“this case “will legally define what a politician is able to do to reverse a defeat.” The outcome of this case could have major implications for the 2024 election and every race that follows: If Trump isn’t held accountable for the actions he took on January 6 and leading up to it, he and others could try to pull the same schemes in the future.
Ultimately, this case has a significant bearing on the future of US democracy.
Number of charges: Four felony counts. They include:
Charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States, which includes plotting to overturn the results of the 2020 election
Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, including plotting to prevent the 2020 election certification
Obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, which includes actually blocking the certification of the 2020 election results
Conspiracy against rights, which includes a plan to deprive someone of a constitutional right (in this case, that is the ability to vote)”
” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis accused Trump and several of his associates of a sprawling racketeering conspiracy related to their efforts to overturn Biden’s win in the state. In contrast to the federal election indictment, where Trump is the only one charged so far, here 18 others were also charged for participating in this alleged conspiracy. These include famous names like Rudy Giuliani and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, notorious Trump lawyers like John Eastman and Sidney Powell, and lower-level Georgia players.”
“This case centers on a president’s ability to endanger the country’s national security by taking and mishandling classified documents after leaving office. Documents that Trump kept addressed everything from US nuclear programs to the country’s defense and weapons capabilities to how America could respond in the face of a possible attack. Additionally, the case looks at how Trump obstructed FBI efforts to take back the documents.”
“Based on his private statements to colleagues, we know that former Fox News personality Tucker Carlson did not believe Trump lawyer Sidney Powell’s wild claims about systematic fraud in the 2020 presidential election. “Sidney Powell is lying,” Carlson flatly stated in a November 16, 2020, text message to fellow Fox News host Laura Ingraham that came to light as a result of the defamation lawsuit that Dominion Voting Systems filed against the channel. Ingraham agreed that Powell could not be trusted: “Sidney is a complete nut. No one will work with her. Ditto with Rudy [Giuliani].”
We also know, again thanks to discovery in the Dominion lawsuit, that Carlson had a low opinion of Donald Trump. In a November 10, 2020, text message, he called Trump’s decision not to attend Biden’s inauguration “hard to believe,” “so destructive,” and “disgusting.” He was more broadly critical in a January 4, 2021, text message to his staff. “There isn’t really an upside to Trump,” he said, describing “the last four years” as “a disaster.” Carlson was eager for a change: “We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait. I hate him passionately.” The day after the January 6 Capitol riot by Trump supporters, Carlson privately called him “a demonic force” and “a destroyer.”
Carlson, who launched a new show on Twitter after Fox News fired him in April, was singing a different tune.. t the Turning Point Action Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida. “Why were they so mad?” he said during a giddy, meandering 44-minute speech at the pro-Trump gathering, referring to the Capitol rioters. “Why do they take the bus from Tennessee to go jump up and down in front of the Capitol?” The answer, he said, is that they were frustrated by the patronizing, dismissive response to their legitimate concerns about how the presidential election had been conducted.
Carlson suggested it was laughably implausible that Joe Biden had received “81 million votes”—”15 million more than Barack Obama,” which “seems like a lot”—especially “considering [that] he didn’t campaign and he can’t talk.” But instead of taking that reaction seriously, Carlson said, the political and journalistic establishment told Trump’s supporters to “settle down,” saying, “We have the source code in the voting machine software, and we’ve looked at it, and it’s totally on the level. We’ve double-checked. We wouldn’t let an electronic voting [company] hide their software from us.”
The unfounded claim that deliberately corrupted Dominion software enabled Biden to steal the election, of course, was the central issue in the company’s lawsuit against Fox, which the parties settled for a jaw-dropping $788 million shortly before Carlson got the boot. It was also the claim that Carlson privately dismissed as dangerous nonsense. “It’s unbelievably offensive to me,” he told Ingraham. “Our viewers are good people and they believe it.”
“Carlson, who was transparently craving the adulation of the Trump supporters in West Palm Beach, is reinforcing their conviction that Biden could have won the election only through a vast criminal conspiracy that Carlson publicly called unsubstantiated and privately called a lie. He apparently has swallowed any disgust he once felt at Powell et al.’s deception of “good people.””
