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Guest column: Looking down the dark tunnel

by By Thomas Alan Kragh for The Lake County Leader
| January 21, 2021 12:30 AM

In these turbulent times, it is difficult to definitely predict our future as a people and nation, but I believe we can credibly say several things of both actual fact and professional opinion with a good degree of confidence. These include:

  • If not before, on Jan. 20, 2021, at 12:01 p.m. Donald Trump will not be president of the United States.
  • Before Trump leaves office he will have signed a host of pardons, perhaps some of them undisclosed “pocket pardons” to include: himself, Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani.
  • Within a fairly short period of time after Trump becomes a private citizen, federal prosecutors, with the full authorization of the U.S. Department of Justice, will empanel a D.C. federal grand jury to investigate and take evidence relating to potential federal crimes committed, among others, by Trump, Trump Jr. and Giuliani.
  • At the conclusion of its investigation, the grand jury will return true bills indicting Trump, Trump Jr. and Giuliani for the commission of various federal conspiracy or abetting inciting offences, including sedition. Defendants Trump, Trump Jr. and Giuliani will then be ordered into D.C. federal court to answer to the Indictments.
  • At that point, these defendants will produce their pardons, which they will have accepted despite an implied admission of guilt, and demand the judge dismiss, with prejudice, all charges. The pardons are their “get out of jail free cards.” The federal pardons are no bar to state criminal and civil charges sure to come.
  • The federal judge will stay the proceedings and take the motions under advisement pending decision.
  • The judge will likely grant the motions to dismiss as to Trump Jr. and Giuliani. It is apparently the law, even if justice is denied.
  • The Judge will deny the pardon motion as applied to Trump. The general basis for the denial will be that “no man is above the law” and Trump cannot forgive his own crimes. America has no absolute king and no person can be their own judge and jury.
  • Trump will certainly appeal the denial up the federal judicial ladder and will ultimately lose in the Supreme Court by a unanimous 9-0 decision. Back to the federal trial court he goes, and it will not be pleasant for him.

Social media is once again running ablaze with calls to arms for a second coup attempt by emboldened domestic terrorists. Have no illusions, democracy can be killed and is most always led from within by authoritarian demagogues and their allegiant cult followers. Standing up and being counted in resistance to that onslaught rests within and upon each and all of us.

Please be valiant guardians of our fragile democracy and keep the light of hope in your hearts.

Thomas Alan Kragh resides in Polson.