What could Donald Trump’s latest indictment really mean for this country?

August 2 – News broke yesterday that former president Donald Trump had been indicted on four charges related to attempts to avert the 2020 election. 

Special Counsel for the Justice Department Jack Smith brought the charges against the former president including conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.

The indictment is about 40 pages long. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “And Jack being rightly called out by a number of people for demagogic presentation and more theatrics here.”

Trump is scheduled to be in Washington DC tomorrow at 4 p.m. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “Hard to say where this thing is going to go. These four charges, I don’t know that these are as strong as the Mar-a-Lago documents case which seems a much more clear case. The rub in this case seems to be that Jack Smith is alleging that Trump knew all of these election fraud allegations were false, that they were lies. Now the reason that’s relevant is these charges, a legal defense could be for Donald Trump to say, I legitimately thought I won the election. I legitimately thought there was fraud and I was simply making my case, First Amendment protected speech.”

The indictment is just a summary of the case. The special prosecutor could have other evidence. 

Barkdoll said, “Clearly in the indictment they have emails. They have notes that Mike Pence took at a meeting in December of 2020. They have other witness statements that are alleging that the whole time this was going on after the election of November 2020, Trump knew he lost. He knew there was no fraud and he knew that all these things he was putting out to the public were simply lies. Now, again, they haven’t proven that. That’s simply an allegation. I’m sure Trump is going to push back hard on that. He’s going to say there is no way that’s true, that he really did think he won, but that’s what this case is going to boil down to. Bigger picture, I still don’t see how they get this stuff to trial before next November and remember, if Trump wins, he’s got all kinds of avenues then. He could do a self-pardon. He would appoint a new attorney general who could simply drop all of this stuff.”

There could be more indictments on the way. The Fulton County, GA, case will likely bring charges related to the Georgia election results, possibly as early as next week. 

Barkdoll said, “So this just goes on and on. Politically. I still think it helps Trump. Within an hour of this indictment being announced yesterday afternoon, I had a call from the RNC fundraising. I got a text. I got an email, contribute money. Politically, as we’ve seen from these prior indictments, Trump’s poll numbers spike when these things get filed and I think by the end of the week, to the extent there’s more polling being done, you’re going to see him get another spike this week as a result of this.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “But the danger to the country that this is doing, the damage, it’s going to do is incredible. I’m looking at reports from England, from the UK, from other sources outside of the US, and all they’re focusing on is the demagoguery and I will call it that of Jack Smith and his so-called press conference where he didn’t take any questions last night, where all he talked about really was January 6, and what happened then. This is obviously in the minds of people watching this from the outside and probably a good number of people here in the United States, especially the half that only gets their news from the New York Times and NPR and the corporate media. This is all Trump-instigated January 6. Trump is responsible for the invasion of the Capitol and that kind of obstruction of justice. That’s the message that Jack Smith sent and to hear the January 6 committee, to see Jamie Raskin and Liz Cheney, members of what seem to be the deep state doing this politically, that’s one thing, but to have a prosecutor from the DOJ, approved by Merrick Garland, that they’re making essentially the same claims as these political operatives is pretty horrifying. If you want to talk about destroying democracy, there it is. As some people said, why doesn’t the DOJ just hang up a banner over its door saying Biden 2024?”

Barkdoll said, “This is a good point about the January 6 committee because this indictment is a direct result of their referral to the Department of Justice, that Liz Cheney, Jamie Raskin, Adam Schiff group that did all of that. I do not like the idea of pending prosecutions in the context of political races. As I’ve said here over the years, if nothing else, I’m consistent, and I did not like the lock her up lock her up mantra in 2016. I thought it was a very bad look for the US when it came to how we run our elections and politics with Hillary Clinton. But here we are, the same thing is replaying in 2023. There is this Machiavellian theory out there, that Democrats know these charges are helping Trump politically, but that’s because they want him to be the nominee next fall. They see him as the only candidate Joe Biden could defeat. They see him as causing a weakness down ballot in the Senate, and House races. I actually think that makes this even worse. It’s still not clear where this goes because these prosecutors have to know they’re not going to get this stuff to trial before next November. Well, does that further suggest or support they know after the election, if Trump wins, it goes away? If Biden wins, does it also just kind of go away? Because at that point, they feel Trump would no longer be a candidate for national office.”

Jansen said, “If you put this side by side with what’s going on with Hunter Biden and the lack of any media attention, the ho hum, we don’t care, nothing to see here. Also, we see just a hardening of this feeling that there’s two justice systems. That the deep state extends to our policing agencies in the government. There’s bureaucratic holdovers there and something that exists despite whoever’s president and they’re not fair. They’re not treating people fairly and this feeling that if you go against what the government wants, you’re going to be indicted on criminal charges. They’re literally saying the opinions of the lawyers and some other legal experts to Donald Trump are criminal. Because the co-conspirators, it looks like it’s going to be the lawyers who were advising Donald Trump. How is any lawyer ever going to feel comfortable if they’re going against the grain which appears to be if they’re going against the Democrat Party right now?”

Barkdoll added, “This is another interesting point from this indictment. There are six unidentified co-conspirators. It’s not clear if they’re going to be charged. A lot of media outlets are connecting the dots saying that these co-conspirators are likely Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, John Eastman, and a few others, many of whom were attorneys advising Trump at the time this turmoil was happening, post November 2020 election. Are they going to be charged? I think this is an interesting thread to watch in this case. Have any of these people already testified or might they be cooperating with Jack Smith? We know that Rudy Giuliani was interviewed for an entire day a couple of weeks ago about this case. We know that Jared Kushner was interviewed for an entire day. There is some speculation that these witnesses may now be cooperating with Smith and turning over information against Trump to save their own hide. None of that’s been verified yet, but as this moves through the court system, we’re soon going to find out what level these people may or may not be cooperating.”