It became routine. Incredible revelations would hit the papers, screens, and televisions of the United States, the public would learn that a president (or former president) did something unthinkable, inconceivable for any prior president, and believe; “Well, this is finally it. They have him now.” Then, nothing. It was as if he was untouchable.
But last week has been described as “catastrophic” for Trump, as described by The Guardian:
It included a rebuke from the supreme court over documents related to the 6 January insurrection which Trump incited; news that the congressional committee investigating the riot was closing in on Trump’s inner circle; evidence from New York’s attorney general of alleged tax fraud; and, perhaps most damaging of all, a request from a Georgia prosecutor for a grand jury in her investigation of Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
The week ended with the leaking of a document showing that Trump at least pondered harnessing the military in his attempts to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.
The revelations out of New York will have a profound impact in every case Trump faces. Generally speaking, evidence of bad acts in one case cannot be used as evidence in another, except where a pattern or M.O. seems to be established, The New York A.G.’s office released document after document demonstrating that Trump would lie/deny, write/say, whatever he needed in any situation to benefit himself.
Evidence of such could matter tremendously to the case in Georgia, where he may deny that they were not trying to “interfere” so much insist upon “accuracy” with the signatures, only to then be confronted with all the signatures and lies constituting the evidence in New York. It is possible – though it’s a stretch, that prosecutors will be able to point to New York and note the evidence of what the law calls “prior bad acts” that constitute a pattern of behavior. An inability, to tell the truth, is truly a stretch as an M.O. and yet it definitely does not help.
But if the January 6th matter is ever referred to DOJ, and the seditious conspiracy charges are on the line, those could be the charges in which Trump will deeply regret having so many examples near self-proving perjury available to the court as to consistently lying or taking whatever preposterous position he needs to take in order to benefit himself.
It is unlikely that New York would have already achieved some kind of perjury verdict or the type of crime that involves one’s moral or ethical make up (such as perjury, bank fraud, tax fraud, insurance fraud, etc) soon enough to make a big difference in possible charges pertaining to January 6th, but if New York is able to get such a verdict then elements of his behavior in New York may be introduced in a trial or the threat of a trial arising out of planning or participating in January 6th as a seditious act.
For now, the media and everyone else, for that matter, are merely absorbing the horrific revelations from last week. But the real damage will come if and when they begin to be linked and reinforce each other. None of this happens in a vacuum. Courts are careful to only admit evidence directly applicable to the crime charged in front of it, and generally don’t allow “He’s a bad guy!” type of stuff to come in as evidence. But document after document, lie after lie, possible perjury charges begin to form a pattern that may well then fit the type of exception where his dishonesty is admissible as evidence and may be considered by a court and jury.
The week was more catastrophic than most appreciate.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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