Tag Archives: Merrick Garland

Handcuffs in Trump’s future?

I have known this gentleman for 22 years. We met in Greece in 2000 at a conference of journalists from around the world. He lives in Australia. I haven’t seen him since we parted company all those years ago, but we have stayed in touch during that time.

He has told me many times over the past, oh, five years or so that Donald J. Trump would be hauled off in handcuffs and leg irons when the feds arrest him for the myriad crimes he has committed.

I kind of laughed off my friend’s belief. I am not laughing now.

It is impossible to predict what Attorney General Merrick Garland is going to do when the House select committee finishes its examination into the 1/6 insurrection. I have my hope for what I believe should happen, which is that Garland is going to obtain a grand jury indictment against Trump for knowingly inciting the assault on our Capitol that day.

Do I believe that will happen? I am thinking each day that the likelihood is increasing that Garland will do what he must to keep his pledge to us to hold “anyone and everyone accountable” for crimes he has committed against the nation.

The evidence is piling up against Trump. The televised hearings have produced some stunning revelations to the public. I understand that there are those who will read this blog post and will respond with something like “no one’s watching these hearings; they don’t register with voters.” They shouldn’t waste their time and energy. The folks who should be watching them — namely the legal eagles at Justice — will be watching.

I also am acutely aware of the enormous political consequence if a criminal indictment doesn’t produce a conviction. The AG is even more aware of that than anyone else on Earth. Will I accept a decision from Garland that tells us he will forgo a criminal prosecution? Sure. I won’t like it, but I trust him implicitly to do the right thing.

I just am feeling at this moment that the “right thing” is going to make history.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Don’t swing and miss, Mr. AG!

Chris Christie, the former Republican governor of New Jersey and ex-federal prosecutor, has issued a stern warning to the 1/6 House select committee.

It is that if it recommends criminal charges should be filed against Donald J. Trump for his role in inciting the insurrection on 1/6, it had better have it buttoned up and secure for a conviction.

The committee — or Attorney General Merrick Garland — cannot afford to “swing and miss” on this matter if an indictment is to be issued.

Christie, a one-time Donald Trump GOP presidential primary opponent who then became an ally of the POTUS, possesses strong opinions and is able to articulate them sharply and cogently.

He does not believe that Merrick Garland ultimately is going to seek a criminal indictment against Trump. Why? It carries too much risk of a failed prosecution, Christie said this past weekend.

I agree with Chrisie on one point: The House panel and the attorney general cannot afford to get this one wrong. I will disagree, if only nominally, with whether Garland is going to wimp out on seeking an indictment.

Merrick Garland, to my eyes, appears to be a careful lawyer. He is studious and fair, or so his friends have said about him. He also is meticulous and careful to dot every “i” and cross every “t” before proceeding.

That makes me believe an indictment, if it comes, will be ironclad.

That is my hope … and I’m sticking with it to the finish line.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Indict him, Mr. AG!

The more I consider the ramifications of what is transpiring in Washington, DC, the more convinced I become that Attorney General Merrick Garland must hold Donald Trump accountable for his actions as president of the United States.

Reporters asked Garland if he is watching the televised hearings of the House select committee examining the 1/6 insurrection. He said he cannot watch all of it live, but will catch up with all of it later; then he said we can “rest assured” that his prosecutors are watching it intently.

The evidence, to my eyes, appears to be mounting that implicates Trump in conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. He knew The Big Lie was wrong, but kept telling it. He knew that Vice President Pence had no authority to overturn the electoral result, but kept hectoring the VP to do it. The mob of traitors threatened Pence’s life, and Trump knew that, too, but he did nothing to stop the violence.

Merrick Garland said no one is above the law. Where I come from, when someone says “no one,” he means every human being on Earth … and that includes the president of the U.S.A.

So, if the evidence leads the attorney general to the former POTUS’s mansion in south Florida, that compels him to ask a grand jury to indict the crooked man.

House committee members keep talking publicly about having “enough evidence” to recommend a criminal prosecution. My one wish is that they would stop saying such things so loudly; it tends to make my heart flutter in nervous anticipation.

Still, I have listened to the evidence presented during the three days of televised hearings and have concluded that AG Garland has enough to proceed.

Donald J. Trump needs to be held accountable for the hideous crisis he has launched. He has broken the law by pressuring state election officials to “find” votes that would reverse an electoral result. He has threatened the existence of our democratic process by telling The Big Lie.

Now he has possibly engaged in witness tampering by suggesting that he would issue blanket pardons to the 1/6 insurrectionist traitors if he (God forbid!) returns to the White House.

I am waiting anxiously to see if the attorney general agrees.

