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Trump Legal News: Flight of the Rat(s)

The Trump legal news has slowed a bit, but that doesn't mean it's stopped. There were a number of interesting developments yesterday, in fact.

To start, Trump and his 18 Georgia co-defendants have all pleaded not guilty. That's not really news, everyone knew they were going to do that. What is news is that some/most of the 18 have figured out that the person the long arm of the law is really trying to grab is Donald Trump, and that the correct play here is to flip on him. Among the rats who have decided to exit the sinking ship is Mark Meadows, who presumably knows... everything.

In the end, the logic of turning against the former president is impossible to ignore. The 18 are all badly exposed, and are probably going down, no matter how good their lawyers are. The only thing that fighting would do is expend vast amounts of money and lead to a longer sentence. Even if some of them are tempted to sacrifice themselves to protect Trump, he's almost certainly going down, too. So what's the point? Further, he's not a man to repay such a favor, not even by picking up the tab for legal fees. Add it up, and singing like a canary is really the only play. And better sooner than later, as the defendant who flips first will get the best deal.

Meanwhile, as Trump tries hard to drag his feet in the various venues, the U.S.S. Jack Smith keeps chugging along. CNN reported yesterday that he and his team have taken an interest in two issues not previously known to be on the radar: (1) efforts to breach voting machines in Georgia and in other states and (2) fundraising done based on claims of voter fraud, and which might itself be fraudulent. The former president might want to get himself into court ASAP, in hopes that Smith stops investigating. If Trump is actually able to get one or more trials moved to 2025, he might find that by then the Special Counsel has proof that he kidnapped the Lindbergh baby, killed all those women in London in 1888, and hijacked Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305.

The gears of justice are also grinding at 1 First St NE in Washington—that is, the U.S. Supreme Court building. We'll have much more to say about this next Tuesday, but it's abundantly clear that SCOTUS is going to have to straighten out this Fourteenth Amendment business. And it's surely better to do it before a presidential election, rather than during or after. This timeline creates a problem of standing, though, since private citizens aren't necessarily damaged by an ineligible person running for political office. Serving, yes. Running, no.

As it turns out, the standing issue is pretty easy to resolve. It's not hard to run for president in the United States; hundreds or thousands of people do it each cycle. And someone who is running for an office most certainly is damaged by, and has standing to sue, an ineligible opponent. And so, tax attorney John Castro has decided he is running for the Republican nomination for president. He has further decided that he should not be forced to compete with an ineligible candidate, such as Donald Trump. So, he's sued and, apparently, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

There is a little reluctance in that last paragraph because this should theoretically be big news, and yet the only mainstream outlet that has it is Newsweek, which is of only moderate quality. However, the Supreme Court's website says the case has been distributed to the justices, in anticipation of a conference to be held on the 26th of this month. And since it is only a matter of time until the Supremes get to deal with this anyhow, they surely think it's best to deal with it now. Add it up, and we think Newsweek has it right.

It must not be much fun to be a Mar-a-Lago employee these days. Trump does get the occasional good bit of legal news, mostly from the court of Aileen Cannon, but the vast majority of it is grim for him. The walls (and the bars) are clearly closing in, and he just can't be feeling good right now, regardless of the braggadocio he performs at his rallies. There's gotta be ketchup stains on, what, 75% of the walls at this point? (Z)

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