Even as far too many observers have sat back and accused the DOJ and other prosecutors of “doing nothing” against Donald Trump, what the DOJ has actually been doing all this time is building the kind of extraordinarily comprehensive case required to convince the court system to order key witnesses to testify. The good news is that, after a very long effort on that front, the DOJ has finally made the breakthroughs in court it’s long been seeking.
The catch here has always been that Trump purposely relied on people like presidential advisers and his own attorneys as his co-conspirators, specifically so things like executive privilege and attorney-client privilege would keep those co-conspirators from ever testifying against him even if they wanted to. That’s why the DOJ has had to go to painstaking lengths to convince the courts to waive such privilege.
But last week the DOJ finally managed to get there, on two fronts. First the U.S. Court of Appeals ordered Trump’s attorney Evan Corcoran to testify to the grand jury in the classified documents scandal, which he did on Friday.
Then a federal judge ordered that Trump White House advisers like Mark Meadows had to testify against him to the grand jury in the January 6th case. This ruling is still subject to appeal, and we don’t know whether or not the U.S. Court of Appeals will process it as swiftly as it did the Corcoran appeal. But we do know that the DOJ will win this ruling, and that even if it doesn’t happen overnight, it’ll happen soon.
In other words, after a very long and grueling process to meet the court’s bar for waiving these various forms of privilege that’s been going on since long before Jack Smith arrived on the case, Smith and the DOJ are now in a position where they essentially get to race to the finish line. The hard part is done. The time consuming part is over. One ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals on January 6th executive privilege, and those folks will all be in front of the grand jury.
To that end, on Sunday morning, Robert Costa reported on CBS Face The Nation that the grand jury in the Trump case is now hearing testimony about the “national security levers” that Trump was inquiring about in the hope of overthrowing the election. In other words, Jack Smith and the DOJ are criminally indicting Donald Trump for everything.
Moreover, in spite of what some folks on social media seem to think, Jack Smith and the DOJ do know how to read a calendar. They will make a point of criminally indicting Donald Trump with enough time left before the start of the 2024 election cycle such that they can get to trial and get a conviction before Trump can even get a whiff of the 2024 election. And no, Trump doesn’t have some magic wand for just delaying his trial for as long as he pleases.
This was all over for Donald Trump when he committed crimes in the name of trying to remain in office, failed, was forced to leave office, and was then stupid enough to commit even more crimes on his way out the door. He was always going to be criminally indicted for those crimes, and it was always going to happen with more than enough time left to try and convict him before Trump was ever going to be able to get serious about 2024. There wasn’t going to be a different outcome – and that’s now becoming more clear than ever.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report