Is an indictment worth it?

by | Mar 20, 2023 | Editor's Blog | 19 comments

This week appears to be the one where Donald Trump gets indicted and I don’t know how I feel about it. One side wants him in handcuffs no matter what. The other would, as Trump said, support him if he stood “in the middle of Fifth Avenue and [shot] somebody.” That’s not how justice is supposed to work. 

Trump’s indictment will be for paying hush money to a porn star to cover up his affair before an election. If he did it for purposes of protecting his campaign, then it seems like a campaign violation. If he did it to hide the affair from his wife and family, it seems like a personal matter. Seven years after the fact, who cares?

I think it’s a lousy reason to indict him. While I don’t think Trump should be above the law, I think we should look at political realities. In this environment, indicting a former president should be a slam dunk case, I don’t care what the grand jury says about probable cause. Campaign finance violations of this nature rarely result in convictions. Just look at John Edwards. 

In this case, the indictment and trial will just further divisions in our country. We’re about to see the country treat the episode like a sporting event. Both sides will further convince themselves of their righteousness. Trump may end up convicted but he’s not going to prison.

I will say, I find it pretty funny that the people defending Trump include evangelicals who consider themselves purveyors of morality. Whether Trump broke the law or not in paying off Stormie Daniels is questionable. That Trump is largely immoral or amoral is beyond dispute. On the other hand, the people who insisted Bill Clinton was railroaded are the ones cheering the indictment. Really, neither cares about the facts. One side wants him in jail and the other wants him in the White House. I think both will be disappointed, but we’ll pay a steep price for their zeal. 

If we’re really going to go through a trial with Trump, it should be over something that matters, not him screwing a porn star. What happened on January 6 needs accountability. If the special prosecutor finds enough evidence to indict Trump and/or senior members of his administration, that’s worth the pain of a trial. That indictment and trial may divide the country, but it will show that our democracy matters and protecting it is necessary. Campaign finance violations are not a threat to our country.

I know that presidents shouldn’t be above the law, but I also know that an indictment that looks partisan could do more damage to the country than trying to hold someone accountable for relatively minor crimes he may or may not have committed. The guy is innocent until proven guilty. And he’s never going to admit his guilt and his followers will always believe it’s political. Prosecuting campaign finance violations that happened seven years ago aren’t really in the best of interest of our politics or our country. Let’s wait for something that really matters.


  1. cocodog

    Donnie’s phony bravado is just that, nothing more than covering up his fear of the inevitable, as he knows each day he wakes up he is another day closer to going to jail, and or suffering financial ruin. Although, Trump is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, he is smart enough to know what is coming down the pike.

  2. cocodog

    Yea, can’t Wait to see Fat Donnie doing the perp walk! But that is just the beginning, Georgia, than the Feds ! Yes, there is a Santa !!!!

    • cocodog

      But the real joke, is how easy it is for The Donnie to grift money from his lame followers.

  3. Wayne

    Democrats are drooling with a collective orgasm over the prospects of seeing Donald Trump perp-walked in handcuffs, and yet—in their usual, shrieking ignorance—they utterly fail to comprehend the bottomless stupidity, and the dangerously incompetent idiocy, that BIDEN’S politics, policies, and personal failures have visited upon the United States. Nossir, they say—we gotta get RID of the Big, Bad Ol’ Orange Guy! Meanwhile, America goes to hell in a handbasket.

    There is no longer a southern border to the United States, but Biden’s flunkies are worried about ‘existential climate change’. Literally and provably, tens of thousands of illegal, undocumented aliens from over a hundred countries are poring thru from Mexico, but Biden is more worried that an ice cap might melt in 5 years? Yeah, sure.

    Russian and China are in a partnership that threatens the sovereignty, strength, and the security of the United States—but Biden’s ‘woke’ agenda declares that climate change, and diversity, equity, and inclusion in our Armed Forces is waaaaay more important than having a superior military fighting force. Gee—what could possibly go wrong with that! Better start brushing up on your ‘Mandarin For Dummies’ handbook, folks!

    I’ll tell you what: maybe Trump DID have a scandalous affair with a porn star, and maybe somebody might’ve paid her off to shut her up. Heck, we know from recent history that even Bill Clinton did that! No politician is above temptation. (anybody remember NC Democrat John Edwards…?)

