What Henry ll can teach Trump

King Henry II

 by A. Altieri D’Angelo

Most of the world knows that former President Donald Trump has been indicted (the Indictment) for a third time by the Department of Justice (D.O.J.) and will probably also be charged in Georgia for similar crimes.

The Indictment reads like a crime novel. It describes how the former President (referred to as the Defendant), during the period from the November 2020 election to January 6th, 2021, planned and carried out an attempted, illegal overturning of the 2020 election results.

However, the document clearly states that the charges are not seeking to infringe on Trump’s right to challenge the election as allowed by the free speech provision of the U.S. Constitution.

The D.O.J. states, in the opening pages of the 45-page Indictment, “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 election results 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, 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”.

It goes on to say, “Shortly after election day, 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;
b) A conspiracy to corruptly obstruct and impede the January 6th 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);
c) A conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 241 and; d) Conspiracy Against Rights-18 U.S.C. § 241).

It is a document that all freedom-loving people should read.

The D.O.J. presents a powerful case against the Defendant. The document cites numerous examples of Trump personally, and through his unindicted Co-Conspirators, putting tremendous pressure on dozens of officials in several states and at the federal level to: break the law; create fake electors; seize voting records; overturn state election results; and enrage the mob that attacked the Capital Building on January 6th.
(The Indictment also shows that many Republican officials acted honorably and refused to obey Trump’s orders).

The Trump defense team has already begun to fight the Indictment in the media. As expected, they claim, Trump was exercising his right to free speech and only made “aspirational” requests. But history has shown that “aspirational requests” can lead to serious trouble.

King Henry ll of England (circa 1170) was angry that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Beckett, had excommunicated several bishops. The King allegedly asked (aspirationally), “O wretched Man that I am, who shall deliver me from this turbulent Priest?” Upon hearing the King’splea, four knights living in Normandy traveled to England’s Canterbury Cathedral and confronted Thomas Beckett. The knights wanted Beckett to reverse his decision to excommunicate the bishops; he refused, and they killed him. King Henry did not order the knights to confront Beckett; however, his “request” started a chain of events that led to Beckett’s death. The King was almost excommunicated by Pope Alexander and forced to plead for mercy publicly. The same principle may apply to Trump.

Trump is also blaming the legal advice he received from his Co-Conspirators. According to John Lauro, Trump’s defense lawyer, “Everything that President Trump did was with the advice of lawyers and counsel . . . that’s an absolute defense to a criminal case. Trump was simply following the advice of his lawyers when he urged Pence to halt Congress’ certification of the Electoral College results, adding that “there’s nothing inherently unconstitutional or illegal about that”.
(Federal and state government lawyersand officials repeatedly told Trump there was no election fraud, but he refused to listen. He only listened to lawyers and advisers who would agree with him)

The D.O.J.’s Indictment is well-written and strategically focused on Trump’s activities. Trump may follow in King Henry’s footsteps and be held accountable. But no one should think the D.O.J.’s case is bulletproof. It is, however, the best case anyone could bring against Trump.

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