Now that the Manhattan criminal indictment process against Donald Trump is so near its end that Trump has (accurately or inaccurately) declared that he’s being arrested on Tuesday, it’s prompted a laser-like focus on the fact that this former “President” is about to become a defendant in the criminal justice system. But it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s only half the story – and before too much longer it’ll only be one third of the story.
Yes, Trump will be indicted and arrested early this week, whether it’s Tuesday as he claims, or Monday, or Sunday night, or take your pick. It’s coming, and it’s coming very soon, and we know it’s coming very soon. Even Trump knows it. But in all this (understandable) focus on Trump’s indictment and arrest in Manhattan, it’s easy to forget that he’s also likely just days away from indictment and arrest in Fulton County, Georgia.
Because the Fulton County DA is still working through the process of presenting the special grand jury’s findings to a regular grand jury so it can rubber stamp Trump’s indictment, and because no information has surfaced about how that process has been advancing, we don’t know when the timeframe is for Trump’s Georgia indictment. It could be another couple weeks. It could be tomorrow. That’s right, for all we know, there’s still a small theoretical possibility that Trump will be indicted in Georgia before he’s indicted in New York.
This is all before getting to the progress that DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith is making in his seemingly very advanced stage probe. He’s already begun putting Mar-a-Lago employees in front of the grand jury. He just won a court ruling to force Trump’s attorney to testify against him for obstruction of justice. There’s no reason to expect the DOJ will indict Trump by the end of this week, or even this month. But by the end of this spring? Sure.
So even as we keep hearing about how “unprecedented” it is that Donald Trump is being indicted and arrested in Manhattan, it’s about to become the norm. Trump is looking at the specter of being indicted in two different states in the same month, and arrested by the Feds sometime thereafter. Trump’s arrest this week in Manhattan won’t be the climax of his problems. It’ll be just the beginning of them.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report