    But—yaaaknowww…at least, IF Trump did have such an affair, it was with an actual woman, and he wasn’t promoting ‘inclusion’ and ‘diversity’ with a cross-dressing queer in gaudy make-up, sashaying around in vulgar drag shows in front of little kids in a library. At least TRUMP knows the difference between males and females! And Gee—maybe THAT’S the REAL problem—ol’ Donny wasn’t ‘inclusive’ enough, and we all know what a threat to our Democracy THAT is! (…because, for Democrats, EV’rything is a (quote/unquote) ‘threat to our democracy’. Apparently Democrats think we live in a democracy.) You guys need to take up a hobby or something… no one takes Democrats seriously anyway. Instead of playing ‘Hail To The Chief’ when Biden walks in somewhere, they oughta just play “Here Come The Clowns’….

    • Vicki Aderman

      To quote SNL, “Wayne you ignorant sl_t”.

  4. Mike

    Thanks for running that photo of the orange freak. What a pleasure it has been to walk into airport news stands the last couple years and not see the ugly, bloated, scowling face of Putin’s fascist puppet.

  5. Bill Gibson

    Yes, upholding “the rule of law” is crucially important. But perhaps the shrewdest thing Mr. Bragg could do is to put the indictment on hold for a few months (unless prohibited from doing so by relevant statutory law or the US Constitution’s Due Process clause). This could give both the Georgia prosecutor and the DOJ special counsel the opportunity to go after The Donald with their own indictments about far more serious issues. This would also give several other ongoing civil matters already in litigation a chance to bear fruit. Then, Bragg would be in an even better position to add his charge to the pile — and to obtain a conviction or two.
    Bill Gibson, Attorney-at-Law (retired)

    • cocodog

      The Statute could run. The previous DA was hobbled by Trumps AG’s request to not indict a sitting president. I think the statute should be tolled under these circumstances .

  6. CN Poulos

    I want him indicted and imprisoned for all of it: Racketeering, conspiracy, sedition, treason…the list goes on and on. He really needs that jumpsuit that will match his skin. And he needs to be raging behind bars where he can do no more harm. I don’t give a crap what his supporters think. They went to bed with that piece of detritus.

  7. Leonard Prosnitz

    Tom, I am with you on this one. The hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, in and of itself is a misdemeanor at most. It becomes a felony when linked to campaign finance violations, bu that has not previously been tested in court, according to what I have read.When and if Trump is indicted, it should indeed be a slam dunk and there are many crimes from which to choose, all of them more signficant then payments to a porn star.

  8. cocodog

    Well, Trump’s attempt to solicit civil unrest from his army of near do wells and whack jobs has miserably failed. Only ten to fifteen Trump warriors showed up today to protest an arrest that did not happen. Could it be his old reliable thugs are currently doing time or being held at a local mental hospital for pretrial observation. Poor old Fat Donnie, when he finally dose the funky chicken maybe Thursday or Friday, the only folks there will be cops. Sad!

  9. Lu E. Huntley

    Will trump just go away? So tired of the “ick” of him.

    • Tommy

      me too!

  10. ringlet86

    Looks weak, and a desperate move. With all the other crap that seemingly EVERY OTHER politician and their toadies have done. This is stupidly long.

    This is what is worth prosecuting? Nothing else by anyone else. but this?


    Clown World.

    Honk Honk.

  11. Wayne

    It’s worth reminding emotionally-challenged Democrats that—exactly as Mills and so many others have pointed out—no one, not even a President—is above the law. Remember Nancy Pelosi smugly pointing that out thru her shaky, alcoholic haze? Yeah…we all do, don’t we?

    It’s ALSO worth noting Mills’ observation that Trump will never admit to any guilt, and Trump followers will always simply believe that any prosecution (persecution?) of him is likely driven by pure politics.

    Mills also makes the observation that Trump is ‘largely immoral or amoral’, and that such an observation is ‘beyond dispute’. Heck, virtually the entire Biden clan is now known to be comprised of liars and grifters, and you’re calling TRUMP immoral….?? Talk about the pot calling the kettle…..!

