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Legal Experts Say It’s Time To Indict Donald Trump; Explain Evidence Of Intent

Legal Experts Say It’s Time To Indict Donald Trump; Explain Evidence Of Intent

Constitutional Professor Laurence Tribe is just one of the many legal experts who have been openly saying that there must be charges against Donald Trump for his role in the January 6th attack on Congress, and that delaying legal actions out of an abundance of caution is harmful and dangerous.

[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

Tribe has previously speculated that perhaps Attorney General Merrick Garland is holding back on an indictment for Trump due to concerns that he could evade justice due to the potential difficulty of proving intent, especially if the former President can convincingly create a narrative that he truly believed the 2020 election was “stolen.” Now in a new op-ed for the Guardian he and former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut lat out the reasons that they think the “abundance of caution” argument for delay is flawed, including why they believe there is sufficient evidence that Trump knew his Big Lie had no merit.

The attorneys offer 8 pieces of evidence in public knowledge (noting that additional not-yet-public evidence likely also exists) that should strongly support prosecution in demonstrating that Trump had the necessary “corrupt intent,” including the dozens of failed court cases, the many officials and advisors who told Trump as much, his praise of insurrectionists as “patriots” and his delay in shutting down the attack.

Willful ignorance, they assert, is legally the same as knowledge.

Former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman expressed a similar opinion in the LA Times last month, citing guidelines for federal prosecutions that say charges should proceed if two requirements are met: that the prosecutor has determined the individual committed a federal crime, and that there is sufficient evidence for a probable conviction.

“In Trump’s case, there really is no tenable conclusion other than that he urged on the demonstrators to provoke them to obstruct or impede the official congressional proceeding. Add to that the clear proof that he personally attempted to impede the proceeding by pushing Pence to illegally block the certification.”

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He, too, addresses the risk of a failed conviction, but concludes that “in Trump’s case, the need for national closure” is an argument in favor of prosecution without delay.

In response to concerns that he could be deliberately avoiding prosecution of Trump, A.G. Garland has said that his team is not bypassing cases that might be deemed political or controversial, but is starting with the most straightforward cases and working up from there.

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