Throughout 2021, the general agreement among most of the media and pundit class has been that the Department of Justice has decided not to pursue any Trump-related criminal probes. It’s never taken much to poke factual holes in this narrative, but now it’s falling apart entirely.
It’s been odd these past few months watching so many folks insist that the DOJ is doing “nothing” with regard to Trump-related criminal scandals, even as the FBI has raided the homes of Rudy Giuliani and Victoria Toensing for their roles in the Trump-Ukraine scandal. Those raids weren’t “nothing.” They were a clear indicator that the DOJ had resumed these kinds of probes, now that Trump and Barr weren’t in place to suppress them anymore.
Of course skeptics still argued that perhaps the Giuliani raid was somehow all just for show, and that no Trump-related federal criminal indictments would ever end up emerging. Then came yesterday, when the Feds indicted Tom Barrack – best known for his financial connections to Trump and the Middle East – for allegedly being an operative of a Middle Eastern government. Then came the news from CNN last night that the Barrack case was indeed crafted during the Trump era, and that the DOJ had to wait until Trump and his people were out of power before bringing it.
So now we have confirmation that since Merrick Garland took control of the DOJ a few months ago, the DOJ has reactivated long running criminal probes into Giuliani, Toensing, and Barrack for their Trump-related crimes – with Barrack now having reached the indictment stage, while Giuliani and Toensing are in the post-raid court appointed special master stage.
These are just the three Trump-related DOJ criminal probes that we know about. Keep in mind that the public didn’t even learn these particular probes had been reactivated until they reached the indictment and/or raid stage. So how many more Trump-related criminal probes does the DOJ have going that haven’t yet become public because they haven’t yet reached the indictment/raid stage? It’s a fair bet the answer is larger than “zero.”
We’ve said throughout 2021 that if the DOJ is going to bring a federal criminal case against Donald Trump himself, then the DOJ is first going to do what it always does: it’s going to indict the people around and under him, and attempt to flip them. The Feds don’t bring criminal cases until they’re certain they can get a conviction. To guarantee a conviction against Trump, they’ll need cooperating witnesses.
So if the DOJ is going to end up making a run at Trump, what we’re seeing play out now is precisely how it would build the case against him. We still don’t have any way of knowing if a DOJ case against Trump will end up being brought. But there’s certainly no evidence to suggest that there won’t be such a case. And at the least, we can stop listening to this nonsense about the DOJ not bringing any Trump-related criminal cases. There are now multiple such cases confirmed and playing out in front of us.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report