It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here…

July 5, 2023

The summer of 2023 is shaping up to be the Summer of Indictments. It began in late March when a Grand Jury in New York charged former president Donald Trump with 34 counts around the payment of hush money to a **** star ahead of the 2016 election.

In June, Trump was charged with 37 more criminal counts over his mishandling of classified documents. A tentative trial date has been set for December.

As of this writing, Special Counsel Jack Smith is tying up loose ends on both the January 6 investigation, as well as alleged election interference by the Trump team in Georgia. Legal experts expect further indictments to be made in those case this summer or by the fall.

Whew! One needs the Mother Of All Whiteboards to keep track of all these fast-moving legal pieces. No matter what the outcomes of these upcoming trials, one thing is for certain: we are in completely new territory and it’s shaking up not just our population, but our notion of democracy.

The sight of a former president being led into a courtroom where charges are read, and a sketch artist captures the moment is pretty wild. And no doubt it will get wilder. Naturally, his supporters are furious (as is he), making the predictable cries of “Witch hunt!” and “Hoax!” all over social media. Some pundits fear that as the trials begin, the violence will be ratcheted up (there are already death threats against Smith and his family). A few have suggested that President Biden pardon Trump as a way to calm the waters and “heal the nation” – but we’ve seen that movie and arguably, President Ford helped bring us to this moment.

As painful and unsettling as the coming months/year may be, it’s necessary that our country go through whatever comes. This is an inflection point like the Civil War or Watergate: nasty, brutish, and revealing of some very uncomfortable realities about us. January 6 was the closest we’ve come to an actual coup. Trump’s taking of highly sensitive documents (and his subsequent hiding/moving of them around his Florida club) is likely more serious than any other espionage case, including that of the Rosenbergs.

The most critical aspect of this process is the judicial one. We have a belief that “no one is above the law”; that’s obviously just a trope, as many 1/6 participants are in jail while the ringleader(s) walk free. As to the classified documents, former NSA translator Reality Winner received five years in prison for leaking a single report about Russian interference in the 2016 election. Numerous intelligence and military professionals have noted that had they taken a single page out of a secure location they would find themselves in jail within 24 hours. Yet Trump is still out there holding rallies even as photos show stacks of boxes stored all over Mar-a-Lago.

If anything, this moment is teaching us that a more critical look at how our justice system operates in the Real World is needed. That includes revisiting the flimsy “given” that a sitting president can’t be indicted.

So as things heat up on the Indictment/Trial Scene, keep a clear head, and stay focused on clearing out the infection of corruption as a way to move the country forward in a healthier way.

What are your thoughts on the various cases involving Trump? Would you rather see a pardon than trial? How are your colleagues, family, and friends reacting to these events? Let us know what’s going on via our Community Soapbox!

Cindy Grogan is a writer, lover of history and "Star Trek" (TOS), and hardcore politics junkie. There was that one time she campaigned for Gerald Ford (yikes), but ever since, she's been devoted to Democratic and progressive policies.

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Antigrav1117 on Jun 16, 2023 11:43 AM
DOE has become less an instrument of advancing education and more a political tool. If it cannot be reoriented to remove political bias- it must be eliminated. It's too well placed to for parents to allow it to be an instrument of… See Comments
JRB18 on Oct 24, 2022 2:30 AM
Election day is two weeks away! Let's make sure we reach out to friends and family to get out the vote, critical races this year both at the national AND local levels. See Comments
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