We are at a turning point in America because a former president refused to abide by our constitution and laws that he took a solemn oath to uphold, a Republican Party failed and is still failing to stand up to him, and Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and other conservative media are not telling the truth to viewers and readers who rely on those outlets for accurate information.

Trump couldn’t handle losing to Joe Biden, so instead of being a good sport, he actively worked to overturn the results of the 2020 election, to seize power for himself. He did that not only by lying about the results in rallies and social media, but because he took ACTION, working with other co-conspirators, to break the law to stay in power. Had they succeeded, they would have nullified the votes of millions of Americans who had chosen Biden over Trump as president.

Trump and his co-conspirators got mighty close to upending our democracy. This trial is an opportunity to reinstate the rule of law and the ideal we cherish in America that in a constitutional democracy no man should be above the law. A president is not a king.

Everyone in America needs to read this 43-page indictment. (See link at the end of the post.) It has all the elements of a Greek tragedy. It’s the story of a grandiose, self-centered man and his plot to stay in power after losing an election– a man with towering, gigantic hubris, whose massive ego and need for adulation and control brought our country to the very edge of the cliff, to the very edge of losing our democracy. Trump is a man who lies as he breathes and whose willingness to lie to the American people set violence in motion that culminated on January 6th.  Jack Smith does not charge Trump with sedition although Trump was a traitor to our country. The indictment nonetheless points to Trump’s use of the mobilized, angry mob to help him subvert the ceremonial recording of Electoral College votes, which was part of his last-ditch effort to stay in power. It was supposed to be a whip to get Pence to behave as Trump wanted him to. A way to scare him into doing Trump’s bidding. And punish him if he didn’t. It didn’t work. But it came close.

The indictment reads almost like a play with various scenes of action and quotes which, at the time of trial, will become part of the record. It is what is called a “speaking indictment”– chock full of evidence in which participants are identified and what they said and did in the room where it happened is exposed.  We learn about Trump’s own statements and actions, and it is clear that we will learn even more when the trial takes place. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the evidence Smith has at his disposal to use for the trial.


Jack Smith’s team was able to get further than the January 6th Committee because he had subpoena power to compel testimony from people who refused to talk with the committee or held back in what they said. Most notably, we hear what Pence did not tell the January 6th Committee, namely, Trump trying to get him to join the coup plot numerous times and finally telling him “You’re too honest” when he refused to join the conspiracy to break the law to stay in power.

We also read about how Trump intimidates people to get his way. He threatens Pence, warning him that he, Trump, was going to publicly criticize him, which causes Pence’s chief of staff to be “concerned for the Vice President’s safety…” We already know from the January 6th Committee that Secret Service agents protecting Pence were afraid for their lives that day and called home to say goodbye to their families in case they didn’t survive the attack of the mob on the capitol that was screaming “Hang Mike Pence!”

The indictment puts us in the room as Trump is pushing and relentlessly demanding that people around him give him what he wants, obsessively, and in defiance of what he was being told over and over and over again about the fairness of the election he lost. We read about his effort to stay in power by repeatedly lying to the public over and over after being informed of the truth even while he acknowledges his loss to certain people behind closed doors. “Yeah, you’re right, it’s too late for us. We’re going to give that to the next guy.”

The Co-Conspirators and the Schemes

The indictment puts us there in the room with unnamed but well identified co-conspirators:

Here they are:

1) Rudy Guiliani, 2) John Eastman, 3) Sidney Powell, 4) Jeffrey Clark, 5) Ken Chesebro, and 6) (probably) Boris Epshteyn.

As you read through the indictment you can clearly see who said what and when they said it as you match up the name with the number. You can track the fake elector scheme in each of the targeted states (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, New Mexico): and how the schemes evolved even as many Republican state officials refused to join the plot in their states. Trump and his co-conspirators keep pushing to create something they can use to ignite chaos in congress, so that they can credibly claim that Trump won after he lost the election. They were trying to throw the election to the House of Representatives where Trump could be declared the winner based on the number of red state legislatures.

You will read about how some of the fake electors are roped into the scheme and how they themselves got duped and lied to in order to get them to break the law and take part in the plot to keep Trump in power. The indictment also tracks Trump’s pressure campaign inside the Justice Department. We learn about Jeffery Clark (#4) working surreptitiously to accomplish Trump’s goals. Throughout the indictment you get a picture of Trump’s state of mind with the use of key phrases like this: “Just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.” He deliberately excludes his White House Counsel from a key planning meeting with John Eastman because he wasn’t going along with the coup plot. You hear Trump claiming he wins after being told in no uncertain terms that he didn’t: “Bottom line- won every state by 100,000s of votes” and “We won every state.”

You will read about how calloused the plotters were about the potential for violence if Trump were to find a way to seize power after losing the election. It was anticipated that there would be riots in the streets. Jeffrey Clark talks casually about the use of military force against Americans who would take to the streets when Trump refused to leave office. Clark says that’s what the Insurrection Act is for. This is chilling, to say the least. There are many people who were worried about sending the military to intervene on January 6th at the capitol out of fears that Trump intended to use the military to stay in power by invoking the Insurrection Act.

