N o prosecutor worth his salt would indict a former President of the United States without believing/knowing he could win the case in court.

And Special Prosecutor Jack Smith is salt and pepper.

Put yourself in his place: You are instructed by the Attorney General to investigate the January 6 insurrection and to follow the law wherever it leads. Thus, Smith begins his indictment with the simple statement:

“The defendant Donald J. Trump was the 45th President of the United States and a candidate for reelection in 2020. The defendant lost the 2020 presidential election.”

Simple statement. Written so anyone reading it would understand. He then goes and lays out about 45 pages of the facts and accusations against, at the moment, the sole defendant in the case, Donald J. Trump.

If you ever read an indictment, read this one. It is the most important indictment in U.S. History. Here’s a link.

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In talking to a lawyer, I learned a key question in a trial will be what Trump’s state of mind was at the time(s) he was (and still is) lying about the outcome of the 2020 election. No one, I was told, can testify to his state of mind except the defendant himself. But, there is testimony about things Trump said that likely will be let into evidence.

To me, the most telling was when Trump was reading a classified document to a few people in his office, post-his presidency. He told the gathering it was classified, so they shouldn’t mention it to anyone. He also said at the meeting – for which there is an audio tape:

“As president, I could have declassified, but now I can’t.”

That may be a key bit of evidence in the trial. He knew he was no longer President and still was denying his loss.

According to the indictment, there was a January 1, 2021, meeting between Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence. Trump still was trying to convince Pence to send the votes back to the states when he was chairing the session for the Senate to count the electoral votes. Pence said he did not have the authority to do that. Trump responded:

“You’re too honest.”

Implying he, Trump, was not.

Seems not a bad piece of evidence either.

Also, as you read the indictment, pay attention to who is being cited as sources for the facts – all are or were appointments made by Donald Trump to his Administration, which he once said would only have “the best people.” The part of that thought he did not say out loud was, until they aren’t doing what I tell them anymore. Then they become, Trump always says, dishonest people, Republicans In Name Only (RINOs).

Trump’s lawyers are already signaling Trump’s defense: He only was doing what he was advised by lawyers (not true), and he really did think (and still does think) that he won the election. Among the people who told him there was no widespread fraud in the election were his former Attorneys General, his former intelligence officials, and the man Trump appointed to oversee elections. Also, there were those various state-level officials he tried to strong-arm into doing his bidding who said there was no fraud sufficient to change the election in their state.

One of his lawyers has already sent a message that they will seek a change of venue from Washington, D.C., which voted overwhelmingly for Biden, to West Virginia, which overwhelmingly voted for Trump.

They didn’t complain when Smith filed his fist indictment against Trump in Trump-friendly Florida, where the jury pool is more likely to produce at least one juror who is a Trump supporter and who Trump will expect to vote him not guilty.

As many of you, I’ve served on juries. One, in Washington, D.C., where the defendant, if I remember correctly, was charged with attempted murder. I took seriously the instruction that the prosecution must prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt”. No prejudice, just did the prosecution prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

It took me into the second day of deliberations to go from a “not sure” to a “guilty” because I took the reasonable doubt issue quite seriously. But my fellow jurors convinced me (and others who had been “not guilty” jurors) to see that the reasonable doubt didn’t really exist. And that a preponderance of the evidence said the defendant was guilty, as the jury ultimately voted.

Also, those six un-indicted co-conspirators still may flip. I, for the life of me, can’t believe anyone would lie to keep someone else out of jail while putting themself behind bars.

One of the six is Rudy Giuliani, a former prosecutor himself who has already been on “TV” (one of the right-wing channels) claiming Trump’s innocence. But when it’s his backside that may be going to jail, he may sing a different tune. The truth.

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Another, thought to be co-conspirator three, is Sidney Powell. Her crazy election fraud theories even Trump said he thought were crazy. According to January 6 committee testimony, Trump muted his speaker phone and said:

“This does sound crazy, doesn’t it?”

Call me naïve (you’ll be the first), but I do think when people take an oath, whether they are being sworn in as a federal employee or as a juror, the vast majority of them take that oath seriously. If not, our court system cannot exist.

I mentioned this is most important indictment in our History and the biggest vote on our democracy that may be held since our founding fathers voted. If Trump is found not guilty in this trial, our country will be forever changed to the negative.

Not because Trump will be re-elected, but down the road another “Trump” will be, and the battle will get much more difficult.

PMP Magazine


  • Donald Trump pleads not guilty to election charges in latest arraignment | BBC News
  • Barr obliterates Trump’s defense: ‘He knew well that he had lost the election’ | CNN
  • Who are the Trump co-conspirators in the 2020 election interference indictment? | CNN

  • Sources:

    Text: This piece was originally published in The Screaming Moderate and re-published in PMP Magazine on 3 Aug 2023, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.
    Cover: Adobe Stock/vivalapenler.

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