There are lots of options right now for people who hope that Donald Trump will be criminally prosecuted.
It just might be the case where he allegedly conspired with his former pit bull attorney Michael Cohen to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels with $130,000 in hush money. The New York D.A., Alvin Bragg, is seemingly getting chilly feet after receiving recent information that may contest Michael Cohen’s testimony. Bragg may still prosecute him, but there’s a feeling that on legal and political grounds, this may be the unwise indictment to make. Or at least to go first.
I mean, who among us hasn’t covered up a sordid sexual affair right before an election by buying a person’s silence?
Even if Bragg doesn’t file charges, it looks fairly likely that Trump will be arrested for allegedly obstructing justice by actively guiding his people to not comply with the government’s orders to return classified materials to locations where they are authorized to be protected.
Or Trump may be arrested for vocally pressuring Georgia election officials to manipulate more than 10,000 ballots and put them in his column. It’s all on a recorded phone call. A smoking gun — with a dial-pad on it.
So if Trump has transgressed the U.S. Criminal Code, like many Americans believe, I hope he is arrested, charged, and prosecuted to the fairest and fullest extent of the law.
But I also hope that he tops his opponents once again in the Republican Primary to become his party’s Nominee for President of the United States.
I don’t voice this hope because I have some incredibly strong opinion about him being the easiest to beat (although outside of his one, prosciutto-thin victory in 2016, he has measurably dragged down the GOP with his endorsements, in special elections and midterms, and on his own second try at the Oval Office).
The reason I want to see Trump nominated and run in the general again is the same reason I wanted him to take his election lies as far as he possibly could in the months following his 2020 loss (306-232 in the Electoral College).
Of course, I could not foresee the destruction that would take place on Jan. 6. But in advance of that, I wanted to see the American political system hold — as proof that it could. And it did. In the courts, in the states, and ultimately — in the Congress. And we’ve also seen it hold in the 28 months of local, state and federal elections following Jan. 6.
So as politically divided as our country is right now, especially along the lines of education and geographical region, the system has held. And though I don’t follow or write about politics much anymore, I am interested in seeing if our country can pass this final Trump test: Reject him a second time in a row in the general election.
This is not about policy for me. It’s larger. It is about what the majority of our country wants in its leader. For there won’t be much policy minutia that differs between Trump and whomever ends up staying in the Republican primary long enough to help or hurt him.
For me, this is about what kind of atmosphere and character American voters want for their country.
I am hardly blind to the fact that whether it’s Reagan or Bush or Clinton or Biden (etc.), most presidents have plenty of behavior behind them that is nothing to brag about. As well as while they’re in office. There’s plenty of awful to go around.
But I don’t want to feel that daily division that four years of Trump exacerbated almost every day. And I don’t think that most folks in the political middle want that either. Or for that matter, plenty of Republicans.
But there’s only one way to find out — once and for all. If the Trump base ends up being enough for him clear the bar and win him the nomination, then we will have a litmus test that will speak to the American condition for decades to come. Any electorate can make one colossal mistake.
I believe that Trump would be found guilty in one or all of these potential prosecutions, in the event that they proceed. But regardless of I what I think, those cases are decided by a combination of grand jury, prosecutor, and trial jury.
I’d like to see what verdict would be delivered by the jury of American voters. Just one more time.
Close the door.