Endgame: How President Trump Will Go Down


Six months from now the Trump administration will be gone. Donald Trump Jr., former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, first son-in-law Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Roger Stone and Carter Page likely will be indicted by a federal grand jury. Donald Trump will pardon them all. Facing the likelihood of impeachment, President Trump will resign.

The Indictments

Indictments are easy. They don’t take much evidence. The former Chief Judge of New York State, Sol Wachtler, said 30 years ago that district attorneys have so much influence on grand juries that “by and large” they could get them to “indict a ham sandwich.” Special Counsel Robert Mueller won’t be indicting any ham sandwiches, but he will be able convince a federal grand jury to indict many members of the Trump entourage.

Gen. Flynn and Jared Kushner will be indicted for lying and omitting information on FBI Form 86, the form used to get a security clearance. Both omitted mentioning that they met with Russian agents. Attorney Gen. Sessions perjured himself before Congress when he denied Russian contacts. All of the Trump entourage could be indicted under the Logan Act and for soliciting campaign contributions from foreign citizens.

In addition, Gen. Flynn and Paul Manafort could also be indicted for failing to register and report on their representation of foreign countries. Flynn got paid handsomely for representing Turkey’s interests. Manafort was paid obscenely for representing the interests of Russia and Ukrainians supported by Russia. Neither reported these foreign ties as required by federal law.

The Logan Act

The Logan Act provides, “Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.” It appears that all of Trump’s associates and relatives, named above, could be indicted under the Logan Act. There have been very few prosecutions under this law, passed by the First Congress in 1789. But the First Congress, made up of many of our Founding Fathers, knew how to avoid the influence of foreign nations. We should honor them by enforcing the Logan Act.

Campaign Law Violations

Foreign members of parliament from the United Kingdom and Australia confirmed to The Hill that they received fundraising solicitations from the Trump campaign last year. Solicitation of campaign contributions from foreign nationals is a violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act. In addition to soliciting monetary contributions, meeting with foreign citizens, Russians and others, to seek any thing of value, such as “dirt on Hillary Clinton,” is also a campaign law violation.

The Presidential Power to Pardon Federal Offenses

The Constitution provides, “The President ... shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” Article II, Section 2, Clause 1. President Trump does not want his son or his son-in-law to face federal criminal charges, so he is very likely to exercise his power under the pardon clause. He is also likely to pardon his earliest advisors and supporters. As he told former FBI director Jim Comey, he believes that Gen. Flynn is a “good guy.” President Ford used the power to pardon Richard Nixon and it probably cost him the 1976 election.

The public outcry caused by a series of pardons will doom Donald J. Trump’s presidency. Facing certain impeachment, Mr. Trump will resign and go back to his old job, the one that he much prefers to leading the free world.

Joel D. Joseph was an attorney for the Federal Election Commission, represented Presidential Candidate Eugene McCarthy and more than 60 members of Congress in federal legal proceedings. He is is chairman of the Made in the USA Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting American-made products, and author of Black Mondays: Worst Decisions of the Supreme Court.

From The Progressive Populist, August 15, 2017


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