Former President Donald Trump is in deep legal trouble that will keep getting worse. On June 5th, Special Counsel Jack Smith of the Justice Department indicted Trump on 37 felony charges concerning taking hundreds of government documents, many of them classified, lying about having them, and obstructing justice about it. If convicted on just a few of these charges, Donald Trump could spend the rest of his life in prison.
The main question about this, for me, has always been Trump’s motives for taking and refusing to return these classified government documents. To say it was only due to his penchant for being a pack rat, a hoarder, makes him look more stupid than I can accept. However, his attorneys told him he could go to prison for refusing to give the documents back to the National Archives; but a few of his advisors were telling Trump to continue being belligerent about it. That was the answer he wanted, and so that is what he has done. That reminds me of the biblical proverb that I sometimes applied to Trump on my blog while he was president: “There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14.12 NRSV).
Donald Trump has been the biggest liar I have ever seen. I said this many, many times in blog posts while he was president. Another biblical proverb says, “A false witness will not go unpunished, and a liar will not escape” (Proverbs 19.5). Escape what? In Trump’s case, maybe “escape prison.” Many legal analysts are now projecting that Donald Trump could go to prison. Even his former attorney general now says it.
When Republican nominee Donald Trump ran for president in 2016 against Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton, Trump and his followers were yelling concerning Ms. Clinton, former First Lady and Secretary of State, “lock her up.” It was about her misuse of government documents by using a private server for emails. The Justice Department, only weeks before the election, closed their investigation about it, finding Ms. Clinton innocent and exonerated her of wrongdoing. As she admitted later, it was an inadvertent “bonehead” mistake.
And after Trump won the election, as president both he and his voters continued to say “lock her up” about Ms. Clinton. While this was happening, I blogged three posts about Jesus’ teaching in his Sermon on the Mount about hypocritical judging and applied it to President Trump. According to Jesus, Trump would be judged with the same judgment that he judged Hilary Clinton about and thereby be exposed as a hypocrite. That is now happening with Trump and this classified government documents indictment.
William Barr was President Trump’s attorney general. He was Trump’s lap dog, always vouching for his behavior while president. In a brief document he wrote, he misrepresented the Mueller report– about possible Russian collusion in the 2016 election and Trump’s obstruction of justice in Mueller’s investigation of it–before it was released to the public. But Barr began to cut loose from Trump after he lost the 2020 election, and then Trump either fired him or he resigned that December. But after the Capitol riot occurred the next month, Barr went on the offensive against Mr. Trump and has been in the same mode ever since.
While Trump was president, I also constantly blogged that he was a psychologically sick man by being a classic narcissist. Barr now says the same thing. Today, on the televised “Face the Nation,” Republican William Barr said Donald Trump is a “consummate narcissist and he constantly engages in reckless conduct that puts his political followers and Republican agenda at risk.”
Since Trump is running for president again, and he leads in the polls for the Republican nomination, Barr added concerning Trump, “If he was in the White House again, he will always put his own interests and gratifying his own ego ahead of everything else, including the country’s interests. There’s no question about it. This is a perfect example of that,” referring to Trump’s so-called “mishandling” of government documents. Barr concluded concerning Trump’s possible reelection to the presidency, “our country can’t be a therapy session for a troubled man like this.”
Trump and many of his Republican supporters are claiming this federal indictment of the ex-president is political, thus not about justice. Barr addressed that today by saying the Justice Department “had no choice but to seek those documents.” Barr also has said in the past week that this 49-page indictment against Trump is “damning” in its mention of evidence against him. And Trump’s claim that the docs are “mine” as ex-president makes him, frankly, look insane.
So, in trying to discover Trump’s motives for taking the docs, lying about them, and obstructing justice about the federal investigation of them continues to be a mystery for me. I’ve wondered if it is as his former fix-it attorney Michael Cohen says, that Trump took the classified docs as possible leverage against his being incarcerated. That is, he could use them to commit extortion against federal and maybe state governments. That’s a pretty extreme suggestion. But it makes the most sense to me if Trump is not dumber or more psychologically impaired than I think he is.
What do you think?