Will Donald J. Trump face criminal charges?

TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2022

Also, will the nation survive: Years ago, we made an announcement:

"It's all anthropology now," we memorably said.

By that, we meant that our nation's systems (such as they were) had fallen apart to such an extent that there was little hope for recovery. All that was left was an intellectual challenge—the challenge of understanding how our all-too-human behavior had brought us to this place.

In part, we weren't being fully honest with readers at that time. We still hadn't revealed the source of our various award-winning insights. 

Those insights were coming to us from spokespersons for Future Anthropologists Huddled in Caves, a group of deeply disconsolate, award-winning scholars who report to us from the years which follow the global conflagration they refer to, without explanation, only as "Mister Trump's War." 

As we later acknowledged, they communicate through the nocturnal submissions the haters refer to as dreams. 

We channel the work of those experts. We're waiting to see what they'll have to say about the letters which appear in today's New York Times under this eye-catching heading:

Will the Jan. 6 Hearings Lead to a Trump Indictment?

Should Donald J. Trump be indicted for some sort of crime? Our personal view tends to tilt toward this gloomy thought:

The day that Donald J. Trump is indicted is the day the war begins.

Speaking more broadly, we're constantly amazed by the warren of upscale commentators whose coven meets under the auspices of Nicolle Wallace's daily two-hour show, Deadline: White House.

(We agree. The title of the two-hour show has never exactly made sense.) 

Wallace's group of "favorite reporters and friends" operate under this somewhat startling rubric: The criminalization of everything. 

They look for ways to get rival elites thrown in jail, successfully sued, forced to testify under oath, forced to recuse themselves from something, and perhaps given parking tickets.

They seem to care about nothing else. They seem to care about no one except The Others—those found in the rival elite.

We're often amazed by how parochial their field of vision seems to be. They show no sign of caring about the various problems which beset average people not of their high social class and income group.

Alas! "This is the way the human brain is wired," we're told by those disconsolate experts in those nocturnal seminars. According to those despondent scholars, we humans are wired for tribal conflict and for little else.

Our view? Our failing blue tribe is deeply involved in the attempt to solve a very large political problem by an array of legal means. We're disinclined to think that it can be done. Also, we don't like sending people to jail.

Who invented Donald J. Trump? Many of the people our tribe loves best played leading roles in the development of that deeply disordered being. 

We did this too, President Lincoln once said. We think our blue team tends to be deeply unwise, and has been so for quite a long time.

Today, we liberals love George Conway. Back when we were starting this site, Conway was one of the elves.

He was hard at work with Coulter and Drudge, chasing Bill Clinton around and finally achieving impeachment. You won't be told a word of that as you watch Morning Joe.

More on Conway to follow. For the record, we aren't in favor of locking him up. Not even Willie and Joe!

Laurence Tribe's doom and gloom: On Saturday night, Professor Tribe appeared on MSNBC. Near the end of his interview segment, he offered this:

TRIBE (6/11/22): What [Merrick Garland] has to do is make a very difficult choice. A lot of people who think it's easy underestimate the existential significance of indicting a former president. 

Still speaking of Garland, Professor Tribe said this:

TRIBE: Many people are telling him that it would cause deep unrest, violent reaction, maybe even civil war, for the popular former president to be indicted. What he'll have to do is ask whether the costs to the country, in terms of having this repeat itself, and in terms of having us absolutely go down the tubes as a democracy, whether those outweigh the undoubted complicated costs of indicting a former president. That's the balance that I think he will be struggling with.

It's unlikely that you'll see this viewpoint debated on Deadline: White House. In our view, Professor Tribe may know what we need, but Wallace knows what we want.

Tribe says it's clear that Trump has committed "serious federal crimes." We have no idea, but we think this is a major political problem, one our vastly self-impressed tribe has helped created over the past sixty years.

Also, we don't like sending people to jail. For Professor Tribe's fuller remarks, you can just click here


  1. "Tribe says it's clear that Trump has committed "serious federal crimes.""

    But of course he does, dear Bob: Tribe is a mere hack of your liberal tribe.

    Anyhow, we have little doubt that every politician (possible rare exceptions notwithstanding) has committed serious crimes. That's the nature of the beast, dear Bob.

    Throwing 'em bastards in jail, however, is a completely different matter, that, you're right, is likely to lead to collapse.

    But then Donald The Commander is a different case altogether, because he dares to challenge the establishment. Hated by the establishment, the whole establishment. So here, we're afraid, anything's possible. Let us wait and see...

