Donald Trump just made his criminal trial a lot easier for the DOJ

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When the January 6th Committee subpoenaed Donald Trump yesterday, most of the media and pundit class missed the point entirely. The story is not whether Trump would agree to testify. The story is that however Trump responded to the subpoena, it would hand the media a juicy storyline that would ensure the media (and thus the public) would be talking about Trump’s crimes right up through election day in three weeks.

Sure enough, Trump responded to Congress today with a rambling and idiotic letter. He’s agreeing to testify under certain specific conditions, which the committee probably won’t agree to. But again, that’s not the story. The story is that Trump responded at all.

This helps ensure that the media keeps talking about the thing that the January 6th Committee wants the media to be talking about: Trump is a traitorous criminal, and by extension so is his Republican Party. Whether Trump ends up testifying or not, he’ll surely keep running his mouth about it through the rest of the midterm cycle, and that’s what the committee wants.

Now it turns out there’s a side benefit as well. Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner says that Trump’s confessions in his letter are “powerfully incriminating evidence that will be introduced against him when he’s prosecuted.”

We’re inclined to agree. Donald Trump is already so boxed in, his only faint hope of acquittal at trial will be if he pursues a reasonable doubt defense. But Trump is now throwing that option away by confessing in this letter to Congress that he really was trying to overthrow the election result. Trump’s greatest weakness is how easily he’s baited – particularly these days, when he’s visibly in cognitive decline and is therefore more likely to hurt his cause while responding to those who are baiting him.

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