Even after the rioters at the capitol are told to go home on January 6th, Trump and his coup plotters are still at it late into the night, trying to make a last-ditch effort to keep the certification from taking place.


Jack Smith’s team has charged Trump with three conspiracies: 1) Conspiracy to use a fake elector scheme in multiple states, 2) Conspiracy to disrupt and obstruct the Electoral College congressional proceeding to count and certify the votes of the 2020 presidential election, and 3) Conspiracy to deprive Americans of their right to have their vote count.

This third count is very important because it reminds everyone that this coup scheme was a plot against all of us and our right to have our vote counted as Americans. Trump engaged in a plot against all of us who care about our democracy. In a democracy we have the right to choose our elected representatives. In an autocracy or dictatorship people don’t get that right. Trump, as I have written in my posts many times, wants to be the first American dictator. And millions of Americans want him to be their strongman. In this indictment we see the actions of a man who would be king. We see a man who knows the truth but peddles propaganda, the fake reality that dictators rely on to stay in power. This was a plot by the sitting president of the United States against the country itself to rob us of our democracy by overturning our will, the will of the voters. We the People elected Joe Biden. Donald Trump did his darndest to try to prevent us from having the president we chose.


Ultimately, this indictment is also about reasserting the truth over Trump’s many lies, including the Big Lie and the alternate reality that has become the universe in which many Republicans live these days. There was no question that once the facts were clear, Jack Smith had to indict Trump. Failure to do so would have been the end of our democracy and the rule of law. It would have meant that anyone, in addition to Trump, could defy the Electoral Count Act and all of our other election laws that are the bedrock of our democratic process for electing presidents and the reason our democracy is respected all around the world.

One of the best quotes in the indictment is delivered by Trump’s Senior Campaign Advisor talking about how the “campaign team can’t back up any of the claims made by our Elite Stike Force Legal Team, you can see why we’re 0-32 on our cases. I’ll obviously hustle to help on all fronts, but it’s tough to own any of this when it’s all just conspiracy shit beamed down from the mothership.” Which is a very apt and graphic description of what too many Republicans have put their faith in in the era of Trump, Fox “news”, and the Wall Street Journal editorial page.


Smith did not charge Trump with inciting the riot. He was careful not to charge sedition because it would have meant a fight about Trump’s First Amendment rights. Trump on the Ellipse had a first amendment right to say what he said that day even if it arguably motivated the rioters to descend on the capitol. But Trump was careful to talk out of both sides of his mouth. Smith only charged based on Trump’s provable actions in furtherance of the coup plot. The blather about how Trump’s defense will be his first amendment right of free speech is anticipated and addressed on the second page of the indictment.

Smith asserts on page 2 that Trump has a right to speak publicly about the election and even to speak falsely about the outcome. He is also entitled to challenge the results in court, which he did, with over 60 lawsuits– all of them which he lost. But after losing these lawsuits, Trump did not go quietly into the night (or Mar-a-Lago) which he should have done. Instead, he entered into the realm of criminality because he ENGAGED IN ACTS to subvert the election result. That’s where Trump crossed over to the dark side and exposed himself to this criminal indictment.


Only Trump is charged in this indictment. There is a reason for that. One of the biggest problems we face is that Trump could delay this trial until after the election of 2024. If that happens, Trump would be able to keep up his heavy artillery assault of lies and propaganda which are his smokescreen. Given that he is currently neck and neck in the polls with Biden, Trump really could win the presidential election of 2024. If that happens, this case will be dead in the water. Trump will appoint someone like Rudy Guiliani, Jeffrey Clark, John Eastman or Sidney Powell as the Attorney General, someone who will dismantle not only this case but the DOJ as well. He has already vowed to do just that.

The best hope for our country is for the American people to know who they are voting for in the 2024 presidential election.

Anytime you add one or more co-defendants you add more complexity, more motions to deal with, more problems that can push the trial back in time and delay it more and more. This indictment puts all of the co-conspirators on notice that they are going to be charged in due time. Hey, and maybe they would like to make a deal before that happens to them. Jack Smith is trying to streamline the trial to get it to happen faster. Our justice system is just way too slow. It is set up to protect the defendant but when it comes to Trump, he has learned how to use those protections against the system itself for his own advantage. Delay is his middle name. Trump’s goal is to make it to the election without having any of these trials expose him for who he really is with the help of conservative media like Fox, Breitbart and the Wall Street Journal.

IF we can have a speedy trial and especially if that trial can be televised, the American people will be able to see for themselves and hear for themselves the testimony of the witnesses who were in the room with Trump as he worked with his inner circle of plotters to overturn the 2020 election. The list of witnesses testifying against Trump will not be Democrats or liberals or progressives. It will be conservative Republicans who supported Trump and wanted him to win re-election. When Trump got into enacting this coup plot to stay in power, they knew better than to go along with it.

