Since I get the NY Times Magazine on Saturday, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the cover story lays out, in considerable detail, all of the categories within which Trump appears to have committed indictable criminal acts. I say “categories of acts,” rather than merely “acts,” because the number appears to so vast that a list of individual acts would run off the page.
As the article notes,
The author looks back at Donald Trump’s presidency in the context of a very specific question: Will the Biden Administrationprosecute Trump for any of the potential crimes Trump committed while in office? “There was a sense among a lot of the legal experts and former government officials whom I spoke with that Trump’s moment of accountability would take place at the ballot box,” Mahler says, “But political accountability is not legal accountability, and it is not clear that America will be able to move on from Trump without full reckoning of his subversion of the rule of law.”
I would add several things to that before listing the categories. First, the prosecutions won’t have to take place in DC, so they won’t have to sap up too much of the energy of lawmaking for which the new Administration needs to fight. Second, they will come under the aegis of the new attorney general, not via direct marching orders from the President. Third, given that, it seems likely that a talented district team, such as especially SDNY would handle much of it. Fourth, that makes sense because it would enable the Federal team to cross-pollinate with the teams run by Letitia James and Cyrus Vance. Fifth—and really importantly—I have no doubt that there is a vast list of pre-presidential crimes that Biden’s team wouldn’t need to get involved in anyway—most likely bank fraud, insurance fraud, tax fraud, money laundering and conspiracies with mobsters from a number of countries—Russia, Ukraine, Albania (on the taxi front), etc. Finally, presenting hard evidence of a vast list of crimes, will—eventually–eat into the Trump cult, and damage all of the craven Rethug cowards who failed to make even the slightest attempt to rein him in.
Anyway, the outline of categories is as follows:
–Obstruction of justice
–Partisan Coercion (including the final weeks of the campaign, and the idiotic but damaging aftermath).
Each of these has numerous sub-topics.
Then there is this dilemma in a sub-headline: “The nation may desire healing. But there is also the matter of justice, and there is no guarantee that what feels right no will look right through the longer lens of history.”
And this: “ In the end, the dilemma over what to do about Donald Trump may be less about Trump and more about the structural problems his presidency exposed.”
And this in my view: if the vehicles exist through other criminal statutes, Trump needs to be punished for his mass murders with respect to the Pandemic, the vast, new damage to minorities THAT exposed, and the expansion of violent white racism he encouraged. And the damage to global democracy. It’s like imprisoning Al Capone for tax law violations, plus, plus, plus.
Thoughts and comments appreciated, as always.
PS: Also in the Magazine: “The Struggles of Black Patriotism.” “For Black Americans, loving the country and criticizing it have always been inseparable—something other Americans have struggled to understand.” This precise phenomenon came out as social media responses to Obama’s recent talks, some of which were pretty awful and ignorant.
I was just thinking about Trump’s agility as a criminal. He can commit 5-6 different categories of crimes on a single property:
–Buys a hotel from a Russian oligarch—racketeering and money laundering
–Let’s his buddies from Saudi Arabia stay in it, but charges them double—emoluments clause
–Lets Turkish ambassadors stay for free—bribery
–Overvalues the property on one set of books—bank fraud
–Undervalues it on another set of books—insurance fraud and tax fraud
–Pays Ivanka as a consultant on the property and writes it off as an expense—tax fraud.