  2. "By that, we meant that our nation's systems (such as they were) had fallen apart to such an extent that there was little hope for recovery. All that was left was an intellectual challenge—the challenge of understanding how our all-too-human behavior had brought us to this place."

    What a load of crap this is! Try speeding and having a traffic camera catch you in the act and see how much our "systems" have broken down. Look how quickly the government was able to get stimulus checks into the hands of struggling people during the pandemic. No evidence of a huge breakdown there. Look how the Fed has raised interest rates at the first signs of inflation! No breakdown there either.

    Somerby has taken the lingering problems emerging from our national tragedy of slavery and reframed this as an "all too human" breakdown, when it is just the death throes of the confederacy trying to use Republican politics to maintain white supremacy in the face of demographic change in our nation. Unfortunately, Republicans, in their desperation, have chosen to use all sorts of unrelated issues as hostages to their demands to roll back civil rights and racial change -- from the pandemic to schools to health care and jobs. Democrats have chosen instead to continue to enact measures that represent progress for all, while pretending to ignore the obstructive tactics of the right. That is a very different picture than Somerby paints, of the intellectual decline of the West as all peoples slide into the sea. What a moronic view of the state of the globe.

    Trump is a white supremacist president who spent his presidency selling out to Russia and trying to undo everything Obama accomplished. In the process, he ignored a pandemic, causing hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths, and he systematically looted the country while also pulling a quarter-billion dollar con on his own followers. His cronies made money and the rich got richer, while the planet continued to overheat. But Somerby thinks he shouldn't be held accountable for anything, because that would be criminalization -- of what? Crimes. And herein we see Somerby's problem. To excuse Trump, one must redefine crime. So he has settled on massive insanity as the excuse to ignore what Trump did to our country. And if we buy that one, perhaps we are as intellectually dumb dumb dumb, as Somerby claims.

  3. "As we later acknowledged, they communicate through the nocturnal submissions the haters refer to as dreams."

    Somerby thinks this is funny. Nocturnal emissions are called wet dreams. They involve the release of semen by men while sleeping. This is a coarseness that Somerby uses to disparage the actual dreams (as in hopes and dreams) held by liberals as we seek a better world. He seems to like the idea of anthropologists living in caves, despairing over humanity, when this is far from what anthropologists do, far from how they think about humanity. Why would anyone devote their lives to studying humanity if they did not love, wonder at, have positive attitudes toward people, especially people across time and cultures? But Somerby, in his nihilism, must stomp all over whatever other people value -- so he spits on expertise and mocks those who actually understand how our minds work, and shits on the accomplishments of culture, technology and the arts -- because he is a petty man at the end of a disappointing life, and he has nothing better to do with his time than disparage what other people are doing to make this a better world.

  4. How about if we substitute other names into Somerby's formula?

    "The day that Donald J. Trump is indicted is the day the war begins."

    The day that Richard M. Nixon is indicted is the day the war begins.

    The day that Al Capone is indicted is the day the war begins.

    The day that Jimmy Hoffa is indicted is the day the war begins.

    The day that Prince Andrew is indicted is the day the war begins.

    The day that [insert name of powerful or wealthy person] is indicted is the day the war begins.

    Is Somerby truly meaning to say that we cannot indict the rich and powerful when they commit criminal acts because of popular opinion? Does he realize that he is saying that someone like Trump is above the law? He seems to be saying that there is one law for non-Trump people and a different law for Trump. Do we want that to be the way our country works -- under threat of riot or public protest? Does Somerby believe that the citizenry will not tolerate enforcement of our laws applied to all?

    OJ was well-liked and famous when he was indicted. There was no rioting upon his indictment. Same for Bill Cosby, who was actually convicted. Paul McCartney was arrested when part of the Beatles and there was no war.

    If indicting Trump were to cause an actual war, it wouldn't be because of his indictment. It would be because there are extremist elements who are slavering for civil war so that they can impose their own political views on others, especially concerning white supremacy or theocracy. These people are not numerous enough in our society to instigate, much less conduct a civil war. Trump has encouraged them, but even the bulk of Trump's supporters are opportunistic, not ideological in their support. They wouldn't go to war for Trump, especially after the example set by imprisoning those who stormed the Capitol Building in Trump's name. He played them for fools and they know it now. There won't be any war if Trump is indicted. There will be relief among the Republican power structure, and apathy among his followers, who are unhappy with him already and increasingly so as he is no longer in office.

    This is no doubt Somerby's nocturnal emission.

