Tag Archives: DOJ

Indictments put lie to the obvious

Let us now quash, squash and put the kibosh on any notion that the Justice Department is a tool of the Democratic Party and that it is “weaponized” to target only conservative Republicans.

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and his wife, Nadine, have just been indicted on allegations that they took bribes. The DOJ evidence? Agents found gold bars and cash totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars in a search of the couple’s home in New Jersey.

This is a big deal, man. Democrats are calling for Menendez to resign. The flames of the political wildfire are accelerating rapidly.

Back to the original point …

Republicans have been pillorying the DOJ because of its investigations into Republicans, namely Donald Trump. GOP and MAGA morons in particular have accused the Justice Department and Attorney General Merrick Garland of having it in for the GOP. Garland has said all along that “no one is above the law.” That means Democrats, too.

The indictment of the Menendezes won’t silence the MAGA chorus. I wish it would.

As for the indictment itself, it looks real bad for the 69-year-old senator.

Politico reports the feds well might have the goods on the senator and his wife. Politico reported: While defendants sometimes claim they were unaware of items found in their homes or cars, the indictment suggests that would be a tough sell for the senator. Cash-filled “envelopes were found inside jackets bearing Menendez’s name and hanging in his closet,” prosecutors say. Some of the envelopes contained DNA or fingerprints from one of the men alleged to have bribed Menendez or his driver, the indictment alleges.

Cash, gold and a luxury car: The eye-popping allegations against Bob Menendez – POLITICO

Menendez did step down as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Good move, given that so many of the allegations deal with foreign governments.

Should he resign his Senate seat? It looks real bad.

Conviction = condemnation

One almost can predict with metaphysical certitude what will happen if a federal jury convicts Donald J. Trump on any of the charges being brought before them.

The MAGA mob of morons will condemn the jury. It will blast the presiding judge to smithereens. It will cast doubt on the integrity of the federal judiciary. It will demonize the Justice Department, starting with the attorney general and the special counsel.

None of will — or at least it shouldn’t — have any material effect on the outcome. We still would have a former POTUS standing as a convicted felon facing years in prison.

I won’t wager which of the charges holds the most potential for conviction. My opinion on all of that changes with the direction of the wind.

Oh … and then we have the two state trials that Trump is likely to face. He’s got the one in New York City and quite likely one in Fulton County, Ga. Both of those prosecutions are being led by Black district attorneys, which of course feeds into Trump’s racist wheelhouse. We damn sure can look forward to hearing Trump bloviate on the racial component of those actions.

Now, of course none of this will matter if he’s acquitted, if he walks away cleanly, if the feds and the states cannot persuade juries to convict beyond a reasonable doubt of Trump’s guilt in his effort to steal the 2020 presidential election and of his hiding of classified documents taken from the White House. Then we have the hush money payment he made illegally to the adult film star to keep her quiet about a tryst the two of them had … but which Trump denies ever occurred.

We are heading for a major storm. Let’s all hold on.


Another first-time event …

It’s always been clear to me that if you live long enough you are likely to see damn near everything and anything.

When I entered this world more than 73 years ago, I never imagined I would see: a presidential assassination, the eruption of a volcano, the resignation of a president. But … I have witnessed all of that.

Now comes a former U.S. president indicted by the federal government — the same government he vowed to “defend and protect” — who stands charged with committing crimes while still serving as president.

I am merely left to shake my head in disbelief.

The ex-POTUS is going to stand trial eventually on four indictment counts. I want to join those who hope the federal trial will be televised so that Americans can see with their own eyes what is transpiring in the courtroom. I don’t want conspiracy crackpots to allege the ex-POTUS is being railroaded.

Indeed, a televised federal trial would be yet another event I thought I’d never see. Here’s hoping for some courage by those empowered to make that call.


Strike three … Trump!

Now we know what we have suspected all along, which is that special counsel Jack Smith has indicted Donald Trump on four counts of conspiracy to mount a coup to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

To think that Trump has bellowed since losing to President Biden that the election was “rigged,” that it is illegitimate.

Smith made monumental political history today. Is this reason to cheer? To high-five each other? To applaud the legal team that has assembled these incredibly detailed charges against a former president?

No. It is a time for serious reflection and for hoping the criminal justice system works its will.

I am not cheering tonight. I am trying to digest what has come forth.

Smith’s indictment reportedly is detailed. It is meticulous. It is historic in a way that many of us are having difficulty measuring. Trump is the first former POTUS ever indicted by the Justice Department. The indictment handed down today by a grand jury alleges that the former POTUS sought to overturn a free and fair election.