“Two theories may explain why the biggest shift in Trump’s favorability rating happened after Trump was charged with mishandling of classified material. For one, it is the only crime (so far) that was not known before this year. The Wall Street Journal reported on the hush money payments way back in 2018, and the events surrounding efforts to overturn the 2020 election played out mostly in public, with lots of the evidence presented in the Justice Department’s indictment initially reported by U.S. media outlets and documented in a report from the House of Representatives last year. And while there was some reporting on Trump’s legal efforts to hold onto classified material, including wall-to-wall coverage of a 2022 raid on Mar-a-Lago conducted as part of the investigation, the unsealing of Trump’s indictment for maintaining classified documents after he left the White House represented the first time the breadth of the prosecution’s allegations became clear.
That case also deals with matters of national security, which are important both to the average American and average Republican.”
“Trump’s indictments for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, meanwhile, could have additional political costs, particularly if he wins the Republican nomination. GOP primary voters might not care about allegations of interference, but general election voters are another story: Two studies of election results in the 2022 midterms found that the Republican candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives who received endorsements from Trump or voiced support for his election denialism performed worse than Republican House candidates who did not. In a CBS/YouGov poll conducted Aug. 2-4, a majority of adults said the indictments against Trump were “upholding the rule of law” (57 percent) and an effort to “defend democracy” (52 percent), although more than half also said the indictments and investigations were trying to stop the Trump campaign (59 percent).
And of course, these are just the indictments. Potential fallout from the trials for each series of charges (which could start as soon as January) could be even more significant. Not only will the public see an actual prosecution, Trump will also be forced to divert focus from running for president to appear in court — which could distract from his campaign.”
“Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel this week announced criminal charges against 16 Republicans who presented themselves as the state’s electors after the 2020 presidential election. Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Norman Eisen and New York University law professor Ryan Goodman responded with a New York Times essay headlined “Trump’s Conspirators Are Facing the Music, Finally.” As Eisen and Goodman see it, the Michigan defendants participated in a criminal conspiracy to overturn Joe Biden’s victory by posing as the state’s true electors.
The defendants, of course, do not accept that narrative. As they see it, their conduct was a legitimate way of preserving objections to a contested election, grounded in historical precedent and the advice they received from Donald Trump’s lawyers. The “contingent” Trump electors in Georgia, who have been informed that they are targets of a similar investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, make the same basic argument. Press coverage of these investigations, which routinely describes the targets as “fake” or “bogus” electors, tends to dismiss that argument out of hand. But it is worth a closer look, because it is central to the question of whether prosecutors can prove that would-be electors who followed the Trump campaign’s advice acted with criminal intent.”
“French adds that “the case is no slam dunk.” But “if a prosecutor believes—as Smith appears to—that he can prove Trump knew his claims were false and then engineered a series of schemes to cajole, coerce, deceive and defraud in order to preserve his place in the White House, it would be a travesty of justice not to file charges,” he writes.”
“Murkowski added that Trump “is innocent until proven guilty and will have his day in court,” and encouraged people to read the indictment “to understand the very serious allegations being made in this case.””
“the notion that Biden or Garland was somehow determined to prosecute Trump relies on a serious distortion of the public record. Indeed, that record vexed some observers, including me, who repeatedly expressed frustration over how the two men seemed to be going out of their way for most of the first two years of the administration to avoid investigating and potentially prosecuting Trump.
The best explanation at the moment — the one that most neatly fits the available facts and a robust body of credible reporting — is that the work of the Jan. 6 select committee spurred the Justice Department to action.
The committee’s investigation uncovered new and important information that was impossible to ignore, and their hearings last summer generated intense and legitimate political and public pressure on DOJ and Garland. Ultimately, it appears that they no longer had a choice but to shift course”
“As the hearings unfolded, there was testimony from former Attorney General Bill Barr, Trump 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien and other Trump administration officials and campaign advisers indicating that Trump knew he had lost the 2020 election even as he began his monthslong campaign to overturn the results. There was firsthand testimony about the legally baseless effort to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to throw the election to Trump that featured White House lawyers and Pence advisers. There was also a hearing, among others, devoted to Trump’s personal efforts to pressure — or threaten — state officials to swing their election results to him.
Given the one-sided nature of the committee’s presentation, there were reasons to question whether all of the testimony provided the full picture of the underlying events. Still, it quickly became apparent that the committee had exposed some glaring shortcomings at the Justice Department. A series of stories last summer in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported that senior officials at the Justice Department were not aware of critical evidence that the committee had obtained, and in fact had been trying to avoid directly confronting Trump and his potential criminal liability. Meanwhile, some of us were complaining (again) that the department seemed to be falling short of its duty to the country, and members of the media and the public began asking much harder questions about the department’s actions — or lack thereof.”