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Trump Legal News: Smooth Criminal

Most people, when facing criminal charges, either cop a plea or else prepare to defend themselves in court. Donald Trump is unwilling to do the former, and he's just gotten a reminder that the latter does not offer great odds for him. So, he's all-in on an option not available to 99.999999% of wrongdoers: a presidential self-pardon.

"Wait a minute," you might be saying right now. "A presidential pardon doesn't do him any good in the Georgia case, or the New York case." That is true... at the moment. But what Trump is pushing trained monkey/Speaker Mike Johnson to do is introduce a bill that would allow current or former presidents to automatically move all legal cases to federal court. That would then make the matter a "federal case," allowing Trump to invoke the pardon power, if he's reelected.

This is, quite obviously, a longshot plan. Actually, more like a long, long, long, longshot plan. First, it is unlikely that such a bill, even if Johnson brings it to the floor, would pass that chamber. There are some Republicans that don't want to be on record as effectively voting in support of "Trump can break any laws he wants." Even if the bill did pass the House, it's not getting past the Senate, nor is it getting a presidential signature. And even if we envision a future GOP trifecta, where the bill does become law, then Trump would need court rulings declaring that: (1) state cases moved to federal court really are federal cases and subject to the pardon power, and (2) presidents can self-pardon.

In short, this is almost certainly not a (literal) Get out of Jail Free card. So, why is Trump pursuing it? Maybe he's desperate. Or maybe his cognitive skills have declined to the point that he cannot see this is not a realistic course of action. Or maybe he just wants to force the Republican members of the House to take a vote that makes clear exactly where they stand vis-à-vis his felonious behavior, so he knows which of them get the Larry Hogan treatment. We favor explanation #3, but readers can reach their own conclusions.

Meanwhile, three more people in Trump's orbit were indicted yesterday. Attorney Ken "The Cheese" Chesebro, former state judge Jim Troupis, and GOP operative Mike Roman were all charged due to their involvement in the Wisconsin fake electors scheme. That's different from the Georgia fake electors scheme, the Arizona fake electors scheme, the Michigan fake electors scheme and the Nevada fake electors scheme, all of which have also produced criminal charges. Hard to imagine why Trump spends so much time and energy thinking of ways that he (and his cronies) can be exempted from having to, you know, abide by the law. (Z)

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