Don’t Miss The Import Of Jack Smith’s Comments About Jan. 6

INSIDE: Donald Trump ... Elena Kagan ... Kathleen McElroy
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 1: Special Counsel Jack Smith announces indictment of former President Donald Trump during a press conference on August 1, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post ... WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 1: Special Counsel Jack Smith announces indictment of former President Donald Trump during a press conference on August 1, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Context Matters

In his brief 2-minute remarks at Main Justice Tuesday, Special Counsel Jack Smith placed the new indictment of former President Trump squarely in the context of the hundreds of other federal prosecutions related to the Jan. 6 attack.

Here’s the key line from Smith:

Since the attack on our Capitol, the Department of Justice has remained committed to ensuring accountability for those criminally responsible for what happened that day. This case is brought consistent with that commitment.

In tying this case directly to the Capitol attack and the other prosecutions – even though the charges against Trump don’t yet include seditious conspiracy or anything akin to incitement to riot – Smith has made this prosecution the ultimate prize as DOJ worked its way up the ladder from random rioters to Oath Keepers and Proud Boys to the White House itself.

For the federal judges in DC who have handled dozens of Jan. 6 cases each, the context is clear. Trump is the big fish. And his conduct will be judged with that broader context firmly in mind. So too will sentencing occur in the context of the hefty prison terms handed down for the worst of the rioters and the right-wing extremist groups who formed an initial vanguard for the attack.

Remember Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes has the longest prison sentence to date: 18 years. No federal judge in DC could sentence Trump without having that context firmly in their minds.

The Third Trump Arraignment

  • WaPo: Packed courtroom, somber defendant. A recap of Donald Trump’s arraignment
  • NYT: Four takeaways from Trump’s court appearance.
  • Bloomberg: Trump’s ‘Very Sad Day for America’ Went About as Expected
  • Politico: Donald Trump, Jack Smith and a historic glance


Jarring Moment

CNN reported that rival campaigns were complaining that Trump sucks up all the oxygen – while CNN was using O.J.-style coverage of Trump motorcading from the airport to the DC federal courthouse live with a reporter and cameraperson embedded.

When A Trial?

  • Politico: “Depending on whom you ask, Donald Trump’s trial on charges that he sought to subvert the 2020 election could happen in 70 days. Or in three years.”
  • TPM’s Josh Marshall: “[I]t’s clear that pushing the trial out past the election is an almost existential goal for Trump and his lawyers.”

Who Is Co-Conspirator 6?

The identity of the sixth unindicted co-conspirator remains unconfirmed, but a couple of clues as to who it is NOT.

And So It Goes …

WaPo: Jeffrey Clark is GOP star after trying to use DOJ to overturn election

Still Can’t Get Enough?

Here’s some more reading on the latest Trump indictment:

  • Just Security: The principal author of the Jan. 6 committee report compares it to the Trump indictment
  • Empty Wheel: The Elements Of Offense In The Trump Jan. 6 Indictment

Kagan: SCOTUS Struggling To Agree On Ethics Code

A couple of key quotes from a public appearance by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan at the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in Portland, Oregon:

“It’s not a secret for me to say, we’ve been discussing this issue, and it won’t be a surprise to know that the nine of us have a variety of views about this — and about most things,” Kagan said, drawing laughter from hundreds of lawyers and judges attending a judicial conference. “We’re nine freethinking individuals.”

“It just can’t be that the court is the only institution that somehow is not subject to checks and balances from anybody else. We’re not imperial. … Can Congress do various things to regulate the Supreme Court? I think the answer is: yes.”

Tennessee Three Members Re-Elected

Expelled Tennessee Democratic state Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones were overwhelmingly re-elected to the House in special elections.

Justice Done

Six white former Mississippi sheriff’s deputies pleaded guilty to federal civil rights violations for torturing two Black men in January.

Stand Strong

The College Board would not bend to Florida’s demand to change sections of the AP race, gender, and sexual orientation – and then recommended that Florida schools no longer offer the class.

What A Fiasco

Texas A&M has reached a $1 million settlement with Kathleen McElroy, the Black journalism professor from the University of Texas whom it tried to hire then jerked around under pressure from regents and out of fear of a backlash from conservative lawmakers.

Noted In Passing

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has granted power of attorney for legal matters to her daughter.

Remembering An Alt-Weekly Legend

Phoenix New Times co-founder Jim Larkin, a feisty, relentless, fearless publisher in his heyday, has died of suicide just a week before his re-trial on federal criminal charges related to his prior ownership of Backpage. A previous prosecution ended in a mistrial.

Uh-Oh …

WaPo: The world just got its first real taste of what life is like at 1.5 degrees Celsius

Small Silver Linings

ZAPORIZHZHIA, UKRAINE – JULY 28: The sandy riverbed can be seen below the Zaporizhzhia hydroelectric dam, as Ukrainians cope with dramatic changes to their landscape after Russia blew up the Kakhovka Dam on June 6, which emptied the miles-long reservoir behind it, causing extensive flooding downstream, and lowering water levels of the Dnipro River, which has left boats, docks, and industries dependent on the water struggling in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on July 28, 2023. (Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images)

The destruction of Ukraine’s Kakhovka dam and the resultant draining of the reservoir behind it has exposed a wealth of artifacts for archaeologists.

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