What in the name of democracy is up with that?

Jack Smith made it clear once again today that Trump is entitled to the presumption of innocence, but said he intends to press for a “speedy trial.”

Trump continues to tell us he did nothing wrong on Jan. 6, 2021. If so, then let this individual mount his defense and seek to persuade a jury that he should be acquitted. Does an innocent man seek to delay the proceeding? No, yet Trump is almost certain to obstruct the progress of this prosecution.

What now? The nation is about to enter a historic chapter in its long and glorious story. Donald Trump stands indicted on allegations that he sought to overturn an election he lost. It was a fair and legal determination by American voters … and one of the counts of the latest indictment alleges that Trump sought to deny voters that sacred right.

This is no time to cheer and slap the backs of our friends and political allies. It is a time to take seriously what a duly constituted grand jury has determined, that a one-time president of the United States committed a criminal act against the very government he took an oath to “defend and protect.”


Prosecutor vs. Perpetrator

Watching the drama building as the prosecutor pursues the perpetrator, I cannot help but be struck by the profound differences in  the way these men act in public.

Let’s look first at the prosecutor. His name is Jack Smith, appointed special counsel to investigate alleged crimes committed by the perp.

Smith has been studied, measured, professional, discreet, reticent. He has been faithful to his pledge to grant the perp in this case the presumption of innocence to which he is entitled. Yet he has compiled an astonishing array of evidence that the perpetrator knew he lost an election in 2020 but tried to overturn the results. He also has assembled a mountain of evidence that the perp took highly classified documents to his home in Florida and kept them in highly unsecured locations.

The perpetrator is Donald John Trump, the former president of the United States.

Trump has been, well, shrill, venal, vile, deceitful, defamatory, profane, highly vocal in his objection to the investigation that has taken place. He ignores lawyers’ advice to keep his trap shut. He continues to denigrate the prosecutor’s reputation, asserting that Smith has it in for him. He’s also chosen to hurl epithets at Smith’s wife who, as near as I can tell, has nothing at all to do with the probe underway.

Even if I didn’t already believe that the perpetrator is guilty of the crimes for which he has been indicted, I would be rooting for the prosecutor. Why? Because I believe strongly in the criminal justice system for which the prosecutor is working. I believe in the rule of law.

The prosecutor is facing a form of competition, as has been reported, from local district attorneys who are conducting their own probes into the perp’s post-2020 election behavior. They, too, might file indictments alleging criminal activity involving the search for votes that didn’t exist and for attempts to coerce and bully state election officials to overturn an election.

Do we hear the prosecutor telling the local DA’s to back off? That they should let the feds have first crack? The prosecutor is a seasoned pro with many years of experience under his belt. Granted, the perp in this instance happens to be the first of his kind ever held under investigation … given that he is a former POTUS, for crying out loud!

But my money clearly is on the prosecutor to deliver the goods in due course.


Will a competent jury be found?

One of the mysteries of this nation’s criminal justice system has to be the selection of competent jury panels to try cases that are on the top of everyone’s mind.

Hence, it is with a significant degree of confidence that I will assert that the federal government will be able to try its case against Donald J. Trump in front of a competent panel of jurors, whether it’s in Florida or New Jersey or in Timbuktu.

The burden for convicting Trump of any of the various crimes he has been charged with committing is high. The Justice Department team led by special counsel Jack Smith has to prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The verdict must be unanimous. If a single juror holds out, we have a mistrial on our hands.

The only possible glitch that could occur — as I see it through my untrained, non-lawyer’s eyes — is a juror who is so wedded to Donald Trump that he or she cannot be persuaded to follow the evidence.

Then again … during the jury selection process, it seems unfathomable to me that such a juror would be seated to hear the trial in the first place.

The legal teams have to agree on a panel comprising individuals who truly are neutral, who have no bias, who can hear the evidence as if they are hearing it for the first time … and then deliver a verdict.

That all said, I must declare that I never in a million years could clear the jury selection process. My own bias is so abundantly clear that any lawyer worth a damn would disqualify me the moment I opened my trap.

That leaves the door open to anyone else who might not have read a single thing about Trump’s alleged crime of squirreling classified documents from the White House and blabbing to visitors about having these sensitive papers.

The beauty of our system of criminal justice is that such a jury panel can — and likely will — be found. Yeah, it’s a mystery … which makes it all the more remarkable.


