Voters in several states go to the polls today (or more likely, have already cast a ballot through the multitude of early voting opportunities that are now ever-present in every state that I can think of), including here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, where the future of Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin’s impressive conservative agenda lies in the balance
based on control of the state legislature in next year’s session. Every seat in both the House of Delegates and state Senate are up for grabs; the outcome could have repercussions well beyond the borders of the Old Dominion.
Another topic that could easily affect Americans in every corner of the country is the issue of whether former president and current Republican presidential primary race frontrunner Donald Trump may be looking at actual jail time right in the eye. Up until now, the candidate himself and the pundit class has danced around the matter, with Trump supporters dismissing confinement as beyond serious contemplation and hopeful (and vengeful) Democrats and Trump-haters arguing that locking Trump up is not only desirable, it’s necessary to show that “no one is above the law.” Or something inane like that.
At any rate, with Trump seemingly on trial – or about to stand trial – for a multitude of trumped-up crimes with clear political motivations, the possibility of seeing him in a jumpsuit and being led around by guards with badges and jingling keys isn’t as impossible as it once appeared. This picture causes many to worry, but last week Trump’s attorney said backers shouldn’t believe it’s a certainty to happen.
In an article titled “Trump lawyer reveals why no one should worry about former president going to jail”, Misty Severi reported at the Washington Examiner last week:
“A member of former President Donald Trump's legal team revealed [last Tuesday] why no one should be concerned about the possibility of the former president going to jail. Alina Habba, who is one of Trump's lead defense attorneys on his civil cases, said the possibility of Trump spending any time in jail is not something people should think about because the cases are political and because the former president has ‘done nothing wrong.’ The comment comes after Trump incurred fines for violating a gag order.
“’He’s protected by Secret Service, period. So, I always tell people when they’re panicked, 'Listen, he’s protected by Secret Service, No. 1. No. 2, he did nothing wrong,'’ Habba told Newsmax. ‘So, when people go to jail, it’s because they’ve done something wrong. Do we have crooked situations in and out of court? Absolutely. Could they try? Probably, but it won’t work because there is still trial process, there is still facts, and unfortunately, they’re not going to win on the facts.’... “’It’s not even something we think about, to be honest, because this is all political,’ Habba said. ‘There’s no criminal acts that he’s done. There’s no civil wrongs that he’s done, unless making money for banks is a civil wrong all of a sudden. ... It’s Trump derangement syndrome at its best. I’m not worried about him, he’s not worried, and the American public shouldn’t be worried.’”
One would expect anyone who represents Donald Trump to express confidence in his ability to beat the rap, and although the Trump world certainly believes in his innocence – and the system’s capability of weaving through all the crap to deem him “Not Guilty”, I’d suspect that many if not most Trump supporters would disagree. No system is secure when the people running the processes and decision-making are adamantly opposed to you, as the current Joe Biden Justice Department and various blue state “justice” operations are with Trump.
The chances of Trump getting a fair trial just about anywhere, in my opinion, aren’t good. There are too many biased people in too many locations to express confidence in the procedures. And there will be enormous pressure on the finders of fact, both judges and jury members, to deem Trump guilty. Imagine being an impartial juror in Washington, DC (is there such a thing?) who stands against most if not all of his or her fellow jurors and concludes that the government’s case is bogus, and that holding out will cost that person dearly (by “leaks” of his or her name and public condemnation).
In this, Trump’s case(s) differ from other “trial of the century” type legal proceedings. O.J. Simpson avoided conviction three decades ago because his legal team appealed to the emotions of the personally selected jurors. And here’s thinking that they individually feared finding the football legend, actor and all-around good guy (according to the liberal talking points) guilty of dreaming up and then executing a plan to murder his wife.
Jurors had fresh memories of what’d happened after the Rodney King verdict, which took place only a few years before. The City of Los Angeles nearly burned down because Simi Valley citizens actually weighed the evidence of what happened and found that the police officers had acted reasonably under the circumstances. The world didn’t care – they had the video of King being bludgeoned by a quartet of white cops, and that’s all they needed to hold judgment, darn the facts and circumstances.