    Need I remind ANY of you, that—given the character observations noted about Trump, and given the axiom that no one is above the law—does it occur to ANY of you that Joe Biden is likely to be found HIGHLY compromised by Hunter Biden’s tawdry financial associations, let alone ALL of the Biden’s now-revealed compensations from foreign governments and foreign business entities??

    Doesn’t it occur to ANY of you that the persecution of Trump is purely politically motivated, simply because he represents an existential threat to the liberal/progressive Marxism which the Democrat Party is now embracing? Clearly, Donald Trump is no choir boy, and quite obviously, Trump’s character leaves a lot to be desired.

    But—the Bidens…?? Hel-LOOoooo….? Are ANY of you listening to ANYthing besides CNN and MSNBC? FoxNews may be off your radar, but the evidence FoxNews commentators present is mounting up, folks. The Biden clan is facing some SERIOUSLY scandalous, and SERIOUSLY jaw-dropping investigations into THEIR ‘largely immoral’ and THEIR indisputably criminal behavior.

    So, here’s a gentle reminder for you: NO President, nor anyone else for that matter, is above the law. Stay tuned—it’s going to ugly!

    • JB

      B-b-b-butt BENGHAZI! But her emails! But what about literally anybody else but Trump? Like a bunch of whiny third graders on the playground crying about “He started it!” God what a petulant mob of losers.

      Yeah I plead guilty to not being able to stand the guy. But I couldn’t stand him when he was a Democrat donating to both Clintons either.

      Honestly, there isn’t anything I want more than to have Fat Donny Two-Times vanish into a black hole somewhere, taking all of his greasy children and political sycophants with him. But if that can’t happen, a lifetime supply of orange coveralls will do as a substitute. And whatever charge gets him there first is fine with me. In four years he accomplished exactly one thing— a 2-trillion dollar hand job for the richest people in the country. And a half million dead Americans later, we had to practically fumigate the White House to get him out of there, and then make another million dollars worth of repairs to the Capitol when people like you decided to shit on the rug.

      Well your hero has shut his last floor, and his willing he’ll be stinking up a 6×9 space for the remainder of his days.

      • m

        ^^^^ this ^^^^
        Rebuttal to a Cultist. Thank you.

  12. Jay Ligon

    I’m surprized by your column.

    The ex-president bought years of forebearance by claiming that he could not be prosecuted because he was president, a specious but effective claim. New York was told to stand down its investigation into the matter (as a separate sovereign) by William Barr, Trump’s personal lawyer and attorney general running interference for Trump. The federal government claimed its privilege to preempt the state prosecution. New York acquiesed. Barr was not truthful to New York; he squelched both the federal and state investigations as a show of obeisance to Trump. Both investigations were stopped by Barr.

    Being president bought Trump years of non-prosecution even after Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen did prison time for the illegal payments to Stormy Daniels. It is quite clear that Trump lied about his relations with the porn star, that his lawyer arranged payment for services afterwards, that the payments were hidden to make his candidacy more viable, and that his lawyer did not pay Stormy Daniels for his own relations with her. The evidence of the transaction is in slam dunk territory. Both Cohen and Daniels have direct knowledge of Trump’s sexual tryst and payments to buy her silence. Felon Allen Weisselberg, accountant for Trump, may or may not wish to confirm the payments after he finishes his term in Rykers Island, but he also has direct knowledge of the transactions. Like thousands of Americans, maybe, millions, I have a copy of the checks. They are floating on the internet. They bear his distinctive Sharpie signatures. It would not take much of a lawyer to prove his relations with the porn star.

    The only question is the matter of his intention. He makes two claims. One is that he doesn’t know her and never had sex with her. Really? The second is that he paid her off, not to impact the election, but to conceal the indiscretion from his wife and family. That would be a question of credibility for a jury. Trump’s credibility? Trump, a notorious cheap skate, paid off someone he never met for sexual relations he never had? We are a nation of 330 million people, and about half are women. That defense makes Trump vulnerable to 165 million women who he never met and never had sex with. Is my check in the mail?

    Trump’s contempt for the rule of law and his Teflon coating have people who yearn for a return to normalcy ready to jail him for spitting on the sidewalk. But he isn’t charged for minor offenses.

