Editorial: No greater crime than this

File Photo By Nathan O’Neal/Cronkite News

Column By John Young

A central ruse underlying Donald Trump’s criminal scheme is that when all was tallied and every court challenge shot to bits, he sincerely believed he won.

Bull-oney. Trump telegraphed his Big Lie long before. He was prepared to mislead the nation as the loser.

True to the falsehood, on Election Night even before the networks announced Trump’s decisive loss of Pennsylvania, Rudy Giuliani said, “Just say we won.”

That’s the wise “advice of counsel” Trump’s attorneys say guided the contemplative ex-president. And now, he’s rightfully indicted for a bid to spatula democracy into the garbage disposal.

“It’s so unfair,” says the whiner.

Trump’s lawyers, fully schooled in the Big Lie, say all he wanted was to “pause” certification of the vote, itself illegal. Mike Pence will testify that Trump wanted him to “reject” the results and send things back to the states.

Admittedly, Pence is no model of veracity, having developed carpal neck syndrome assenting to his boss’s lies as vice president.

Let’s just say, however, that when Pence testifies that Trump told him, “You’re too honest,” a jury will say, “Sounds like what this defendant would say.”

Jack Smith calls Trump a “prolific liar” in his 44-page indictment. Smith is “deranged,” says the prolific liar. And since Smith was appointed by someone appointed by Joe Biden, Trump cultists will discount what Smith does.

But the witnesses who are going to incriminate Trump in the trial to come mostly are his own appointees, his own inner circle, the best and most loyal people a prolific liar could find.

One delicious statement is on Page 14 of the indictment. About claims of widespread voting irregularities, a Trump staffer writes via email:

“You can see why we’re 0-32 on our (lawsuits). I’ll hustle on all fronts, but it’s tough to own any of this when it’s all just conspiracy shit beamed down from the mothership.”

Ultimately purveyors of said bovine effluent would tally 62 losses in court.

Delay, delay, delay. What Team Trump sought was mass uncertainty about the results of the vote, and a showdown-slowdown in which state legislatures made the case that they could decide who won, with fake electors signed up to enable the deceit.

A Trump Team memo revealed by the New York Times acknowledged that the strategy would be rejected by the Supreme Court. Even when tossed as illegal, reads the memo, it would “buy the Trump campaign more time to win litigation” – meaning more time to lie.

Trump wanted to gum up the works and thereby subvert a system of self-rule for which generations of Americans laid down their lives on blood-soaked beaches and bone-chilled river crossings.

There is no greater crime than this.

Trump wanted more time – more time while he still held power to lie to supporters that the math wasn’t the math.

Now that Trump has been indicted, the objective is to stall his trial: again, to buy more time to lie.

Sorry to tell you, Trump supporters, but MSNBC’s Ari Melber brings to us a delightful twist.

Commenting on the tortoise pace by Attorney General Merrick Garland in probing the crimes the Jan. 6 Committee attributed to Trump, Melber points out that Trump’s monstrously early start of his ’24 presidential run – announcing Nov. 15, 2022 — forced Garland’s hand.

When Trump officially became a presidential candidate, to run against the man who appointed Garland, the AG said he felt compelled to hand off any investigation to a special counsel.

Rapid Jack Smith got to work on Nov. 18, 2022. His indictments now come with sufficient time to try Trump for defrauding the government long before the 2024 election.

Had Trump not used a way-early presidential announcement as a means of circumventing criminal investigations, Melber asserts, Smith would have been appointed much later. Any trial might be more than a year off.

Well, heck. Do you mean declaring for president months later would have given Trump a lot more time to lie? Even through the ’24 presidential election? Well, that won’t happen now. Now a jury in Washington, D.C., will get the first crack at the whole ruse.

Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email him at jyoungcolumn@gmail.com.

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author.