If he argues — assuming an indictment comes down — that he hadn’t intended for anything more than “patriotic” voices to be raised by his minions against “the steal” on Jan. 6 (an Afternoon of Infamy in our annals), then why did the former president do nothing for three-plus hours as it became abundantly clear that the lives of his vice president and those of other congressional legislators were in great danger?
Had he been shocked by the turn of events, rather than acquiescent to them, he would have walked down the hall and, as any responsible president would have done, gone on television in an attempt to restore order. No, at the ellipse he knew some in the mob were carrying weapons and paid it no mind, he knew his inflammatory speech had served only to further fuel the mob’s bloodlust, and thus his envoi, to “go peacefully and patriotically to make your voices heard,” rings hollow.
In other words, he was complicit. There might be some question as to which crime he should be alleged to have committed, but there’s little doubt, despite any claim of innocence or naïveté, that he committed one, and that, upon conviction, he should be barred from ever running for public office again.
A high school classmate of mine knowledgeable in the law has said Merrick Garland, should it come to it, would have a hard case to prove when it comes to establishing criminal intent, and that we should remember that all 12 jurors would have to agree as to culpability “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
I say the evidence as to criminal intent has been there all along, plain for all to see. Saying that all should go in peace and love, and things like that, don’t begin to cover up the malice that lies underneath.