Ukraine War, June 21, 2022: Merrick Garland in Kyiv–If you want to help Ukraine, indict Trump

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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.


1) María Luisa Paúl, Jonathan Edwards, Julian Mark, Andrea Salcedo, Adam Taylor and Reis Thebault (Russia-Ukraine war live updates), “U.S. attorney general visits Kyiv,” Washington Post, June 21, 2022 (Updated at 5:25 pm EDT);

2) William A. Galston, “Return of the Arsenal of Democracy; As the Ukraine war drags on, it will test America’s and the West’s commitment,” Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2022 (1:19 pm ET);

3) Jack Goldsmith, “Prosecute Trump? Put Yourself in Merrick Garland’s Shoes,” New York Times, June 20, 2022.

Mr. Goldsmith served in the George W. Bush administration as an assistant attorney general, office of legal counsel, and as special counsel to the general counsel of the Department of Defense.


The Washington Post reported today that even Attorney General Merrick Garland wanted to get into the act of supporting Ukraine, and has traveled to Kyiv The Post reported:

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland met with Ukraine’s top prosecutor Tuesday during an unannounced trip to Kyiv. Garland, announcing the launch of a U.S. “war crimes accountability team,” pledged to “pursue every avenue of accountability for those who commit war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine.”

Garland’s trip only underlines how ludicrous President Biden’s strategy for countering Russian aggression in Ukraine has become.

Last week Biden’s brilliant idea was to build temporary grain silos in Poland for transshipment of Ukrainian wheat and other grains by train for subsequent shipment by sea from European ports.

If Merrick Garland wants to do something to help Ukraine, he should indict Donald Trump.

Harvard Law School Professor Jack Goldsmith, who served in the George W. Bush administration,has published an Op-ed in the New York Times which reads like a brief for Garland’s doing nothing. Garland could not have obtained a better defense for his inaction if he had paid for it.

If Merrick Garland wants to do something to help Ukraine, he should indict Donald Trump.

Harvard Law School Professor Jack Goldsmith, who served in the George W. Bush administration,mhas published an Op-ed in the New York Times which reads like a brief for Garland’s doing nothing. Garland could not have obtained a better defense for his inaction if he had paid for it.

Goldsmith’s belabored argument calls to mind the definition of Ambrose Bierce in his Devil’s Dictionary: “Lawyer–0ne skilled in the circumvention of the law.”

The law is actually not that complicated, though lawyers like Professor Goldsmith leaning hard in one direction can make it appear that way.

Basically, the argument now goes, the Justice Department has to be virtually certain that it could obtain a criminal conviction before it brings charges against a defendant like Trump.

That is not the way the law is written, however many twists and turns the Justice Department might give it to avoid its duty to prosecute crime.

If Merrick Garland wants to do something to really help Ukraine, he should indict Donald Trump.

No step could help Ukraine more in the longer term, by taking some of the air out of Trump’s propaganda bubble. While not so motivated, this step would also have as a consequence a decreased likelihood that an insurrectionist like Donald Trump or a Trump acolyte with similar views wins the presidential election in 2024.

It might also take some of the wind out of the sails of the pro-Russian faction within the ranks of Republicans in the House and the Senate.

Unless he corrects course soon, Garland will go down in history as the man who was afraid to indict Trump, with personal moral responsibility for all that ensued as a result of his malfeasance in office.


1) “Merrick Garland’s tragic epitaph: The man who wouldn’t prosecute Donald Trump,” The Trenchant Observer, May 2, 2022;

2) “Policy of Impunity continues at Merrick Garland’s Justice Department, as statute of limitations runs out on obstruction of justice cases detailed in Mueller Report,” The Trenchant Observer, February 2, 2022.

The Trenchant Observer


See also,

Only force can stop Putin

“Ukraine War, April 5, 2022 (II): Force must be used to stop Putin,” The Trenchant Observer, April 5, 2922 .

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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.