  5. "According to those despondent scholars, we humans are wired for tribal conflict and for little else."

    Little else? Not even sex? What about the pleasure principle?

    Somerby isn't even trying to make sense any more.

    1. For most of our existence as humans, we have not lived in societies. For a hundred thousand years or more we have lived as hunter-gatherers; it is only in the last ten thousand years that we have lived in society. And in that time since "society" started, we have gone from apparently being cooperative and relatively non violent, to embracing notions like individualism and personal responsibility, which has led to competition and obsession with dominance, and even violence.

      Humans are not wired for conflict; indeed, few of us are good at it. There is a group that has developed skills for conflict, they are called "right wingers".

      Somerby's heart is so dark, daily he offers his best Colonel Kurtz.

  6. "Tribe says it's clear that Trump has committed "serious federal crimes." We have no idea, but we think this is a major political problem, one our vastly self-impressed tribe has helped created over the past sixty years."

    Somerby say "we have no idea." Does Somerby not think it is a federal crime to take classified documents out of the White House at the end of a president's term in office? Does he think that stealing gifts given to the President in his last year in office, instead of turning them over to the government (whose property they are) is not a crime? Is selling presidential pardons not a crime? These seem pretty clear cut to me, even though it may be arguable whether charging them is worth the turmoil to our nation.

    And how, exactly, did liberals contribute to the crimes Trump has committed, even going back 60 years? I think that claim requires some explanation, because I don't see how any of us are complicit in Trump's criminality. If Somerby thinks that liberals being mean to Republicans (The Other) has caused them to turn to lives of crime, he is becoming a ridiculous figure with nothing to say about modern politics.

    1. This swipe at Tribe is pretty sad even
      for Bob.
      Trump has destroyed the credibility
      of the Presidential Pardon, perhaps
      forever. Yet it seems to be such a
      broadly issued power I don’t know
      how you could prove its abuse as
      criminal. The supposedly anti
      Trump press has mostly let these
      abuses go. Figuring it would seem,
      a transparency corrupt gangster
      could never be elected President.
      The election tampering focused
      on Georgia seems more

    2. Selling pardons is bribery and access peddling, both illegal.

  7. "Will Donald J. Trump face criminal charges?"

    Let's hope so! How will other nations take us and our laws seriously if we do not enforce them on our own wrongdoers?

  8. Whatever his faults, George Conway has a more defensible position than Somerby.

  9. “Should Donald Trump be Indicted for
    some sort of crime?”
    Even stated in this shifty fashion, you
    cannot miss that Bob cannot answer his
    own question. Obviously he should not be
    indicted for “some sort” of crime. There
    is convincing evidence about he broke
    serious laws, in what would appear to
    be a crazed attempt to overthrown our
    our government. The question Bob wants
    to ask is “are the consequences of
    putting Trump on trail potentially too
    awful so we shouldn’t do it?” (That
    Is actually a fair question)
    In loading the question Bob demonstrates
    he’s happy to talk garbage about people
    might say “no.” The grotesque work here
    Is certainly on parr with Tucker, etc.
    Is Tribe correct in saying you might
    as well stick a fork in Democracy
    If there are no real consequences
    for what Trump attempted? It
    seems a viable question Bob
    has no interest in answering,
    other that to blame Tribe for
    Jan. 6th for asking it. Oh, and
    state the obvious, Wallace’s show
    is not obsessed with criminalizing
    everything and throwing everyone
    in jail. Few people like throwing
    others in jail, “lock her up”
    Few could argue with Bob’s
    long-standing mantra the we are
    a dumbed down culture with a
    lot of stupid people. Few serious
    people could now argue that Bob
    is not a primary example. Could
    this man have ever gone to Harvard
    unless he was a legacy.
    His creepy mean streak is obviously
    on full display too. MSNBC, this time
    anyway, is merely hitching it’s star
    to stuff Bob doesn’t answer because
    he can’t.

  10. Oh,,Nichole Wallace did not attempt to
    put John Sussman in jail. Bob certainly
    would not have objected.,

  11. AFAIK Trump has not committed any crimes. He did not urge the 1/6 riots to riot. He did not instruct the Proud Boys to do all the damage that they did. Although the Congressional 1/6 propaganda show makes it sound like Trump planned or encouraged the rioting, there's no actual evidence that he did so.

