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Trump is Right/ If Any of Us are Caught with Classified Documents/We Will Be Indicted

Accountability? (Maybe)

Last week, special counsel Jack Smith announced a third indictment of Donald Trump. This time over his conspiracy to interfere with election results and prevent a peaceful transfer of power. These latest, grievous charges pile onto Trump’s other two indictments on the stolen, top secret documents, and his hush money payments hiding his affair with Stormy Daniels. All told, there are nearly 80 counts leveled against Trump. Of course, in our broken criminal justice system, it's hard to imagine a person as powerful as Trump ever facing real consequences for his actions, but there are at least some signs of hope for justice in America. First, a simple reading of the charges filed by Jack Smith leave little doubt that for anyone other than a former president this trial would be a massive uphill battle. Just from what is public so far, it appears that for many of the allegations they have Donald Trump dead-to-rights, sometimes even admitting to his crimes in his own words. To make matter worse for Trump, judge Tanya S Chutkan, selected as judge for the trial by random lottery, has been particularly harsh against January 6th rioters. This all works against Trump’s quest to avoid legal culpability, however, as many are quick to point out, the legal battle is only one dimension of trial. Politically, it's less clear what the outcome will be, this is unprecedented territory, even in a seemingly open and shut case, and Democrats are often known for tucking tail and running when the going gets tough. So far, Jack Smith has proven infinitely more effective and bullish in his prosecution than action taken by Attorney General Merrick Garland, but the Republican backlash has only just begun and it’s many months before the trial starts next year. Amazingly, it's unclear if these trials will hurt Trump’s electoral chances, especially in the Republican primaries. Current polling suggests that each indictment marginally narrows but consolidates his base with a huge partisan divide between Democratic and Republican voters. However, this picture isn’t necessarily static. A key factor here is that the information bubbles each side finds themselves in, have left many Republicans ignorant of the true nature of Donald Trump's crimes. Many conservative media outlets have simply never covered the content of the indictments. With a televised trial, seriously and methodically exposing his crimes, it's difficult to imagine that the average American would be more likely to vote for Donald Trump afterwards. Especially when the polling shows, a majority of Americans believe that if Donald Trump did try to overturn the election, that would be “undermining democracy.” Regardless of its electoral wisdom or folly, though, the indictment and prosecution of Trump is critical for the health of our democracy, because in the pursuit of justice, no one can be above the law. The United States does not have Kings or nobility who sit above the laws of man, we are a nation of citizens all bound under the law. To allow Donald Trump to go unprosecuted for these blatant crimes would have been, perhaps, the death knell of American democracy. Holding a trial and letting a jury of peers decide this case is a profound step in the right direction when we have long drifted towards not just a two-tier justice system, but an injustice system. Before getting too giddy with the possibility of accountability for our leaders, however, we need to keep in mind that even for grave crimes the rich and powerful almost never face serious consequences. It’s seems likely we’ve only gotten this far because of the current schism between Trump and other elites who want him out of politics without implicating and endangering their own power. We must ensure that this trial is done fairly and openly, exposing all alleged crimes to disinfecting sunlight. Going further, we should use a successful trial as precedent and rallying cry for legal accountability for the rich and the powerful. To do that we’ll need more than just political action, it will require economic organizing and broad solidarity. So, join us each Tuesday as we build a political cudgel to make sure that our justice system turns its attention towards the leviathan criminals among us and stops letting them get a pass!

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