The surprising thing isn’t that Donald Trump was indicted. It’s that it took this long. After Attorney General Merrick Garland dithered for two years, Special Counsel Jack Smith is making up for lost time. He’s been on something of a judicial tear, indicting Trump whenever and wherever he can. Smith’s latest move is a forty-five-page indictment assailing Trump for attempting to obstruct ‘a bedrock function of the US government: the nation’s process of collecting, counting and certifying the results of the presidential election.’
Bedrock, shmedrock. Trump’s followers are depicting the indictment as a new instalment in the Deep State’s prolonged attempt to prevent Trump from returning to the White House. The indictment is itself an indictment, they suggest, of the ‘Biden Crime Family’s’ attempts to besmirch a valiant warrior for truth, justice and the American way. Indeed, Trump spokesman Steven Cheung even invoked the spectre of Nazi Germany — a sure sign that he isn’t grasping at straws; he’s lunging for them.
Trump’s followers may be recoiling at Smith’s mean mien, but it didn’t frighten the federal grand jury that voted to indict the former president on four counts, none of which can really come as a surprise. It appears that a variety of Trump confederates, including vice president Mike Pence, provided Smith with key information on what was taking place in the Trump White House during the perilous days leading up to January 6. Indeed, it appears that Pence did what Trump loathes — keep contemporaneous notes of their conversations in which he alternately cajoled and threatened Pence to do the right thing, at least as Trump saw it.
So will it be Judgment Day at the District of Columbia? An unsympathetic jury and judge do not augur well for Trump.