By Hal Brown
Yesterday I used an image of Lady Justice as part of my illustration for my blog (link here):
Today I read this (and put it on that blog as an update):
Giuliani’s promotion of a debunked conspiracy theory about two election workers falsely accused of mishandling Fulton County ballots also implicates him in an infamous phone call from Trump to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — also a focal point of Willis’ investigation. During the phone call, Trump tried to pressure the state’s chief election officer into flipping the election in the former president’s favor.
“He’s in the thick of it,” Kevin O’Brien, a former federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York with experience trying public corruption cases, told Raw Story. “I don’t know how his lawyers are going to argue to get him off the hook if the day comes when they tell him he’s a target and he’s going to be indicted. What is their response to all this evidence? I don’t know, except to say he was confused, or he was impaired.
Without going into more details here, it lays out all of his involvement in illegal scheming and why Guiliani is at more risk of facing prison than I thought he was. This leads me to reassess the chances he may flip. If it gets through his thick skull that he could be the star inmate at not just some country-club federal prison from which Trump or another GOP president could rescue him, but as a guest of the Georgia Department of Corrections, he could decide to cut a deal.
I decided to write about how the end result of all of the cases where Trump and his associates may be guilty verdicts resulting in prison sentences and how this is represented by the sword carried by Lady Justice.
In searching about the history of Lady Justice I learned that this representation is very old.
Not only didn't I know that almost all high courts in the world featured some form of Lady Justice as a symbol, but that the history of this figure goes back to ancient times:
For Greeks, there was Themis, the Greek goddess of justice, law, order, and good counsel. Themis uses the scales of justice to always remain balanced and pragmatic. However, Themis literally translates to divine law and order, instead of human ordinance.
Meanwhile, Ancient Egyptians had Ma’at of the Old Kingdom, who represented order and justice carried with her a sword and the Feather of Truth. Egyptians believed that this feather (usually depicted as an ostrich feather) would be weighed against the heart of the soul of the deceased to determine whether or not he or she could pass through the afterlife.
However, the modern concept of Lady Justice is most similar to the Roman goddess Justitia. Justitia has become the ultimate symbol of justice in Western civilization. But she is not the Roman counterpart of Themis. Instead, Justitia’s Greek counterpart is Dike, who is Themis’ daughter.
In Roman art, Justitia is often depicted with the sword and scales alongside her sister Prudentia who holds a mirror and a snake.
The symbolism of the blindfold and scales is simple to understand, as is the sword which is the subject of this blog. Here's how the wesbite decribes what the sword represents:
In ancient times, a guilty verdict was executed with a literal swing of the sword on the neck of the accused. The symbolism is thus used to convey the idea that justice, when enforced, should be swift and with finality.
Swords likewise symbolize authority and respect, denoting that justice stands by its every ruling and decision. However, notice that Lady Justice’s sword is unsheathed, meaning justice is always transparent and is never just an implement of fear.
The double-edged blade of Lady Justice’s sword signifies that rulings can always go either way, depending on the circumstance and evidence presented by both parties.
Most readers of this blog have never seen the inside of a prison or a jail. I have. As a therapist I consulted with two sheriff's departments when they wanted assessments of inmates who they thought might be suicidal, and because I worked with corrections officers who needed counseling and was friends with the stress officer at a nearby state prison I was able to tour that facility several times. I was also a reserve police officer and when we arrested people we brought them to the county jail.
I have gone through the secure entryways and experienced being locked inside. Of course I knew I would get out in a short time, but I also could easily imagine what it was like for inmates who couldn't.
No matter their status in life they had to comply with prison rules. Their bosses were corrections officers.
Even if Trump went to prison he would have to do what corrections officers told him to do. He's used to servants and sycophants. While there were some who worked in the White House in high positions who ignored his orders (see "Mueller report shows Trump aides routinely ignored his orders on crucial matters"), at Mar-a-Lago when he tells a servant to jump they don't even ask "how high" before complying with his every wish. They already know how high to jump.
They would be gone if he went to prison.
Trump may be in pathological denial about this being a possible eventuality, although the closest I've seen to there being a fissure in his denial is that he's saying he'd keep running for president if he's in prison.
His underlings should understand that the only way they can avoid this fate if Jack Smith, Fani Willis, or Alvin Bragg has the goods on them is to flip on the man they once served. Even then, cutting a deal might only get them a lesser sentence.
The man in the background of illustration I put together for this blog carries a flag that says he'd die for Trump. While I doubt this is true, would he willingly join those who already are in prison for what they did on Jan. 6th? How many of those insurrectionists would have done what they did if they knew it would end them up behind bars?
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