Time is running out. The Justice Department must indict Trump and convict him.Lawrence H. Tribe and Dennis Aftergat

n Tuesday CNN report The critical Jan. 6 text was taken down by Donald Trump’s Department of Defense officials, along with Homeland Security and the Secret Service. Even the ignorant Hamlet could not smell “something rotten in Denmark.”

With the growing list of takedowns, there’s a whole new criminal conspiracy to investigate. destroy the evidence of serious federal crimes already under investigation. There is nothing to focus prosecutors’ minds or to underscore the need to accelerate criminal investigations as evidence that the suspect may have plotted to erase evidence of his wrongdoing. .

Attorney General Merrick Garland knows that fish are always rotten from the head down. On July 26, the Washington Post reported news that a Justice Department investigation was underway. focused on Donald Trump himself. Time is of the essence to prosecute his case.

In fact, a moving target showing any signs of planning a reattack could be shunned, both inside and outside the Justice Department, as to when sufficient evidence has been gathered to responsibly prosecute, and when prosecution will occur. In no argument must give rise to different cost-benefit calculations. Neglect of duty to further delay.

The former president’s claim that he has nothing to regret ( not marching to the Capitol) to make the argument look academic. And the steps still being taken in his orders in battleground states to replace 2020 failures with his 2024 successes double the urgency. Shakespeare’s Brutus is Saidin Julius Caesar: “We must go with the flow when it serves us, or we will lose the adventure.”

In situations like these, I wisely advise you to count backwards to set a clear baseline for moving forward. Any calculation of how to proceed must begin with two pessimistic assumptions. First, that Trump could run in his 2024 run and win. Second, if any of the likely Republican candidates win, the next administration will be the one eager to drop the last administration’s indictments.

The goal is therefore to have the conviction finalized by November 2024, and in any case by January 20, 2025, when the next presidential term begins. It is already too late to exhaust all appeals from such convictions by that date, but the key to holding the ringleaders accountable is a guilty jury verdict.

Consider This: The Trial of Rebel Guy Refitt Has Happened 13 months After his first indictment. That trial and its postponed pretrial moves were immeasurably less complicated than Trump’s. increase.

It is not hard to imagine that the majority of Supreme Court justices are in no great hurry to resolve motions that could affect the opening of a trial. It’s easy to imagine that the former president has been indicted but not yet on trial for more than 20 months. If Trump isn’t formally indicted by January 2023, that means months of trials starting in September or October. We will have the next president.

Part of the reason for the long post-indictment/pre-verdict period is foreseeable is that federal district courts have limited the defendant’s right to full disclosure of pretrial claims and the time required to file and discuss them. Because he has a duty to protect. Mr. Trump ended up making a number of allegations before his trial, including an inexhaustible list of complaints, imaginary violations of his rights, claims of immunity from prosecution as a former president, and many others. Presenting all the overwhelming injustice.

Some district court judges balance defendant protection with the need for practical speed of accountability more than others. Importantly, even his four Trump-appointed DC district court judges show little sympathy for those charged with either carrying out the Jan. 6 events or resisting investigations. There are many things. August 1, Judge Dabney Friedrich declared The longest prison sentence to date will be reset to more than seven years.

Judge Tim Kelly refused to be fired Indictment against Proud Boy leaders who participated in the January 6 Siege. Judge Carl Nichols said in his July trial of Steve Bannon that it “political circus’ Bannon tried to make it.

Meanwhile, among the eight judges who considered the motion to dismiss the defendants’ federal indictment, Obstruction of official government procedures – Congress’s January 6 Election Verification Session – Nichols dismissed count. This is one of the main charges observers believe federal prosecutors have made him. could bring Against Trump.

The bottom line is that if Trump is indicted, the Justice Department can’t expect favorable judges to be on the jet stream for an actual trial. What does it mean about

Thankfully, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The Justice Department can pluck one or two experienced prosecutors from every US prosecutor’s office and put them together in a case.

Even with all suspensions lifted, prosecutors still have time to do what they need to do before the end of the year. Tasks include speaking to a key witness who was interviewed by a House committee on Jan. 6 and whose testimony has recanted, and this is well underway. Cassidy Hutchinson, Chief of Staff to President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadow, and Mark Short and Greg Jacobs, Chiefs of Staff to Vice President Mike Pence, are currently work together Department of Justice or appear before that grand jury.

no more cooperation report It started among lawyers who enabled Trump’s coup plot. Attorneys for all potential targets made sure to discuss the merits of an early offer to plead guilty and cooperate with the target as the probe’s agenda against Trump accelerated. Early birds get better worms.

On August 2, a federal grand jury investigated the events leading up to the January 6 riots. summoned Former White House adviser Pat Cipollone. Ministry of Justice prosecutor report He is preparing to go to court to secure testimony regarding his conversations with Trump if Cipollone again refuses to disclose them, citing presidential privilege.

The task at hand is enormous, but it can be completed if attacked with great urgency.Components of a trial donald trump In no case can perfection become the enemy of good any more. The clock is ticking.

  • Lawrence H. Tribe is a professor at Carl M. Loeb University and professor emeritus of constitutional law at Harvard Law School.

  • Dennis Aftergat is a former federal prosecutor who is now Attorneys Who Defend American Democracy

Time is running out. The Justice Department must indict Trump and convict him.Lawrence H. Tribe and Dennis Aftergat

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