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5th Avenue Freeze Out


I’m going to return for a moment to the fact that, more than 13 months later, neither Donald Trump, nor any of the various people who aided and abetted him, have been charged with any crimes for their actions between November 3, 2020, and January 6, 2021.

Here is 18 U.S. Code Sec. 2383:

Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

Donald Trump and his lackeys violated this law flagrantly, both right out in the open, and in less open ways that are now a matter of indisputable public record.

The idea that these crimes require a multi-year investigation, in which smaller fry are rolled up and then flipped in order to convict the bigger fish, is frankly farcical. The reason investigations of that sort operate in that way is that mob bosses, heads of drug cartels, etc. always have a lot of “buffers,” as Willie Cicci so memorably put it in a fictional but true to life context.

For example, prior to his incarceration at the scenic SuperMax facility here in Colorado, Shorty Guzman did not actually drive an 18-wheeler onto the Washington mall, with 2000 kilos of cocaine in the back, so that he could offer BOGO specials of his wares to the masses, while this once in a lifetime offer was broadcast on national TV.

If he had, I don’t think it would have been necessary to have quite as elaborate a prosecution in his case, and those of other similarly situated kingpins and mafiosi.

Similarly, the notion that you can’t prosecute Trump et. al., until you have enough evidence to be sure of a conviction is also delusional. Again, to the extent the actual evidence is even relevant to the question of whether it would be possible to get a jury to convict Trump, that evidence is all readily available, and has been for more than a year. Each “bombshell” revelation that has come out since then has merely confirmed the evidence of our senses, or at least the senses of those of us who are capable of looking what actually happened in the face.

And that right there is the real problem. Donald Trump isn’t being prosecuted because the powers that be don’t have the nerve to do it, and for no other reason. They’re afraid, of course, that this will be seen by 40% of the country as a “political” prosecution, which apparently means that committing literally any crime, no matter how serious, is not something that can be prosecuted if a politician’s followers are sufficiently partisan and delusional to deny the legitimacy of the prosecution.

ETA: Commenter Kormal:

I think naïveté plays a role too. Lots of institutional Democrats, especially those that are lawyers, have worldviews that fundamentally rely, down to the fabric of their being, on a mutual respect for rule of law and an assumption that political opponents share this fundamental value. They cannot accept that Trump was anything but an aberration, and so they treat him as an aberration — if we just move on we can get back to the long-term status quo they cherish.

The problem of course is that Trump is not an aberration and the status quo, if it ever existed, is gone forever. It’s a dangerous naïveté that’s going to end very badly.

I realize this is the most tired of tropes, but nevertheless: Imagine that Barack Obama whipped a several-thousand person mob into a violent frenzy, by making absurdly false claims about how a presidential election was stolen from him, and then unleashed this mob onto the Capitol, which they invaded and trashed, while looking to kidnap and possibly lynch leading members of the government. Imagine if four days earlier Obama had called a Democratic secretary of state, in a state he had lost by 11,000 votes, and demanded that this official “find” 11,000 “new” votes for him.

Is there any real doubt that Obama would be in prison at the moment? Of course there isn’t, because a seditious attempt to corruptly overturn the results of a presidential election is one of the most serious crimes it’s even possible to imagine a politician committing.

Donald Trump committed that crime in broad daylight, in front of millions of viewers, and Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice has done nothing about it, and is going to do nothing about it. And Joe Biden is not going to do anything about that.

“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voters, ok? It’s, like, incredible.” —Donald Trump, who is currently the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president, insulting the intelligence of his own supporters.

That was Ben Dreyfuss, in the January 23, 2016, edition of Mother Jones.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t exactly the end of the affair.

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