In our age of mass attention deficit, the manifold legals trials against Donald Trump represent a big challenge. Maybe that’s the point. It’s hard to care when you can’t keep count.
The whole objective of ‘lawfare’, as it is called, is to bully your enemy into submission through overwhelming paperwork. It might work. That doesn’t make it just.
Let’s be clear: calling the multi-dimensional legal campaign against Donald Trump ‘lawfare’ isn’t a statement of support for Trump, necessarily. It’s more a summary of observable reality.
The latest of four criminal cases against the 45th president of the United States comes from Georgia. Last night, Fani Willis, the district attorney for Fulton County, rolled out her indictment – which comes on top of the hush-money tax record case in New York, the hoarding classified documents case in Florida, and the 6 January conspiracy charges in Washington DC. Four complex cases in four different districts, 91 criminal charges against the president who happens to be running for the White House again next year. Try to keep up.
The Fulton County indictment has 41 charges, 13 of which are aimed at Trump. The added spice in this indictment is the introduction of 18 other defendants, including his former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former Trump lawyer and mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, and the notorious Sidney Powell, as well as the Willis’s use of the Rico (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations) Act in the opening charges.
Fans of mafia films will know about Rico – the legal mechanism through which many American mobsters have been imprisoned. In this instance, Fulton County is using Georgia’s Rico Act, which mirrors the federal law in order to target organised crime at the state level.
The charges levelled at Trump also include solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer, conspiracy to commit forgery, filing false documents, and conspiracy to impersonate a public officer.