From Harold Meyerson, The American Prospect <[email protected]>
Subject Meyerson on TAP: The Wrong Trump Trial
Date February 15, 2024 8:04 PM
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**FEBRUARY 15, 2024**

On the Prospect website

Southern Autoworkers Organize, Business Class Tries to Wallop Them

Workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, face a
coordinated attack on their organizing, but have learned from two prior

It's the Working Class, Stupid

John Judis and Ruy Teixeira want Democrats to focus on working-class
interests and back off cultural radicalism. BY PAUL STARR

Q&A: Election 2024 Fake-Out

The FCC bans AI-generated robocalls, but deepfakes and other tactics
could still disrupt the voting season. BY GABRIELLE GURLEY

Meyerson on TAP








**** The Wrong Trump Trial

Who really cares about the Stormy Daniels hush money? It's the January
6th trial that matters.

Will no one rid us of these meddlesome prosecutors?

The announcement today that the trial of Donald Trump for paying hush
money to Stormy Daniels will begin on March 25th means that the only
Trump trial that actually matters-the one in which he's been charged
for inciting the January 6th insurrection to overturn the outcome of the
2020 presidential election-cannot begin until late spring at the

Numerous polls have shown that a decisive share of voters who currently
support Trump's candidacy would switch their vote or not vote at all
if he's convicted of a crime before Election Day. I think that's
only credible, however, if he's convicted of his January 6th
insurrection offense.

Consider the consequences of his conviction in the other three cases. In
the New York trial now set for next month, Trump is accused of shoveling
cash to Stormy to ensure she'd shut up about their trysts. This has
been all over the media for most of the past decade; I think it only
confirms not only what Trump's critics think of him but what his
supporters-who acknowledge he's a flawed servant of the
Almighty-think of him as well. Nonetheless, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg
has been out to prosecute Trump for some time and now will claim a great
deal of public attention to make a case whose significance pales to
invisibility alongside that of overturning a presidential election. So,
too, does the case of Trump's decamping to Mar-a-Lago after he left
office with reams of classified documents.

The Georgia case brought by Fulton County DA Fani Willis is decidedly
more serious-or would be had she pursued it promptly. It came complete
with a smoking gun: the recording of Trump asking Georgia Secretary of
State Brad Raffensperger to "find" just enough Trump votes to overcome
Joe Biden's lead. But that gun has been smoking for three years now,
during which time Willis expanded the case to include all manner of
Trump machinations, thereby providing yearslong payments to the attorney
(with whom she acknowledges having an affair) she engaged to prosecute
the case, rather than entrusting it to anyone in her own office.
Alternatively, she could have zeroed in on the phony Trump electors. By
now, however, I fear any Willis-brought case that proceeds to trial will
be subject to more coverage of Willis's affair than of the crimes
Trump and his stooges committed.

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Which leaves the only case that I think actually could prompt some shift
in public opinion should Trump be convicted, as this is the single most
serious crime in American history: his instigation of January 6th, his
hours-long refusal to make it stop, all in the cause of overturning a
presidential election. Trump has argued that as president, he's immune
from criminal charges, but that argument has been resoundingly slapped
down by a bipartisan appellate court and is now before the Supremes.
Given the absence of any merit to Trump's argument, the Court could
rule quickly that the appellate court was right, which means that the
trial could begin fairly promptly.

How promptly? The judges in

**l'affaire Stormy**and

**l'affaire insurrection**have apparently conferred, and decided that
Stormy will go first, which means that the earliest that the January 6th
trial could begin would be very late spring. By that time, of course,
the primaries will have all but ended and the party conventions will be
nigh. However, should the Court rule promptly that Trump enjoys no
immunity (and given its promiscuous use of the "shadow docket," we know
that the Court can speed things up when it wants to), maybe the New York
judge and DA can be persuaded to get back in line and let the
insurrection trial go first. Even if that doesn't happen, a prompt
ruling from the Court that presidents are not gods would at least ensure
the insurrection trial proceeds before the election.

A great deal, then, depends on what the Court does over the next week
(or weeks). One would expect Thomas and Alito to do Trump's bidding,
so this really comes down to the three justices Trump put there:
Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett. Assuming they have any regard for their
own reputations, not to mention the law, they'll rule, quickly, that
Trump is mortal and not immune from the demands of justice.


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