As far as Democrats and the media are concerned, Donald Trump is guilty. Meanwhile, Republicans are divided between those who assert he is the victim of a “witch hunt,” and “Never Trumpers” who say he is guilty as charged.
A former friend turned adversary, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, argues that Trump likely will be found guilty. Christie, a former U.S. attorney in the second Bush administration, thinks it’s over for the former president.
“This is deadly. It’s done,” Christie said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “He’s going to be convicted. It’s over.”
Former AG Barr: J6 Case Has Merit
Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr similarly stated in August that the January 6th case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith had merit.
“From a prosecutor’s standpoint, I think it’s a legitimate case,” Barr said, claiming that it was not simply a First Amendment matter of Trump protesting election results he did not like. “This involved a situation where the states had already made the official and authoritative determination as to who won in those states and they sent the votes and certified them to Congress,” Barr continued. “The allegation, essentially, by the government is that at that point, the president conspired, entered into a plan, a scheme, that involved a lot of deceit, the object of which was to erase those votes, to nullify those lawful votes.”
Barr argued, “The other elements were the substitution of bogus panels — that were not authorized panels — to claim that they had alternative votes … And that was clearly wrong, and the certifications they signed were false. But then pressuring the vice president to use that as a pretext to adopt the Trump votes and reject the Biden votes or even to delay it — it really doesn’t matter whether it’s to delay it or to adopt it or to send it to the House of Representatives. You have to remember a conspiracy crime is completed at the time it’s agreed to and the first steps are taken. That’s when the crime is complete.”
Trump Faces Uphill Battle
Such statements overlook the fact that the accused has a say in the trial. Even so, Trump faces an uphill fight in Washington, D.C., with its overwhelmingly Democratic-inclined electorate. During his watch, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had the street leading up to the White House renamed “Black Lives Matter Plaza.” New York similarly offers serious obstacles for Trump, and a jury already found him liable for sexually abusing writer E. Jean Carroll.
Donald Trump Needs Fair Hearing
“The criminal-justice system is built from the ground up to protect defendants’ rights, even while seeking to punish them,” American Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Adam J. White writes. “The canonical account of our criminal-justice system, after all, is Blackstone’s: ‘For the law holds, that it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.’
“‘The reason is,’ John Adams added in 1770, “because it’s of more importance to community, that innocence should be protected, than it is, that guilt should be punished,.’”
Trump’s opponents should resist the temptation to support the prosecution’s arguments at every turn.
“In those moments, there will be immense temptation to repeat many of Trump’s own worst impulses: to attack judges’ motives, to delegitimize judges as political hacks, to demand that the courts lock him up,” White writes. “But to support the legitimacy of the process, they will need to act with less prosecutorial zeal and more detached judgment, precisely to prove that such judgments are still possible.”
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.