    1. Election tampering in Georgia much?

    2. It was a crime for the Proud Boys (and others) to enter the premises, regardless of damage done.

    3. They have the evidence that links Trump to the 1.6 insurrectionists. David cannot say with certainty that they have none, when they have said that the evidence exists and that they will provide it later in the hearings (and certainly to the DOJ should they decide to go ahead with prosecutions).

    4. The evidence is laid out for anyone whose head is not firmly ensconced in Rupert Murdoch's ass that he advanced a lie that his family profited on, that mobilized far right groups to Washington, and that he watched for hours while capitol police were bear sprayed and had their heads beaten on without raising a finger. He is a traitorous pile of crap and whether he is indicted or not, he has been well exposed by the members of his own inner circle for what he is, people who know him far better than David in Cal, and have testified against him at these hearings. Of course being fully indoctrinated by Fox allows DIC to throw around the term propaganda here because he doesn't like what they have to say, while tiptoeing around the fact that were it not for Donald Trump's perpetuating the big lie, none of this would have happened.

    5. "the Congressional 1/6 propaganda show"

      "One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back."
      -Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

    6. DinC has a point. I look forward to Donald J Chickenshit's testimony under oath explaining why he sat on his fat corrupt treasonous ass for hours watching the show.

      Also, there is nothing in the Constitution making it illegal to hang your VP if he refuses to participate in your Operation Greenbay Sweep Coup attempt.

  12. "Will Donald J. Trump face criminal charges?"
    Did he turn black when I was distracted?

  13. Trump won because he addressed what neither party would previously address. Our trade policy that has completely leveled industrial America. It's a bipartisan policy that both sides champion and accordingly, don't talk about. It's one of the many issues that both sides champion and don't talk about. Trump was able to speak frankly about our neoliberal trade policies that have ravaged the working class of our country to people whose lives have been affected by it and he stirred enough of their souls to pull out an unbelievable last minute victory. Entrenched power for both sides will do anything they can to make sure it never happens again and they will go after anyone else who dares bring up these third rail issues on a political stage so they stay forever hidden from public dialogue.

    1. Exactly right, dear 12:06, in our humble opinion.

      ...well, almost exactly. Because currently, it's not exactly "both sides". There is (or at least appears to be) a Donald-led faction on the R side now, while the wholly totalitarian hate- and war-mongering D side is completely controlled by global finance, personified by George Soros.

      Interesting times, dear 12:06.

    2. Trump had some good ideas but he went too far.

    3. Pro-tip:
      Before you pull 12:06's other finger, have him explain who Trump put in his Cabinet.

    4. "the wholly totalitarian hate- and war-mongering D side"
      You nailed that one so well, I'll pay for your next 5 abortions in Texas.

    5. 12:06,
      this is such bullshit. I am so sick and tired of listening to idiots make Dems the whipping boy for the consequences of policies pushed my entire adult life by reactionary conservatives. The republicans starting with Reagan devastated the union movement in this country and pushed free trade, and were fought tooth and nail by progressive democrats. The American people rewarded Reagan with one of the biggest landslide wins in presidential election history. Don't fucking blame the Democratic party.

    6. Do Republicans vote for Trump because he’s a bigot, or because he said he’d stick it to the elites?
      Well, Trump gave the elites a HUGE tax break, and Republican voters think he should still be President even though he lost a landslide election.
      Question answered.

    7. 7:55 - You have to look at the North American Free Trade Agreement. That was a policy pushed by Democrats and it devastated the union movement in this country. You can look at the unprecedented success of Bernie Sanders who made the same arguments against trade as further proof. Trump talked about our destructive free-trade policies that both parties fully support on the campaign trail constantly.

      I'm not saying he followed through on anything. I'm just saying that the issue stirred enough souls to get him elected. And that the avoidance of these "both sides" issues like trade, healthcare, giving over scores and scores of billions of the people's money to the military-industrial complex is tearing our country apart. We should talk about them and be frank about how these are issues that both parties support and therefore are really taken out of the public eye.

    8. I get though that you still look at the two parties as opposite sides of a coin. One being good, the other being bad. At this point, that's your business. You are free to look at the situation that way if you must.

    9. You have to look at the North American Free Trade Agreement. That was a policy pushed by Democrats...

      I don't know if you really believe that or are just pumping disinformation out, but either way you're full of shit.

      The impetus for a North American free trade zone began with U.S. president Ronald Reagan, who made the idea part of his 1980 presidential campaign. After the signing of the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement in 1988, the administrations of U.S. president George H. W. Bush, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney agreed to negotiate what became NAFTA. Each submitted the agreement for ratification in their respective capitals in December 1992, but NAFTA faced significant opposition in both the United States and Canada. All three countries ratified NAFTA in 1993 after the addition of two side agreements, the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC).

