Merrick Garland always, always, always has yet another excuse for not indicting Donald Trump


Donald Trump

Coup attempt

Fig. 1. Department of Justice photograph of seized materials, reportedly partially redacted, via the Washington Post, August 31, 2022,[1] public domain.

In the capitalist mindset, everything, including a labor force,[2] is a form of property, accordingly to be disposed of as the owner sees fit.

That review [of classified documents retrieved from Mar-a-Lago] has not found any apparent business advantage to the types of classified information in Trump’s possession, these people said. FBI interviews with witnesses so far, they said, also do not point to any nefarious effort by Trump to leverage, sell or use the government secrets. Instead, the former president seemed motivated by a more basic desire not to give up what he believed was his property, these people said.[3]

Donald Trump probably isn’t even capable of thinking of the documents retrieved from his Mar-a-Lago residence[4] in any other way. As to charges,

Any decision on whether to file charges [against Donald Trump] in the documents case is unlikely to occur before the special master review is complete, as prosecutors have argued in court filings that even the nonclassified documents taken in the search may include relevant evidence.[5]

In case you’re losing track of the excuses, they are:

  1. The Department of Justice cannot indict a sitting president.[6] Trump is no longer president, but
  2. charges against him would be unprecedented and therefore “[t]he evidence would need to meet a higher threshold than is necessary in a typical case.”[7] The Department now reportedly has sufficient evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice,[8] but
  3. then it would have been too close to the midterm elections, and the Department has a rule about prosecutions that might affect election outcomes.[9] The election is now over, but
  4. now the Department needs to wait for the special master review to be complete,[10] yes, the same special master whose appointment the Department is appealing against,[11] because the ruling appointing him in the first place was, by nearly all accounts, bogus in the first place.[12]

We haven’t gotten to the next ‘but’ yet, but you can rest assured, there will be one. There’s always, always, always an excuse.[13]

Amy Gardner, Reis Thebault, and Robert Klemko, “Election deniers lose races for key state offices in every 2020 battleground,” Washington Post, November 13, 2022,

Richard M. Nixon [Justin Sherin], “The Field Takes Shape,&rdqo; Patreon, November 13, 2022,

Nicholas Riccardi and Ken Ritter, “Cortez Masto wins in Nevada, giving Democrats Senate control,” Associated Press, November 13, 2022,

Devlin Barrett and Josh Dawsey, “Investigators see ego, not money, as Trump’s motive on classified papers,” Washington Post, November 14, 2022,

Jonathan J. Cooper, “Hobbs wins Arizona governor’s race, flipping state for Dems,” Associated Press, November 15, 2022,




Fig. 1. Post-collapse scene at the Fern Hollow Bridge, photograph by National Transportation Safety Board, January 29, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh to use $400K designated for public safety training facility on road work,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 14, 2022,

  1. [1]Devlin Barrett, “Justice Dept. says Trump team may have hidden, moved classified papers,” Washington Post, August 31, 2022,
  2. [2]Sven Beckert, “Slavery and Capitalism,” Chronicle of Higher Education, December 12, 2014,
  3. [3]Devlin Barrett and Josh Dawsey, “Investigators see ego, not money, as Trump’s motive on classified papers,” Washington Post, November 14, 2022,
  4. [4]Jacqueline Alemany et al., “National Archives had to retrieve Trump White House records from Mar-a-Lago,” Washington Post, February 7, 2022,; Farnoush Amiri, “National Archives: Trump took classified items to Mar-a-Lago,” Associated Press, February 19, 2022,; Scott R. Anderson et al., “What We Do and Don’t Know About the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago Search,” Lawfare, August 9, 2022,; Devlin Barrett et al., “Mar-a-Lago search appears focused on whether Trump, aides withheld items,” Washington Post, August 9, 2022,; Devlin Barrett et al., “FBI searched Trump’s home to look for nuclear documents and other items, sources say,” Washington Post, August 11, 2022,; Devlin Barrett and Josh Dawsey, “Agents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago seized 11 sets of classified documents, court filing shows,” Washington Post, August 12, 2022,; Alex Leary, Aruna Viswanatha, and Sadie Gurman, “FBI Recovered Eleven Sets of Classified Documents in Trump Search, Inventory Shows,” Washington Post, August 12, 2022,; Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo, “Trump says FBI conducting search of Mar-a-Lago estate,” Associated Press, August 8, 2022,; Betsy Woodruff Swan, Kyle Cheney, and Nicholas Wu, “FBI search warrant shows Trump under investigation for potential obstruction of justice, Espionage Act violations,” Politico, August 12, 2022,
  5. [5]Devlin Barrett and Josh Dawsey, “Investigators see ego, not money, as Trump’s motive on classified papers,” Washington Post, November 14, 2022,
  6. [6]Department of Justice, “A Sitting President’s Amenability to Indictment and Criminal Prosecution,” October 16, 2000,
  7. [7]Perry Stein et al., “Justice filing points to new legal trouble for Trump and lawyers, experts say,” Washington Post, August 31, 2022,
  8. [8]Chris Strohm, “DOJ prosecutors say there’s sufficient evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice: report,” MarketWatch, October 19, 2022,
  9. [9]Michelle Onibokun and Chuck Rosenberg, “The Justice Department’s Policy Against Election Interference is Open to Abuse,” Lawfare, September 11, 2020,
  10. [10]Devlin Barrett and Josh Dawsey, “Investigators see ego, not money, as Trump’s motive on classified papers,” Washington Post, November 14, 2022,
  11. [11]Charlie Savage, “U.S. Asks Court to End Special Master Review of Files Seized From Trump,” New York Times, October 17, 2022,
  12. [12]Jess Bravin and Aruna Viswanatha, “Judge Grants Donald Trump’s Request for Independent Review of Mar-a-Lago Documents,” Wall Street Journal, September 5, 2022,; J. Oliver Conroy, “Why did a judge grant Trump’s request for a ‘special master’?” Guardian, September 7, 2022,; Ann E. Marimow and Devlin Barrett, “Judge’s special-master order a test of Trump’s post-White House powers,” Washington Post, September 6, 2022,; Charlie Savage, “‘Deeply Problematic’: Experts Question Judge’s Intervention in Trump Inquiry,” New York Times, September 5, 2022,; Eric Tucker, “Judge grants Trump bid for special master in Mar-a-Lago case,” Los Angeles Times, September 5, 2022,
  13. [13]David Benfell, “It is now even more urgently orange jumpsuit time,” Not Housebroken, October 17, 2022,

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