In a White House November 2022 press conference, President Biden openly let it slip that he would not want former President Trump to retake power if Trump ran in 2024.
Biden had laid out his vision. He wanted to see Trump barred from holding any future office using legal means. Within days, Attorney General Merrick Garland had appointed Jack Smith, an overzealous former federal prosecutor, as a Special Counsel. Smith had aggressively prosecuted former Virginia Lt. Governor Bob McDonnell on federal corruption charges only to see all charges invalidated by the Supreme Court in a near-unanimous decision. Team Biden was hoping that Smith would have better luck with Trump.
A Special Counsel should investigate the matter unbiasedly and methodically - according to the law. Contrary to this principle, Jack Smith followed marching orders to quickly achieve a pre-ordained result that his bosses desired. For all the anticipation for nearly eight months, the day Washington had been waiting for finally arrived.
And it was a dud.
The 45-page four-count indictment against the nation's 45th president for crimes committed leading to and on January 6, 2021, appeared to be a rush job by an eager-beaver high school student trying to impress a stern teacher.
Jack Smith - was given vast powers to use every tool in the DOJ book. Armed with a coterie of lawyers and a security detail that would make a foreign head of government turn green with envy, he passed on bringing the insurrection charge. The term "insurrection" never appears in the indictment, an omission that shook Leftist Washington. Led by a cabal of Trump haters, including Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and Jamie Raskin, Congress spent 16 months and millions of dollars of taxpayer money to cast what happened on January 6 as an insurrection - as the only sure-shot way to deny Trump another term. By not pursuing the insurrection charge, Smith did Americans a favor in silencing Democrats, Never Trumpers, and the media, effectively ending the narrative of elevating January 6 to an insurrection. It must be a sad day for Liz Cheney.
The Constitution's 14th Amendment, ratified after the Civil War, is explicit:
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
In the J6 Committee's final report, which contains the term insurrection 78 times, Chairman Bennie Thomson elected to have the word included even in his foreword:
When it was clear the insurrection would fail, Trump finally called off the mob, telling them, "We love you." Afterward, Congress was able to return to this Capitol Building and finish the job of counting the Electoral College votes and certifying the election.
What adds to the confusion is what Smith said to reporters when he announced the indictment.
The attack on our nation's Capitol on January 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy. As described in the indictment, it was fueled by lies - lies by the defendant- targeted at obstructing the bedrock function of the U.S. government.
If Smith believed that Trump's lies fueled the attack, why didn't Smith charge him with insurrection?
Smith's actions represent either a monumental muck-up or, more likely, reflect the caution of his prosecutors, who may have privately concluded that the insurrection charge had little chance of surviving court scrutiny. If the reason is the latter, Trump's consistent complaint that the Deep State, including his rivals in Congress, have sought to hurt him politically and interfere in his electoral prospects at every turn will further amplify with voters.
Smith’s second charge was about Trump's election falsehoods. As Reuters reported, the indictment says that close advisors, including senior intelligence officials, told him repeatedly that the results were legitimate. "These claims were false, and the defendant knew that they were false," prosecutors wrote.
This assertion by Smith is bizarre because we know from the four years of Trump's presidency that his senior officials routinely betrayed him. Leaks were a constant epidemic and led to his first impeachment. Trump's Attorney General, William Barr, did not adequately investigate if election procedures were fair when Democratic operatives filed over 145 lawsuits alleging that Covid shutdowns would disproportionately disenfranchise minorities and other communities of color. The DOJ Civil Rights division never vetted last-minute changes in ballot measures when millions voted absentee in states with little experience with no-excuse mail-in balloting. Nor did the DOJ investigate Zuckbucks, the first time that a private foundation paid poll workers to the tune of $400 million.
Trump repeatedly warned us throughout the summer that the elections were about to be rigged - a charge that gained further relevance when the Democrats sought relaxed rules to accept late mail-in ballots and eliminate restrictions to verify ballot signatures against voter rolls. Two weeks before Election Day, 50 former intelligence officers provided cover to President Biden before a national debate that the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian ‘misinformation.’ We now know that the officials' letter was 100% false and paved the way for a Biden victory.
The officials who told Trump that he had lost had repeatedly said to him that if he did better than in 2016, he couldn't lose. And when the results came out, anecdotally, Trump believed he had won. No American President in 180 years had failed to win reelection if he won more votes than the first election. Trump had won 11 million more votes than his 2016 count, for a total of 74 million. [In 2012, Obama handsomely won reelection although he earned 4 million fewer votes than his 2008 total].
A Fox News poll released in December 2020 found that 77 percent of Trump voters - some 56 million - thought the election had been stolen. Nearly every court that dismissed Trump's post-election challenges relied on technical grounds but never examined the underlying election processes. In criminal law, intent is a powerful concept. No jury can find Trump guilty if he genuinely thought he had won.
Little wonder the high school valedictorian is trying to save his teacher's skin from the insult of being a disastrous one-termer.
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