By Hal Brown
These are the words he used:
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“God bless you all. I never thought anything like this could happen in America,” he said, adding that the only crime he’s committed is trying “to defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it.”
Jack Smith might ask the jury that if Trump literally stood on a gallows, put a noose around Mike Pence's neck, and opened the trapdoor under his feet, and then said he didn't commit a crime because he was defending the nation, did this justify what he did.
Trump, it has been pointed out by some in the media, already admitted he took the documents (saying that he could do so because he could declassify them just by thinking the thought) even though taking any documents, top secret or not, is against the law. (See "Trump appears to concede he illegally retained official documents'")
This will make things easy for Jack Smith to indict on the Mar-a-Lago documents case. It shows that Trump knew all about taking the documents, supposedly thinking he had a right to do so, and once he was disabused of this false belief or claim, still refused to return them. This is obstruction, a serious felony. Add all this together we have Michael Jordan levels of several game winning slam dunks for Jack Smith.
This is one of the two cases Smith is working on. From what we know it is seems to be easy to win.
The other federal case is Trump's involvement and legal culpability in the January 6th insurrection. This may include things he did on the days prior to January 6th, but centers around how he incited the audience at his rally earlier in the day to march to the Capitol and engage in a violent attempt to stop Mike Pence from certifying the election of President Biden.
His statement is an admission of culpability in committing a crime, really crimes, far more significant than the admission in the documents case. It is an admission that he is aware he has committed crimes related to everything he did in an attempt to remain in power despite losing the election. This goes far beyond just trying to find the extra votes in Georgia through fraud. It involves inciting, aiding, and abetting the Jan. 6th insurrection, and an attempt to undermine the Constitution and the peaceful transfer of powers.
These are the only "crimes" that could be what he said would involve his "fearlessly" defending the nation from those seeking to destroy it.
A jury hearing and reading the many hyperbolic claims that Trump made without him as president the country would be destroyed ought to be persuaded to take him at his words.
In the "only crime I committed" statement he is admitting that he knew what he did to remain in power was a crime.
Jack Smith isn't the only prosecutor for whom Trump has offered up a prosecutorial ammunition on a silver platter. Not only does Fani Willis have a tape of Trump asking Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to recalculate the state's vote in his favor, but Trump said it was an "absolutely PERFECT (sic) call."
Trump has two years where he'll be slogging though one legal tarpit after another. Through this period he will be trying to put on his warrior face as a fearless presidential candidate.
He's set up this Superman image of himself in his iconography (see the illustration of some of his digital trading cards) and his self-aggrandizing rally speeches and rhetorical like "I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed: I am your retribution” from his CPAC speech.
Trump will have to strike a pose of being the aggrieved victim without looking like he is experiencing the least bit of fear. Lindsay Graham can get tearful on his behalf, but don't expect Trump's eyes to moisten let alone shed a tear. I have my doubts if his tear ducts are even functional.
No matter how stressed out or anxious he may be feeling - or not be feeling (see below for two previous blogs about what Trump may or may not feel) it is important to note that denial is a primitive defense mechanism. It is brittle and the one most easily to shatter when hit by the ball-peen hammer of reality.
As his legal woes metastasize like various types of cancer from the equivalent of a squamish cell lesion which is uncomfortably treated but easily cured to the aggressive and deadly brain known as glioblastoma which took John McCain's life.
We may not know for some time what Jack Smith will charge Trump with, if anything. However, if it is something akin to inciting a resurrection in an attempt to overturn an election sticking with the cancer metaphor, for Trump this will be the near equivalent of having to try to survive a stage four malignancy.