In Trump’s case, there’s even more pictures and video from January 6, 2021, along with years of Trump’s statements and actions to arm prosecutors with the legal weapons they will need to “prove” wrongdoing. Systemic controls won’t act as barriers to political prosecutors who spin their stories without much to impede them from painting Trump as the ultimate cretin – and that he’s dangerous.
How do we know? We have two impeachment trials that showed what biased people can and will do. Is Jack Smith really all that different than Adam Schiff?
The Democrats have already dredged the bottom of the proverbial statute barrel to come up with crimes to charge Trump and the hundreds of January 6th protesters for simply expressing a contrary opinion to the DC swamp’s accepted outcome of the 2020 election. Conservative investigative reporter dynamo Julie Kelly has done a stellar job of researching the subject, and she’s established that Jack Smith and other Democrat “prosecutors” have relied on untested legal theories to get what they hoped for – charges against Trump and the rest, many of which didn’t even enter the capitol building that day.
No wonder conservatives are worried that Trump faces incarceration. I only wish I had Ms. Habba’s confidence that things will turn out alright.
There is hope that the federal lower courts, appellate courts and Supreme Court will intervene at some point to cast aside this absurd witch hunt, but would you want to rely on it? The courts themselves are enduring a legitimacy crisis, and the breakdown of decisions often depends on which political entity appointed the judges in the first place. The federal courts couldn’t even get the Obamacare or illegal immigration issue right, and the stories there weren’t as cut and dried as this one is.
One wonders how these political lawsuits could’ve gotten this far in the first place, as the president enjoys enormous constitutional privileges in terms of free speech. The Founders made it that way because a president’s statements and decisions must be protected from the very types of malicious pursuits that are at issue in the present cases against Trump.
How many times have we heard the word “unprecedented” employed in reference to what the Democrats are attempting to do?
For his part, Trump has already said he intends to serve whether he’s in jail or not and there have been a number of legal scholars who’ve indicated that Trump can technically be confined and still do his duties as president. One can only imagine the logistical challenges the nation would encounter by having its leader holed up in a jail, presumably with violent felons.
Or how about “home confinement” in the White House? It doesn’t seem feasible, but then again, how this witch hunt got as far as it has surpassed common sense a long time ago.
Why are the Democrats so bent on locking up Trump? First and foremost, because they think they can do anything and get away with it. Liberals aren’t so interested in setting precedents or markers as they are simply eliminating the possibility that Trump can get elected again. And they’re betting that Americans won’t vote for someone who’s in prison. Are they correct, or would conservative-minded people be so fed up with the government’s lack of restraint that it would increase Trump’s odds of winning the election? Never Trumpers thought an indictment or two would stop Trump’s campaign, but they were wrong. He’s only gained strength with each passing news flash or headline, a fact that must’ve been infuriatingly frustrating for his intra-party rivals.
Democrats also appear to think that Trump is so guilty – of something – that eventually one of these cases will stick and the former president will be sent to the penitentiary, where he’ll spend some or most of his time left on earth wearing a prisoner’s uniform and having to live with prison food. The thought of eliminating Trump in such a way clouds their judgment – not that they have any anyway.
The problems with these speculations are incalculable. Taking Trump out in a political prosecution won’t eliminate what made Trump popular in the first place. The MAGA movement is more than one man, and chopping the head off the proverbial snake won’t kill the body. Trump is indisputably the leader of the cause, but most Republicans are MAGA-adherents now.
So Alina Habba is most likely right, conservative Trump backers probably shouldn’t be too worried about Trump serving jail time. His physical location, the presence of walls or a prison environment doesn’t matter a whole lot. The bigger issue is getting beyond the Democrats’ obsession with getting Trump – and then working like crazy to win the 2024 election.
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January 6 Committee
Build Back Better
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2024 presidential election