The indictment of Trump: The Democratic wall of silence begins to break


1) Laurence H. Tribe, Barbara McQuade and Joyce White Vance,
“Here’s a roadmap for the Justice Department to follow in investigating Trump,” Washington Post, August 5, 2021. (9:10 a.m. EDT);

2) “Should Trump be indicted?,” The Trenchant Observer, August 2, 2021.

Today the leading constitutional law scholar of his generation, Lawrence H. Tribe, professor emiritus at Harvard Law School, and two other distinguished legal scholars, broke the democratic wall of silence regarding the investigation and prosecution of  Donald Trump for his many apparent crimes related to the November 2020 election, the January 6, 2021 insurrention, and, more generally, the conspiracy of Trump and Republican legislators and officials to overthrow the election and the Constitution of the United States.

The bubble of silence is pierced. While Tribe, McQuade, and Vance address only issues related to the election and its aftermath, we all should be asking why Merrick Garland and his Justice Department are not prosecuting Donald Trump for the ten cases of obstruction of justice investigated by Robert Mueller and detailed in the his Report.

We should also be asking about why Trump is not being prosecuted for the obvious obstruction of justice he committed in threatening and retaliating against witnesses who testified against him in the two impeachment investigations. These apparent crimes were committed in full public view.

Is the Democratic strategy just to let the statute of limitations run out, in effect introducing a new, shorter, de facto statute of limitations for crimes by high current or former government officials?

It will be interesting to see how Garland, the DOJ, and Democratic leaders react to the op-ed article by Tribe, McQuade, and Vance. Their reactions will tell us a lot about the Democratic conspiracy (in the general sense, not in the criminal sense) to avoid talking about prosecuting Trump and his co-conspirators.

Do they want to bow to political and other non-legal considerations in order to not prosecute Trump, thereby establishing, however inadvertently, a new political principle of impunity for crimes committed by high government officials?


1) “After Trump’s Senate acquittal, the urgent need to reaffirm core values and the Rule of Law,” The Trenchant Observer,” February 3, 2020;

2) “After witness retaliation, Democrats should open impeachment inquiry on obstruction of justice,” The Trenchant Observer, February 8, 2020.

In what an experienced Washington hand might suspect was an attempt to divert attention from the thrust of the questioms raised by Tribe and his co-authors, Merrick Garland published an op-ed in the Washington Post later today, at 6:09 p.m. EDT, entitled, “It is time for Congress to act again to protect the right to vote,” Washington Post, August 5, 2021.

While the subject of Garland’s piece is of great importance, could the timing of its publication today be more than a pure coincidence? Our experienced Washington hand might well respond, “Perhaps.”

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.

1 Comment on "The indictment of Trump: The Democratic wall of silence begins to break"

  1. Michael Mauldin | August 6, 2021 at 8:10 am |

    Yes. Let’s hope some movement will happen.
    But hope is not action.
    The dems have been busy finding lots of things to do with our money, but by ignoring this “old business ” of putting Trump in jail
    they put all other plans in jeopardy.

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