After weeks of empty hype about the Fulton County special grand jury report, its partial release turned out to be precisely the dud that Palmer Report said it would be. After all, the judge was never going to release any parts of the report that would give enough away about the ongoing indictment process to risk tainting it. The indictments will tell us who’s being indicted, not some report.
But the partial report release did include one small tidbit about the special grand jury having concluded that some witnesses likely committed perjury. Again, this doesn’t really tell us anything, because the names were not included. But it does serve as a reminder that there was never any magic wand method for Trump’s own people to weasel out of this process.
We all saw the exhaustive list of Trump world people who were subpoenaed to testify to the grand jury by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Some of them tried to fight it. But when it comes to a grand jury subpoena (as opposed to a congressional subpoena), there really is no such thing as fighting it, or even stalling by much. If you fight it in court, you quickly lose, and if you still refuse to testify then you’re held in contempt. And if you testify but commit perjury, then the grand jury ends up telling the prosecutor to indict you for perjury.
In other words, every one of those witnesses either gave up Donald Trump, or exposed themselves to perjury charges by trying to protect Donald Trump. In each case it’s one or the other (or if they were particularly bumbling about it, both). Or as Twitter user Outspoken put it, “Lindsey Graham has either perjured himself or threw Trump under the bus. Can’t have it both ways.”
Lindsey Graham has either perjured himself or threw Trump under the bus. Can’t have it both ways. pic.twitter.com/XE4fv8cnWS
— Outspoken™️ (@Out5p0ken) February 17, 2023
So now we do the thing we don’t like to do, but is so necessary to the process: we wait. Fani Willis told us that indictments were coming. And the judge overseeing the matter clearly agrees, or else he wouldn’t be helping Willis keep the meaningful parts of the report under lock and key while Willis works through the legal process of bringing the indictments.
In the meantime, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone who was subpoenaed in the Fulton County case has either given up Trump, or put themselves in legal peril. That was always going to be the only outcome. It’s how these things work. And it’s going to be the same outcome in DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Trump probe. People like Mike Pence can talk all they want about how they’re going to magically fight the subpoena. The doomsday pundits can talk all they want about how witnesses are going to just lie and magically get away with it. But when it comes to grand jury proceedings, nothing works that way. And anyone who’s been trying to shield Trump through all of this is about to find that out the hard way.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report