicted people can run for office? Do we really think that Trump would give up to go home to work on his trial instead of running for office again? If indicted he would run while the trial is pending. If jailed he would run from prison. If tried he would run from the courthouse.

The only way to get rid of trump is to stop talking about him. He’s a Jesus figure at this point. Trying him will only make him a martyr. Which means that the DOJ is likely to do it.

A pardon won’t work by the way. He’ll just demand a trial.

They keep treating the man like Democrats have political capital and he has none. He has all the political capital right now. Biden and the DOJ have none.

MikeR said...

'President Biden — perhaps observing that "we are not a revengeful people"' Kidding, right? He ran on bringing people together, and revenge is all that he has actually done.

Eddie said...

A

Douglas B. Levene said...

I vote A.

Douglas B. Levene said...

My reason for A: The Administration will wisely conclude that the Democrats are better off running against a Trump weakened by the evidence in the public record (with little chance to rebut that evidence), or against DeSantis with a weakened, resentful Trump running third party, than they would be if they knock Trump completely out of the race and allow DeSantis to run all by himself against whoever the Democrats nominate. Although the Democrats are already trying to demonize DeSantis as being the new Trump, I don’t think that will get any traction because DeSantis didn’t have anything whatsoever to do with January 6 and the events that led up to it.

Douglas B. Levene said...

I haven’t researched this (yet) but I don’t think the conspiracy to defraud the US argument has legs. If I’m not mistaken, fraud claims require financial injury to the government. They are not a universal crime that covers anything bad that some government official does. That leaves conspiracy to obstruct Congress or seditious conspiracy or attempting to interfere with the performance by government officials of their functions. If evidence comes to light that Trump knew that his supporters were going to break into the Capitol, that he was communicating with them through some aide or ally, then all bets are off, and Garland will indict him regardless of the political consequences. A week ago I would have said that it’s unlikely that such evidence exists, but now I’m not sure.

ccscientist said...

The disturbing thing is how many of Trump's associates, staff, and even lawyers were arrested and jailed on charges of...nothing. Aside from Paul Manafort, who was somewhat shady, these other guys did nothing. Process charges. Flynn, Stone, all of them. This is the "justice" dept today.

That anyone can believe the "riot" with unarmed people and clowns in fur hats who took selfies and then left was an insurrection shows that people can be delusional. An insurrection means you try to take over the gov. Is there any evidence of that? No. And trump authorized the national guard. FFS