Smith must be drooling

Jack Smith, the young man hired by Attorney General Merrick Garland to examine the alleged crimes of a former POTUS, appears to be a serious lawyer who is every bit as meticulous as the fellow who appointed him to this key task.

However …

The career prosecutor must be salivating at the revelations he has uncovered related to Donald Trump’s pilfering of classified documents, which he stashed at Mar-a-Lago as he was departing the White House in January 2021.

Now we have audio recordings of Trump showing off highly sensitive documents to a White House “staffer,” telling this person that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark Milley, had given him plans to attack Iran.

What the hell?

This is the idiot that the MAGA Morons want to return to the White House in 2024? Good ever-loving God in heaven. What in the world will it take to knock sense into the noggins of the cultists who continue to say the world would be a better place with Trump in charge?

My astonishment level seems to be as boundless as Trump’s ignorance of the crimes he has been indicted for committing.


Prosecutor seeks postponement … good!

If you thought that special counsel Jack Smith was going to railroad a trial through to its conclusion by accepting a judge’s way-too-early court date, well, guess again.

Smith has asked the judge in the case involving Donald Trump and those classified documents to push the trial back to Dec. 14.

You know what it tells me? It tells me that Smith is so confident in the evidence he has gathered that he is willing to wait an extra few months to put his case before the people.

He also is exhibiting an extraordinary level of fairness to Trump and his legal team. There can be no doubt that Smith is playing his strategy out by the book. That he is leaving no room for appeal on any sort of “technicality” that Trump’s team might construe in the event Smith is able to get a conviction on any of the counts on which Donald Trump stands indicted.

As a cheap-seat witness to all of this, I am willing to wait until December to see what the federal government has in its first-ever indictment of a former POTUS.

Let’s allow the judicial process to do its work.


This is a big … deal!

Well, they’re going to fingerprint the suspect, take his mug shot and listen to him plead “not guilty” to 37 counts contained in a federal indictment.

That will happen later today. I won’t spend another ounce of effort commenting on the proceeding that will occur later today.

I do want to offer a brief critique on the importance of the criminal suspect. He is the former president of the United States. He once took an oath to “protect and defend” the Constitution and to follow the laws of the land.

The very government he once led has now charged him — and the accusations appear credible — for violating that oath, for breaking the law and for failing to protect and defend the government.

This is gigantic, man!

Almost as horrific, though, has been the initial response of this clown’s supporters. They hadn’t read the indictment and began accusing the FBI and the Justice Department of “weaponizing” the process. They don’t care what the indictment states, or about the immense amount of detail it contains.

So much of the evidence revealed in the indictment, which comes from a grand jury in south Florida (where the suspect lives) is the result of the suspect’s own words. He knew he kept classified documents illegally. He knew he had to turn them over to the National Archives. He knew his lawyers were hamstrung by all of that … but he kept them anyway and then lied to the feds about what he turned over.

Is this man fit for public office? No. He wasn’t fit when he got elected POTUS in 2016 and he damn sure demonstrated his unfitness during his term in office, as he was impeached twice by the House of Representatives.

He has little regard for the troops he commanded, or for the men and women who have given their lives in defense of our way of life.

And yet … he continues to command the fealty of those who follow him blindly into oblivion.



This isn’t a ‘Law and Order’ world

If only we lived in the world portrayed by “Law and Order,” the TV drama that features police work and high-powered lawyering.

We don’t.

Unlike the characters on the TV drama, we’re in for a long and arduous slog awaiting a trial to determine whether the 45th president of the United States is guilty of the multiple crimes for which he has been indicted.

On “Law and Order,” the cops discover that a capital crime has occurred; they arrest a suspect; the district attorney’s office takes over and in a matter of days (or so it seems) the case goes to trial and a jury delivers a verdict.

Donald J. Trump, I am sad to report, is going to be given ample time to disparage the prosecutors, the grand jury, the Justice Department and anyone else who in any form or fashion criticizes him for the hideous conduct for which the grand jury indicted him.

The evidence appears to be overwhelming. A conviction to my eyes seems damn near inevitable. But when does a trial even occur?

Special counsel Jack Smith, who headed the probe into Trump’s squirreling away of classified documents in his posh Florida estate, has promised a “speedy trial.” I am reminded, though, to pull back on the definition of “speedy.” I am inclined to equate the term with the biblical description of Earth’s creation. The Bible tells us God took six “days” to finish the task, but I believe that the biblical definition of “day” doesn’t involve a 24-hour clock.

This case is going to try our patience. I am preparing my own emotional reservoir for a long haul.