    Trump’s post-presidency will include many court dates a consequence of breaking so many laws so many ways. And now he doesn’t have the office of the presidency and Bill Barr as a shield to protect him from his criminality. He may be indicted in Georgia any day now. He has a rape trial/defamation trail scheduled next month. A civil case brought by the police officers who were maimed on January 6th is working it way through the courts. His business was convicted for the scheme to avoid taxes by his top executives (Allen Weisselberg is serving his time now.) He faces charges from his scheme to avoid taxes by inflating the value of his properties and deflating those same values when he had to pay taxes. Lying to lenders to obtain loans while lying about the same properties to the tax authorities to pay a lower tax bill are frauds and felonies in the United States.

    Trump left the White House with a treasure trove of classified documents which he kept at his beach house in Florida. He refused to return them to the National Archives, where they belonged. He lied about having them. His lawyers lied about having them He was asked for them repeatedly and he refused to return them. Finally, the FBI was sent to get them back. Still more documents kept popping up, and no one knows whether there are still more out there somewhere, and no one knows why Trump needs to possess these documents or what he planned to do them. But he violated the law and has put the nation’s secrets in jeopardy.

    Trump and his family are barred from running charities in New York because they collected money on behalf of charitable interests and spent the money on themselves.

    He was not charged for violation of the emoluments clause for opening a business down the street from the White House in violation of the Constitutional prohibition against it. The news reported multiple instances of foreign and domestic interests using his hotel and bar as a means of pouring cash into his pockets for the purpose of gaining government favors in exchange. He violated that law every day of his presidency without consequence.

    The Stormy Daniels affair was a wide-ranging conspiracy involving a payment scheme that included National Enquirer’s owner David Pecker. Pecker also paid off another of Trump’s girlfirend former Playboy model.Karen McDougal who received $150,000 in hush money before the election. Pecker was involved in the Stormy Daniels hush money case. These were elaborate payment mechanisms established to avoid public scrutiny so that a man could run for the nation’s highest office without his tawdry past dogging him. Trump’s sexual proclivities are a rich vein of inquiry as he was friends with the Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. They had a common interest in enticing young women into sexual situations. He bragged about his perversions on the Howard Stern Show repeatedly. He was able to keep the affairs out of public view using these murky payment schemes.

    The argument that prosecutions should be avoided where they will rile up Trump’s base is a non-starter. Trump’s base would stick with him no matter what he does. They are cult members who cannot understand the law or facts and they don’t want to know. The are ready to grab their spears and guns at any moment.

    The rule of law cannot shrink from the threats of the deluded and the duped. We believe in the rule of law or we don’t. Criminals never want to be arrested, tried or convicted. They never want to do the time. Most criminals do not have $ billions, or a string of hotels or an army of anti-American killers. This one does. But we must remind him that if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

  13. cocodog

    Tom, I could not agree with you more. Frivolous prosecutions without a doubt do not serve the interest of justice. (example those 200 cases Trump’s folks filed to promote the big lie) But the facts surrounding this case led me to believe there is nothing frivolous. Justice in its broader sense is respect for the rules of society. Trump has engaged in activities that show extraordinarily little respect. In his mind he is above the law that applies to the ordinary person. People unlike himself. However, a person cannot be prosecuted for conduct that is not directly related to the criminal act. Trump admits he paid off Stormy but did it as he did not want his wife to learn about the affair. He is coloring himself as a victim of blackmail. This is a guy who simultaneously continued another affair with a former Playboy Bunny, who he also attempted to coverup by throwing money at! Both these affairs show a total disregard for the sanctity of the institution of marriage. Moreover, extramarital affairs are not something new to Trumps world. Of course, this is a matter for a jury, but one could safely say that Trumps payoffs were prompted by a desire to paint a false picture of his moral values for those religiously inspired folks. If this is the case, he should be prosecuted. The integrity of our political system should be above suspicion. If anything, this case will make it painfully clear that The Donald is not the moral crusader he attempts to promote for his followers of true believers. He is and has been all his life the little rich kid who dose what he wants, whenever he wants, and daddy will throw money at it to make it go away.

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