On Friday, Donald Trump posted a warning on his boutique social media network, warning that if he is indicted that could result in death and destruction. Then he added that only a degenerate psychopath would do such a thing. No doubt Alvin Bragg, Fani Willis, and Merrick Garland immediately started quaking in their boots. Maybe special counsel Jack Smith, too, but he doesn't have the final decision on indictments.
Also quaking in their boots are Trump's lawyers. With that statement, Trump accomplished a couple of things:
A good prosecutor could probably find a few more crimes there as well. Trump probably won't be indicted for any of the above, but the pattern of threatening people could be used against him in the Georgia cases in which he threatened election officials. His lawyers probably ought to have a chat with him suggesting that they have enough work trying to figure out how to defend him for the crimes he has already committed without adding new ones to the list and also making it harder to defend him for the old ones. Or maybe they could simply say: "When you are an a hole, stop digging." Er, we mean, "When you are IN a hole, stop digging."
Will any of the prosecutors be deterred by the threat? Of course not, although they may beef up office security just before issuing their respective indictments. It is doubtful that Trump really expected any of them to throw in the towel and back down. More likely, he is now in the mode of a trapped animal who has been backed into a corner and is just lashing out as a last resort. Suppose there is a riot when any of the indictments come down and there is destruction and people die. Is that going to help him legally? Of course not. Will it help him politically? We can't imagine it. His base may lap up all the he-man threats, but moderate Republicans and independents are just going to be reminded about what they don't like about Trump.
What amazes us the most is that there is no one in Trump's inner circle who has told him how much damage he is doing by this kind of remark. The lawyers could tell him, but he probably doesn't listen to him. What about Ivanka or Jared? They surely understand the danger he is putting himself in. But maybe they are afraid of getting sucked in and (inadvertently) committing a crime themselves. What about Melania? Her son Barron turned 17 last week. She's not going to stick her neck out in any way until Barron is at least 18 and maybe not until he has graduated from college. For all we know, she might be happy to see her husband carted away and put in prison. Toward the end of his term as president, she lived in Potomac, MD, with Barron and her parents, not in the White House. A lovey-dovey couple they are not. There may not be anyone willing to tell Trump to cut it out. So he rants on and on.
Actually, one person did suggest to Trump to stop it, but he is not in the inner circle and carries no weight with Trump. When Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Trump's television lawyer Joe Tacopina yesterday about whether he would advise a client to attack a prosecutor, Tacopina said it was "ill-advised." Todd was referring to this photo Trump sent out:
Yeah. Tacopina doesn't think threatening a prosecutor or suggesting that your fans do it is a bright idea. He must have picked this up at the Quinnipiac University School of Law. See, they do other things there besides run polls at Quinnipiac. (V)