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The Institutionalist


This deep dive into the long and winding road which has resulted in the very strong possibility that no federal criminal trial of Donald Trump will take place before the election that will decide whether Trump gets to order the DOJ to dismiss all the charges against him (JFC just read that sentence) is simply infuriating.

Mr. Garland, 71, a former federal judge and prosecutor, proceeded with characteristic by-the-book caution, pressure-testing every significant legal maneuver, demanding that prosecutors take no shortcuts and declaring the inquiry would “take as long as it takes.”

As a result, prosecutors and the F.B.I. spent months sticking to their traditional playbook. They started with smaller players and worked upward — despite the transparent, well-documented steps taken by Mr. Trump himself, in public and behind the scenes, to retain power after voters rejected his bid for another term.

In trying to avoid even the smallest mistakes, Mr. Garland might have made one big one: not recognizing that he could end up racing the clock. Like much of the political world and official Washington, he and his team did not count on Mr. Trump’s political resurrection after Jan. 6, and his fast victory in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, which has complicated the prosecution and given the former president leverage in court.

In 2021 it was “simply inconceivable,” said one former Justice Department official, that Mr. Trump, rebuked by many in his own party and exiled at his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago, would regain the power to impose his timetable on the investigation.

“I think that delay has contributed to a situation where none of these trials may go forward,” Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, said in a recent interview on CNN, citing the Justice Department’s approach as a factor. “The department bears some of that responsibility.”

Schiff is being tactful here for on the record purposes, but seriously? Yours truly was telling everybody way back in 2021 that Trump was going to be the GOP nominee in 2024, but NOOOOO, guardrails, follow the money, Ron DeSantis, you just don’t understand how long these things take, oh hell I just can’t do this any more.

Here’s a little nugget that intrigued me:

On Jan. 6, 2021, Mr. Garland was in his attic office in suburban Maryland, drafting remarks he would deliver the next day in Delaware when Mr. Biden was to introduce him as his pick for attorney general.

The speech was to center on re-establishing “normal order” after four chaotic Trump years. Mr. Garland took a break, clicked on a livestream of rioters breaching the Capitol and realized, in a flash, that he would need to revise not only his speech, but his approach to the job.

He was still fine-tuning his language as his wife drove him to Wilmington the next morning.

The rule of law is “the very foundation of our democracy,” said Mr. Garland as Mr. Biden, whom he barely knew, looked on.

So Biden didn’t know Garland at all? Who pushed to give this guy THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT APPOINTMENT OF BIDEN”S HOPEFULLY FIRST TERM? Odds that it was someone at Harvard’s or Yale’s law schools: Extremely high.

Anyway the whole thing is worth reading if you’re not prone to strokes.

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