Four indictments in four months. Enough, Donald John Trump says, to win him the presidential election.
I nterestingly, so far the indictments have only helped him in the race to be the 2024 Republican candidate. There seems nothing that affects adversely his standing with his base.
If you read the indictments, it boggles your mind that anyone can believe he should be the Republican candidate let alone be elected or serve again as president.
The latest and broadest indictment, in Georgia, presents some differences from the others:
- It’s a state indictment so if convicted and if elected, Trump cannot pardon himself. Presidents have no authority over such a state action.
- It charges Trump and 18 others, accusing them of racketeering and conspiracy to commit a crime.
- It will be televised, thus, among other things, interesting to see how Trump handles himself in front of a judge when his freedom is at stake. Can he resist his seemingly uncontrollable urges in a court of law?
- It opens the door for a multitude of people – those charged and those, so far, not charged – to “flip” on him with the prosecutors.
- It may just offer Trump the opportunity to achieve what seemed a lifelong goal: to be a mob boss.
I say that last point only partly in jest. Trump has performed as a mob boss on many levels – publicly calling anyone who doesn’t support him 100 percent a bum, liar and worse. Even cabinet members and a vice president that he chose and praised when he did.
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Indeed, the mafia’s motto is “omerta” an extreme form of loyalty in the face of authority.
No matter what he is charged with there seems a chunk of voters who back him without hesitation and with great enthusiasm (less than a majority of the Republican Party but enough to win him the nomination, especially with too many candidates against him who can split up the anti-Trump vote).
One also should note that from the Congressional investigation into Jan. 6 through Georgia’s indictment yesterday, all of the damaging testimony is from Republicans. This is not a Democratic plot, despite what Trump supporters have been brainwashed to believe.
On top of that, show me an elected Republican at almost any level in law enforcement who would take on Trump.
Nothing prohibits a convicted felon from running or serving as president. | CREDIT: FLICKR/GAGE SKIDMORE
Interestingly, there is nothing that prohibits a convicted felon from running or serving as president. Ironically, if convicted as a felon Trump would lose his right to vote, but would not lose his ability to serve as president. Imagine.
Which case comes first also can play a role. That New York indictment involving his paying off a porn star for her silence about an alleged affair is considered the weakest and the one that has the smallest effect on Trump politically. Probably helps him, as he says. Hate to see that case go first, it just doesn’t measure up to the effort to overthrow our government.
The federal indictment of Trump, the one brought by special counsel Jack Smith, is a significant indictment, that is narrowly targeted, at this stage, only at Trump. Seemingly, that is so the focus is totally on what Trump allegedly did wrong, unconfused by other issues or defendants.
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This new Georgia indictment goes the furthest in terms of the number of men and women indicted, the conspiracy charge and naming it a violation of RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. In Georgia, that law was adopted in 1980 and makes it a crime to participate in, acquire or maintain control of an “enterprise” through a “pattern of racketeering activity” or to conspire to do so.
It’s important to note that even if that scheme is unsuccessful, it is still a crime.
PMP XTRA | What is RICO?
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act is a federal law in the United States that serves as a powerful tool in prosecuting organized criminal activities.
Its primary objective is to eliminate organized crime by imposing severe penalties and enabling the forfeiture of illicit gains.
By establishing stringent sanctions and forfeiture provisions, the RICO Act empowers law enforcement agencies to dismantle criminal enterprises and disrupt their illicit operations.
There is a very long way to resolving those cases and, of course, to decide who will be the GOP’s 2024 presidential candidate.
Trump still maintains a stranglehold over nearly every elected federal senator and House member. If they began to back away from Trump, how might that affect him? Well, we likely will never know because not one has demonstrated even a hint of breaking with Trump.
As Franklin Roosevelt once said:
“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”
Indictments of Donald Trump | BBC News