Here is a partial list of witnesses who would take the stand to testify against Trump based on this indictment: VP Pence, senior leaders of the Justice Department including Bill Barr, for AG, the Director of National Intelligence, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, senior White House attorneys, Mark Meadows (Trump’s Chief of Staff), senior staffers in the re-election campaign, GOP state legislators and officials like Brad Raffensburger and many others who will recount what Trump did and said just as they did for the January 6th Committee. That is a heavy list of A rated witnesses who will be very credible. Unlike Donald Trump they have not uttered over 30,000 verifiable lies.


As a former criminal prosecutor for the Justice Department, I know that every single sentence in this indictment has to have solid evidence to back it up.  Jack Smith has only charged what he can prove. This is a very strong case.

And the judge is a tough judge. Unlike Aileen Cannon, the judge in the documents case in Florida, the D.C. judge here is Tanya S. Chutkan. She has been one of the judges sentencing the insurrectionists who were at the capitol on January 6th. In a number of these cases, she meted out sentences that have gone beyond the sentences recommended by the prosecution. It was also Judge Chutkan who echoed what Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote about Trump in one of her opinions- that he was not a king.

In November 2021, Chutkan forcefully rejected Trump’s attempts to block the House select committee investigating January 6 from accessing more than 700 pages of records from his White House.

“Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President,” Chutkan wrote in her ruling.

Let’s face it Trump made the bed he will sleep in. Over and over again he chose to break the law. Over and over again he was warned not to do it. He has no one but himself to blame for all these indictments coming at him now.

For anyone who says that they are upset that Trump was indicted and mutters something about Hunter Biden, just tell them this: if Hunter Biden broke the law, then he should face accountability for what he did. If Trump broke the law, then he should face accountability for what he did. But there is no comparison between a mope like Hunter Biden failing to pay his taxes and lying about being addicted to painkilling drugs when he filled out paperwork to buy a gun and Donald Trump who tried numerous illegal plots to pull off a democracy ending coup. Full stop.


The most important take away from these indictments coming at Trump is that the next year of OUR lives will be heavily dosed with crazy. Donald Trump will be making news every day with all of his court appearances, his angry outraged tweets or Xes, his rallies full of lies and goofy rapt supporters, polls that show him going up and down against Biden, news outlets predicting he will win the 2024 election and wall to wall coverage of this toxic repeat offender.

Trump brought us to the edge of the cliff, and we are still there.

The next election will TRULY be the most important election of our lives because IF Trump wins, and so far, it looks like he could, our democracy will be over. But if we rise up and vote him and the MAGAs out across the country, the Republican Party could finally get the message that Trump is too extreme. He is the biggest loser, and he is wrecking the GOP. Only then could they go back to being a responsible political party that supports democracy and the rule of law and wants to have a bigger tent.

When asked what kind of government the founders created, Benjamin Franklin said: “A Republic… if we can keep it.”

So… what kind of country do YOU want?

In 2024 we will have a stark choice: a Donald Trump dictatorship or a Democracy.

In 2024 we will have a stark choice: truth or conspiracy shit beamed down from the mothership.



Here is the link to the annotated indictment.  Trump Jan. 6 Indictment: Read the Full Text, Annotated – The New York Times (nytimes.com)



1. The Defendant, DONALD J. TRUMP, was the forty -fifth President of the United
States and a candidate for re-election in2020. The Defendant lost the 2020 presidential election.

2. Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to remain in power. So, for more
than two months following election day on November 3, 2020, the Defendant spread lies that there
had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won. These claims
were false, and the Defendant knew that they were false. But the Defendant repeated and widely
disseminated them anyway to make his knowingly false claims appear legitimate, create an
intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger, and erode public faith in the administration of
the election.

3. The Defendant had a right, like every American, to speak publicly about the
election and even to claim, falsely, that there had been outcome-determinative fraud during the
election and that he had won. He was also entitled to formally challenge the results of the election
through lawful and appropriate means, such as by seeking recounts or audits of the popular vote
in states or filing lawsuits challenging ballots and procedures. Indeed, in many cases, the
Defendant did pursue these methods of contesting the election results. His efforts to change the
outcome in any state through recounts, audits, or legal challenges were uniformly unsuccessful.

4. Shortly after election day, the Defendant also pursued unlawful means of
discounting legitimate votes and subverting the election results. In so doing, the Defendant
perpetrated three criminal conspiracies:

a. A conspiracy to defraud the United States by using dishonesty, fraud, and
deceit to impair, obstruct, and defeat the lawful federal government function
by which the results of the presidential election are collected, counted, and
certified by the federal government, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; a.

b. A conspiracy to corruptly obstruct and impede the January 6 congressional
proceeding at which the collected results of the presidential election are
counted and certified (the certification proceeding), in violation of 18
U.S.C. 1512(k); and

c. A conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. 241

Each of these conspiracies which built on the widespread mistrust the Defendant was creating
through pervasive and destabilizing lies about election fraud targeted a bedrock function of the
United States federal government: the nation’s process of collecting, counting, and certifying the
results of the presidential election (the federal government function).