Sean McDevitt
4 min readAug 1, 2023

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The New York Times began its coverage of Trump’s third indictment thusly:

Former President Donald J. Trump was indicted on Tuesday in connection with his widespread efforts to overturn the 2020 election following a sprawling federal investigation into his attempts to cling to power after losing the presidency to Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The indictment was filed by the special counsel Jack Smith in Federal District Court in Washington. It accuses Mr. Trump of three conspiracies: one to defraud the United States, a second to obstruct an official government proceeding and a third to deprive people of civil rights provided by federal law or the Constitution.

Here we go again. Just more of the same. Trump is a criminal who did criminal things life on TV repeatedly. This isn’t hard to understand. If you want more details, read the full indictment here.

The opening sentences of the very first paragraph in the indictment say it all: “The Defendant, Donald J. Trump, was the forty-fifth President of the United States and a candidate for re-election in 2020. The Defendant lost the 2020 election.”

It looks like four counts. One is conspiracy to defraud, another is conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, another is conspiracy against rights, and then there is a count of obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding.

The indictment is a “speaking indictment” that describes the multiple strategies deployed by Trump and six unnamed co-conspirators to overturn the election results that predated the brutal physical violence that occurred during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The interesting thing about it is that they are conspiracy charges. There are co-conspirators, but they are numbered we don’t know their names yet (but it isn’t difficult to figure out who they are). It does look like there might be a number of attorneys implicated.

Trump is finally being held accountable for his bullshit.

Michael Tomasky, writing for The New Republic, hits right out of the part with his coverage.

You have to read only to page six of the third indictment of Donald John Trump to get to the juicy stuff. Or some of the juicy stuff: “The Defendant, his co-conspirators, and their agents knowingly made false claims that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the 2020 presidential election. These prolific lies about election fraud include dozens of specific claims that there had been substantial fraud in certain states, such as that large numbers of dead, non-resident, non-citizen, or otherwise ineligible voters had cast ballots, or that voting machines had changed votes for the Defendant to votes for Biden. These claims were false, and the Defendant knew they were false.”

That’s the ball game right there. Prolific lies. The defendant knew they were false. That’s from paragraph 11. Later, from paragraphs 13 through 124, going all the way to page 42, we get a litany of the knowing lies told or bruited by the defendant and his six (uncharged) co-conspirators-but mostly by Trump. The first paragraphs allege conspiracies in certain states to replace legitimate electors and force sham recounts. The January 6-related counts start in paragraph 100 and walk us through the day, and Trump’s actions, hour by hour. The indictment, signed by special counsel Jack Smith on page 45, concludes that “the Defendant, DONALD J. TRUMP, did knowingly combine, conspire, confederate, and agree with co-conspirators, known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to injure, impress, threaten, and intimidate one or more persons in the free exercise and enjoyment of a right and privilege secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the United States-that is, the right to vote, and to have one’s vote counted.”

It’s kind of beautiful, really, that it comes down to that simple truth. Whatever good and bad this country has visited upon its citizens, and however much it limited that right to so many of them for so many decades, we did establish for the modern world that simple principle: the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted. It’s the engine of the whole enterprise. Took us a long time to perfect it, and no sooner did we perfect it than certain dark forces started to agitate against it. Those certain dark forces culminated in the person and actions of the defendant. And the system managed to rouse itself and rise up to call bullshit on it.

So, what does this all mean? I think the big thing for Trump is that he needs to understand he is now looking at two separate federal indictments on separate offenses meaning if he is found guilty of both, that will probably impact sentencing. He will not be getting away scot-free here. Although he’s rich and white, I still think he’s going to face some kind of music on this indictment.s

I think that there is probably more that is going to be uncovered here. It’s going to be a major issue for the former president and for the Republican Party. It’s not just a legal thing that is impacting one person or those named in any potential future indictments, it’s also something that is damaging to the Republican Party and the country as a whole.

Democrats will exploit this and should win back a lot of seats in Congress and Biden will win (hopefully) pretty easily. I do wish there was a better (i.e.) younger choices, but that’s coming soon.

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Sean McDevitt

Most days I’m a professional copywriter, author, essayist, husband, father, and scrambled eggs maker. Find me at seanmcdevitt.com.