      Question: who lead the "opposition"?

      As I said, the American people spoke in 1984 and 1988.

    10. 12:06,
      Please remember to forget to come back and explain Trump’s Cabinet choices.
      I wouldn’t want you messing up a great piece of gaslighting.

    11. Not the first time and it won't be the last that Americans were conned into voting against their own best interests.

      I lived thru this, don't fucking bullshit me. I remember Newt Gingrich becoming Speaker of the House with his Contract On Americans.


      And I remember how the American People overwhelmingly rejected a true populist Democrat, George McGovern and allowed the vanguard of the RW crazy machine to unseat him in the Senate based on racist reactionary politics.

      So fuck off with you fractured understanding of history. Read a few books. Start with Rick Perstein's multi-volume history of how this country ended up making Ronald Reagan president.

    12. "..."both sides" issues like trade, healthcare, giving over scores and scores of billions of the people's money to the military-industrial complex is tearing our country apart."

      Meh. Not "both sides" either. Or, if you prefer, "both sides" with one exception. See here:

      "Noam Chomsky, in an interview this week, says "fortunately" there is "one Western statesman of stature" who is pushing for a diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine rather than looking for ways to fuel and prolong it.

      "His name is Donald J. Trump," Chomsky says."

    13. I'm not saying that Trump acted on anything he said in the campaign about our trade policies. Just that the issue is never spoken about by either party especially on the campaign trail and by doing so, Trump engaged enough people deeply enough to vote for him.

    14. Bill Clinton signed NAFTA into law. If you don't think NAFTA is a policy Democrats have supported for all these years, that's your business.

    15. We live in an unbreakable political monopoly. Both parties are committed to taking power away from people and putting it in the hands of corporations. I'm just being real about it.

    16. 9:10,
      That is SO disrespectful to the beliefs of “the Others”, who insist Democrats are commie, Marxists who hate capitalism.

    17. 9:10,
      So you disagree with 12:06’s theory that it wasn’t bigotry that got Trump elected?

    18. I don't believe that one particular thing got him elected. I do think racism played a part. But not as much as positioning himself as outside of the two-party monopoly and empathizing with the unfairness that that monopoly brought upon working people.

    19. 9:58,
      After seeing who Trump put in his Cabinet, it really is no wonder he lost the 2020 Presidential election in such a landslide that no one can dispute it.

    20. 10:02 -thanks for your comment.

    21. 10:02 here.
      Any time.

    22. Both parties are committed to taking power away from people and putting it in the hands of corporations.

      Bill Clinton put RBG on the Supreme Court. Obama put Sototmayer and Kagan on the SC.
      Biden put KETANJI BROWN JACKSON on the Supreme Court. All pro-labor justices.

      Donald J Shitstain put Gorsuch, Beer Bong Brett, and ACBarrett on the SC. Then we have Alito and Roberts, thanks to GWBush and Thomas courtesy of GHWBush. All pro-corporate anti-labor justices. So fuck off.
      Game, set, match. Don't fucking tell me both parties are both the same.

    23. The U.S. has a one-party political system — the business party — with two factions, Democrats and Republicans. In the past, the Republican faction has tended to be more dedicated to the concerns of extreme wealth and the corporate sector, but with the resurgence of the one-sided class war called “neoliberalism” under President Ronald Reagan, the leadership has been going off the rails. By now they barely resemble a political party in a functioning democracy.

      The Democrats have not lagged far behind, becoming a party of affluent professionals and Wall Street donors with the working class handed over to their bitter class enemy.

      I'm fucking telling you both parties are the same.

    24. Meh. Currently the D "party" is completely controlled by global finance. Hedge funds, large multinational investment companies, and such. A large portion of Rs is controlled by the same masters as well. They are the masters of the world. For now. Not for long, probably, because China + Russia are not taking it no more.

      But there is also Trumpism: a movement representing domestic American business.

      As for the working class, it's never represented in a capitalist political system ("liberal democracy"); it's simply not possible. The political system might compromise with the working class when the masters are scared of it, but no more than that.

      It's just so happens that the interests of the domestic business are more aligned with the interests of the working class. So, they are allies at the moment.

  14. Trump will flee the country before he faces any serious charges.

  15. I am in favor of punishing people who break the law. If Trump broke the law, he should be punished.

  16. Here is why it doesn't matter what Trump believed about winning the election: