Dahlia Lithwick: ‘Trump’s Last Two Indictments Complement Each Other Perfectly’

Dahlia Lithwick, writing for Slate:

The two most recent indictments filed against Donald J. Trump are mirror images in many ways. Jack Smith’s federal document filed in Washington was spare almost to the point of being an inky line drawing, whereas Fani Willis’ Georgia filing is rich and detailed and pointillist. Smith targeted one defendant only, whereas Willis went after 19 defendants on 41 counts. Smith mentions a handful of co-conspirators; Willis notes 30 unindicted co-conspirators. As Norm Eisen and Amy Lee Copeland point out, Smith’s case will likely be blacked out for television and audio audiences, whereas Willis’ suit will most likely become must-see TV for weeks on end. Jennifer Rubin argues that the D.C. trial will happen quickly, while the Georgia case may face months of wrangling, flipping, bargaining with conspirators, and lengthy pretrial shenanigans. Claire Potter points out that Willis can seize Trump’s assets under Georgia’s RICO law. And Rick Hasen observes that Fani Willis has centered race and racialized vote suppression in a fashion that is far more explicit than the federal analogue.

Jack Smith as a literary character is tight-lipped and spare; Willis has been more voluble and open.

Wednesday, 16 August 2023