Donald Trump has been out of office for two and a half months, so why hasn’t he been arrested yet? Roger Stone helped plot the Capitol attack three months ago, so why hasn’t he been arrested? Matt Gaetz has been under federal criminal investigation for months, so why hasn’t he… you get the point.
These are the questions that I face every day from readers and observers, whenever I report on new progress in the criminal probes against Trump and the worst of his henchmen. Why not right now? What’s taking so long? If they haven’t already been arrested, how is it possible that they’ll ever be arrested? Given what these men did to this country, the impatience is understandable.
But impatience and criminal investigations are two concepts that don’t generally go together. The sheer complexity of the Capitol attack requires a long series of criminal cases, building upward from the bottom, before reaching the point where a kingpin like Roger Stone gets indicted. The fact that his two “Oath Keepers” hired guns finally got charged with conspiracy yesterday is a sign that Stone’s indictment for conspiracy is at least on tap. But it won’t happen today or tomorrow. It’ll be much easier to get a conviction against Stone if one or both of these Oath Keepers end up flipping on him, and the superseding indictments against them are part of the process of pressuring them to flip.
Then there’s the criminal probe into Matt Gaetz, which now includes everything from underage sex trafficking to fake IDs to ecstasy to campaign finance violations. The evidence trail is all over the place. The indictments against him aren’t something that will come together overnight. And yet we all get the sense by now that it’s coming soon enough.
The same is true with Donald Trump. The District Attorneys’ offices in New York and Georgia haven’t hired outside prosecutors with specialties in Trump’s crimes just to not put him on trial. Trump will be indicted in both states. The financial charges in New York will be so easy to prove, conviction is nearly automatic.
There’s no magic carpet ride coming to save Trump or any of his henchmen. Justice is finally being served. It’s just that it’s a long and complex process that unfolds in stages. We’re watching these criminal cases unfold as we speak. The downfall of Trump and his henchmen is pretty easy to see, once you accept that it’s not something that happens all at once out of nowhere overnight.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report