Please, Mr. AG, make me happy.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

So many ‘what ifs’

Games of “what if” at times fill my noggin with thoughts that require some analysis. My skull is filling up at this moment with a number of “what if” scenarios relating to the probe of the 1/6 insurrection.

What if Attorney General Merrick Garland decides to indict Donald J. Trump on seditious conspiracy charges? My hunch is that he would need to fast-track a trial in a hurry, to get it done prior to the start of the 2024 Republican Party presidential primary season.

What if the AG indicts Trump but doesn’t have full confidence that he can obtain a conviction? Garland would be tempting fate beyond all reasonable measure if that’s the case.

What if the AG decides, “I cannot bring an indictment forward”? He then becomes, in the words of a dear friend, “The Neville Chamberlain of the insurrection.” Chamberlain was the British prime minister who stood by and allowed Adolf Hitler in 1938 to annex the Sudetenland and then Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II. Garland might be tarred for life if he doesn’t hold Trump accountable for what I believe he did on 1/6.

What if U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney loses her GOP primary election in Wyoming? The courageous congresswoman who voted to impeach Trump becomes a lame duck. Then she dons the brass knuckles as she fires up her rhetoric.

Finally, what if Donald John Trump gets convicted of seditious conspiracy?

He’s done as a political force … which would please me greatly.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

My mind is made up

I don’t want the House hearings to end just yet; I want to hear more from the witnesses summoned by the select 1/6 committee.

This much seems clear to me: My mind is made up. It is settled in my own noggin that Donald J. Trump deserves to be prosecuted for seditious conspiracy, as he plotted to block the “peaceful transition” from his administration to the Joe Biden administration after the 2020 presidential election.

Truth be told, I really don’t need to hear any more from the witnesses. However, I want to hear more.

I must have some sort of political bloodlust coming into play. Well, I don’t care. I have the luxury of passing judgment without hearing all the facts, unlike Attorney General Merrick Garland and his team of prosecutors who are listening to every word during the hearings.

Do I believe AG Garland will do as I wish? I am not going to predict what Garland will do. I know, though, that were I in charge of the Justice Department, I would be drafting criminal complaints to deliver to a grand jury. I then would be preparing my arguments to grand jurors, seeking to persuade them to issue a “true bill” that means an indictment would come forth.

Let’s await the end of this televised portion of the hearings.

I will pray for discernment and wisdom from the Attorney General Garland and hope that it leads him to do what I hope he will do: Indict and then prosecute fully the former president of the United States for seeking inciting an insurrection against the government he swore he would “protect and defend.”

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Waiting now to see what AG will do

We are all going to know in due course — but it won’t occur within the next few days — what lurks inside the head and the heart of the U.S. attorney general, Merrick Garland.

The House select committee examining the insurrection that occurred on 1/6 is going to make a decision after it concludes its testimony-taking from witnesses who saw what happened in the White House on that hideous day.

Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney more or less let it be known what the panel is thinking, which is that Donald J. Trump was criminally liable for what he did to provoke the traitorous mob into attacking the Capitol Building. What Trump did that day, Cheney said, was “illegal” and “immoral.” The illegal part lies at the crux of what Garland is facing.

If the committee determines that the 45th POTUS committed an illegal act, then it falls onto Garland to decide whether the Justice Department should charge him with committing a felony.

It’s never been done before. Thus, AG Garland is facing an unprecedented quandary. Garland has declared he will follow the facts wherever they lead. If they lead his legal team into the Oval Office that day, well, that means an indictment is a cinch.

Garland strikes many of as a careful, thoughtful man, one who is not prone to embark on half-baked fishing expeditions just to make a political point.

You know what I want to see happen. In truth, though, the desires of the public should mean nothing to Garland as he ponders what he should do.

I just want to remind everyone about a fundamental truth that has been repeated publicly to the point of it becoming almost cliche. It is that “no one — not even the president of the United States — is above the law.”

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

DOJ getting serious? Well …

The U.S. Justice Department has asked the 1/6 House select committee for transcripts. Lots of transcripts. They are taken from testimony collected by the panel in the search for the truth behind the insurrection and the riot that sought to undercut a free, fair and legal presidential election.

I can hear the progressives jumping for joy even from out here in Flyover Country. Fine. Let ’em jump.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has said time and again that he wouldn’t be bullied, coerced, pushed and prodded into acting prematurely in his search for the truth behind what Donald Trump knew on 1/6 and what he did or didn’t do to stop the rioters.

I am taking the AG at his word, which I consider to be quite honorable.

He also has pledged to follow the law “wherever it leads.” That means if he finds enough to recommend an indictment of the former POTUS, then that’s what he’ll do.

