The public agitation for confronting the Trump Problem is now reaching the upper echelon of great lawyers. And I pay attention to them.
Since the last election, there has been a loud public drumbeat for immediate indictment and conviction on a Greek diner menu list of Trump’s offenses, criminal and civil. Some people are so out of breath with the screaming, they’ve collapsed into expressing cynicism about whether he will ever be brought to justice for the horror he inflicted upon us.
I am calmly confident that he will.
People who are most infuriated are not lawyers and lack one major quality any lawyer must have: patience. Building an evidence-heavy case addressing a web of criminality and a long list of spiders to be interrogated takes a very long time. Given the level and layers of Trump’s offenses against this country, and that it’s an entirely new world in law and governance — prosecuting a former president has never been done before — can you imagine how scrupulously extra-careful all prosecuting authorities are being?
And now lawyers themselves are laying down their own insistence that DOJ investigate Trump and prosecute him if the facts and evidence are manifest. The best of them advise patience because this is a huge legal deal and takes a long time.
I think about this a lot. Here’s what I’m thinking:
There’s no reason to believe the DOJ has not already begun investigating Trump, et al. Didn’t I learn during the Comey uproar that such investigations are (almost) always done without public announcements? The Mueller investigation did not leak once, if I recall.
We should all remember that Merrick Garland has been Attorney General for only five full months. Aside from dealing with the Trump Problem, among the major jobs for him and his deputies are reviewing every document produced by Trump’s DOJ, which was truly Trump‘s DOJ, not the American people’s. I assume there were a lot of time bombs left behind when Trump’s minions cleared out. That job presses, because there are statutes of limitations and court schedules that must be met.
And speaking of Trump’s minions, that’s another job for the DOJ — clearing them out.
So the DOJ is busy busy busy.
I’ve recently thought of another reason for the DOJ to be super-extra cautious about investigating and indicting Trump. They must, simultaneously and surreptitiously, evaluate the crazy (and armed) MAGA mob around the country, to determine what sort of response they might have to an announcement their god is going to be prosecuted.
Not that the DOJ should, or will, be afraid to go after Trump. But I suspect the agency is deeply aware of the need to have the country and its law enforcement agencies better prepared to confront any violent protests than they were on January 6.