OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
Criminal charges against President Donald J. Trump may be coming, and if they do, all heck is going to break loose- with the encouragement of Trump. The advisors of the latter are split on what to expect from the regime of Trump’s opponent, Democrat Joe Biden.
“If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protest we have ever had in Washington DC, in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere because our country and our elections are corrupt,” Trump told a crowd in Texas in late January 2022, after being harassed by the total weight of the US Media and their corrupt allies, if he speaks out against any of them.
Those opponents of Trump include the lapdog media, the Biden administration, and a massive centralized federal government who does not want to lose any more power. And Trump’s lawyers are taking note of what is unfolding.
Some of Trump’s team are telling media sources that they believe the DOJ may be about to make a drastic move- and criminalize Trump’s actions from Jan. 6, 2020.
On Monday, Rolling Stone reported on the likelihood of that happening:
President Donald Trump’s lawyers are preemptively preparing a legal defense against criminal charges from the Justice Department, as the former president’s lawyers are increasingly anxious that their client will be prosecuted for his role in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
Members of the ex-president’s legal team have already begun brainstorming strategy and potential defenses, according to three people familiar with the matter and written communications reviewed by Rolling Stone. Trump himself has been briefed on potential legal defenses on at least two occasions this summer, two of the sources say.
That effort intensified after former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s June testimony before the House committee investigating Jan.
Attorney General Merrick Garland’s comments marking the first anniversary of the events at the US Capitol were seen as a tip-off to some media about the potential of looming criminal charges, so these reports of Trump’s legal team make sense to those who are watching.
According to the Rolling Stone report, “Members of the Trump legal team are quietly preparing, in the event charges are brought,” says one person familiar with the situation. “It would be career malpractice not to. Do the [former] president’s attorneys believe everything Cassidy said? No. … Do they think the Department of Justice would be wise to charge him? No. But we’ve gotten to a point where if you don’t think criminal charges are at least somewhat likely, you are not serving the [former] president’s best interests.”
The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Official Trump representatives did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
In their preparations, Trump’s team has discussed strategies that involve shifting blame from Trump to his advisers for the efforts to overturn the election, per the three sources, reflecting a broader push to find a fall guy — or fall guys. “Trump got some terrible advice from attorneys who, some people would argue, should have or must have known better,” says one of the sources with knowledge of recent discussions in Trumpland. “An ‘advice of counsel’ defense would be a big one.”
The idea was floated that the First Amendment would come into play, especially after Garland’s comments in 2022, about the right to petition the government over a political grievance.
“If the Justice Department does come with charges, Trump’s current team has acknowledged they would have to bring on more legal firepower to handle the historic legal defense. You’d need to have a real heavyweight at the top [of the legal team] for something like that, but right now nobody knows who that would be, one Trump adviser says,” Rolling Stone reported.
Some of Trump’s higher-ranking legal and political counselors are still hesitant to believe that Garland would bring the hostile and bombastic charges against a President.
“I do think criminal prosecutions are possible. Whether they are advisable is a more difficult consideration for the country,” Ty Cobb, a former top lawyer in Trump’s White House, told Rolling Stone in June. “Possible for Trump and [Mark] Meadows certainly. And for the others, including lawyers, who engaged fraudulently in formal proceedings or investigations.”
If criminal charges were brought against Trump, it would be shocking. It would be the first time in American history that a former president has been prosecuted for crimes committed in office.
Due to the lack of precedent criminal charges would bring with constitutional challenges, there is no doubt that the case would end up in the US Supreme Court.
Rolling Stone reported that Trump might even be looking forward to getting the ball started and getting in front of the high court.
“Trump also seems keenly aware of the blowback that could result from a federal indictment — and is telling supporters it could be politically advantageous,” the outlet reported.
Trump has repeated versions of that line to confidants and longtime pals, including at casual gatherings this summer, a person with direct knowledge of the matter says. “He says,” the source recalls, “it would make the crowd size at [Jan. 6] look small by comparison.”