Let’s first try to get our arms around what Garland is trying to do. He is trying to gather information to help him determine what to do with it all. If there’s enough to indict Donald Trump, he’ll proceed. If there isn’t enough to do so, well, he’ll proceed down that particular path.

The progressive wing of the Democratic Party keeps yapping that Garland is moving too slowly. I wish they would keep their traps shut and let the man take care of business in the way that will guarantee a thorough outcome.

I trust the attorney general implicitly to conduct his investigation with due diligence and professionalism. That he is seeking transcripts from the 1/6 committee tells me the AG might be getting closer to making a key decision on the future of the 45th president of the United States.

My hope is that the future forestalls any effort for the ex-POTUS to seek public office ever again. Then again, I am not the individual in charge of making that call. I’ll leave it that matter to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Is there an indictment in Trump’s future?

If we are to believe the New York Times reporting on this matter — and I do, generally — then it appears that Donald J. Trump will dodge the indictment bullet in the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

The newly installed DA, Aaron Bragg, appears to be closing up shop in his investigation into the Trump Organization’s business dealings. Many of his chief assistant prosecutors have quit the office. Bragg isn’t inclined to pursue the former POTUS any further.

Now, does that forestall a probe being conducted by New York Attorney General Letitia James? Hah! Hardly.

However, it could be argued that without the NYC prosecutor’s office going full tilt on its investigation, the AG’s office might be caught with fewer evidence-gathering tools at its disposal.

Nor does this mean that the 1/6 investigation ongoing in the U.S. House of Representatives is going to flicker out and die. House intel committee chairman Bennie Thompson plans to commence public hearings in June on his panel’s probe into the insurrection. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is standing by with possible plans to take legal action against all sorts of players from the Trump administration. Hmm, maybe even against The Donald himself?

Oh, one more thing. We have that probe going on down yonder in Fulton County, Ga., where legal eagles are investigating whether Trump broke state law by demanding election officials to “find” enough votes to turn that state’s 2020 presidential electoral result from Joe Biden to Trump.

The plot is still pretty damn thick, even if the Manhattan DA is bowing out.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

AG faces immense pressure

Merrick Garland has put a brave face on an investigation he is conducting into the activities of the 45th president of the United States. I get that the U.S. attorney general doesn’t want to give away his game plan, but I want to flesh out a couple of issues the AG is facing.

Garland is being pressured by congressional Democrats and some within the White House to hurry up his probe into what Donald Trump did and did not do during the 1/6 insurrection. He says he won’t buckle under the pressure. I hope he holds true to his pledge. However, is he able to withstand it?

Garland would set an astonishing precedent were he to seek to indict a former POTUS. It’s never happened in the history of this republic. Given the precedent-setting nature of such a proceeding, it seems only natural that the AG would want to ensure that he dots every “i” and crosses every “t” properly, that he leaves no doubt of the validity of an indictment, were he to seek it.

To be absolutely certain, indicting a former president would enrage the significant — but reportedly shrinking — base of voters who continue to cling to Donald Trump’s standing as the leading Republican in the nation.

AG Merrick Garland is every bit as human as anyone else. Thus, he feels the heat. Whether it will determine the course he follows remains one of the key questions of the moment. Indeed, Garland has pledged to “follow the law wherever it leads.” OK. I am on board with that.

The stakes of where this probe might take us all, though, requires that the attorney general get it right. Thus, the calls for a hurry-up job appear to be self-defeating … which could inflict possibly mortal wounds on our democratic process and the rule of law.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Get off the AG’s back!

Allow me this additional demand of congressional Democrats and even some within the White House who are getting — allegedly! — annoyed with the pace of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s examination of the 1/6 insurrection and whether he intends to file charges against the former president of the United States of America.

Let the man do his job!

Democrats in Congress are reportedly peeved that Garland isn’t moving quickly enough. They want to see The Donald brought before the Bar of Justice for inciting the 1/6 insurrection and for doing nothing to stop it when it was occurring on Capitol Hill. Hey, so do I want to see the former A**hole in Chief brought to account for his action and inaction.

However, I am going to stand with the AG on this one. He said he won’t be pressured by Congress or by the White House to finish his task before he is ready to declare it finished.

Garland is on record many times already declaring he won’t be pushed, prodded or pressured by political forces. I am OK with that.

His career as a judge prior to becoming attorney general was marked by steady-as-you-go deliberation. What is so wrong with that as he works diligently with his staff of legal eagles at the Justice Department to ensure that they have all their ducks lined up before making a public decision?

Let us not lose sight of what else is at stake. Indicting a former president on felony criminal charges would set an astonishing precedent. Don’t you think? The AG must get it right and getting it right makes it imperative he run every trap he can find before delivering the goods.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com