There’s no denying that former President Donald Trump has always had a knack for drama. But this time, it seems he may be center stage in a show that he’d much rather avoid. Trump recently hinted that he’s in the hot seat of the Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel, Jack Smith’s, investigation. This probe concerns the unsettling incidents surrounding the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack and numerous schemes to flip the result of the 2020 presidential race.
In quintessential Trump fashion, he railed against this development, calling the forthcoming charges against him a political gambit. Going full throttle, he dubbed Attorney General Merrick Garland as “Joe Biden’s errand boy” and the DOJ as “Biden’s Department of Injustice.”
While Trump is busy crafting his narrative on Truth Social, insiders in the government have verified that he is indeed under the microscope in this investigation.
Though Trump’s defense seems to be painting himself as a victim, this approach is unlikely to hold water in the courtroom, assuming the charges materialize. The real aim of Trump’s antics may be to sway public sentiment, to convince his base that he’s being unjustly targeted. If he can succeed in rallying enough support, he might be able to stall his trial until after the 2024 election. A victory then could allow him to install Justice Department officials who would potentially dismiss the charges against him.
The evidence building against Trump, however, is hefty. The information available to the public paints a harsh picture, and this will undoubtedly impact discussions surrounding his potential 2024 run. There are also murmurs that watchdog groups are gearing up to challenge his eligibility to run, and any impending charges will only strengthen their case.
Charges could span from his attempts to obstruct the Electoral College confirmation process to his relentless endeavors to secure voting machines from states he didn’t win, to his creation of “phantom” electors to stir the congressional pot. The special counsel might also charge Trump with inciting his followers to assault the U.S. Capitol.
Intriguingly, not all the evidence against Trump is public knowledge. Smith and his investigators may have more damning information that could further implicate Trump in disturbing attempts to undermine the 2020 election results. The sentiment is strong that when Smith’s indictment drops, it’ll be much more potent than anticipated.
Adding a twist to the saga, there’s speculation that some of Trump’s former allies may be secretly assisting the DOJ. Trump’s ex-personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has reportedly conversed with Smith’s team. Though it’s unclear what Giuliani divulged, many believe he’s in line to be indicted.
If an indictment does land, it won’t be the first for Trump. Over the past year, he has already faced two other indictments, one involving possession of classified documents and the other concerning his infamous hush-money payments.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis is closing her grand jury investigation into Trump’s attempts to convince the state’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, to “locate” enough votes to surpass Biden’s lead in the 2020 election. Despite Trump’s lawyers appealing to the state Supreme Court to have the investigation dismissed, the court rejected the motion.
It seems the storm clouds are gathering for Trump, and this time, it may not be a tempest in a teapot.