Despite taking their own sweet time to render what should have been a five-minute decision ruling that Donald Trump is not immune from criminal prosecution, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals did do Americans one big favor: They removed most of Trump’s avenues to continue delaying what has become known as the “January 6” criminal case against him. I’ll spare readers the tedium of recounting the legal maneuvering that was avoided, and sum it up as this: The court gave Trump a Monday deadline to appeal to the Supreme Court. He, as usual, put it off until the last minute but did indeed make that appeal by the end of the day.

Now there is only one question: Will the six Republican justices on the court sabotage the case brought by special prosecutor Jack Smith?

Almost no legal experts think that the justices, despite being partisan hacks, will humiliate themselves by upholding Trump’s asinine claims of total license to commit as many crimes as he wishes. But, as Ian Millhiser at Vox explains, “the Court could simply sit on his request for a very long time without taking any action on it.” Doing so would destroy the chance that Trump’s criminal trial for his attempted coup would occur this year. If he wins the election, it would destroy the case completely. There is no doubt that Trump would appoint a corrupt crony to head the Justice Department, and that stooge would kill the case.

On the same day that Trump filed his appeal, Talking Points Memo released a blockbuster report that underscores what a devastating blow to democracy it would be if the Supreme Court derailed this criminal case against Trump. As Josh Kovensky writes, Kenneth Chesebro, one of the unindicted (so far) co-conspirators in Smith’s D.C. case, provided “a trove of documents” to Michigan prosecutors as part of a cooperation agreement to avoid charges of efforts to steal the election in that state. (Chesebro has already pled guilty in a similar case in Georgia.) The documents show how Trump and his conspirators hatched a plan to steal the election by interrupting, delaying, filibustering or otherwise blocking the congressional certification of electoral votes. The idea was to sow chaos for days, if not weeks, in hopes the Supreme Court would step in and simply nullify the election, declaring Trump president.

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The full plan never came to fruition, in large part because the conspirators didn’t get enough buy-in from then-Vice President Mike Pence and other key Republican leaders to pull it off. But the documents are a chilling reminder that the violence of the Capitol insurrection was just a small part of what was a vast, sweeping conspiracy to steal the 2020 election from President Joe Biden and the voters who elected him. This matters, because “January 6” has become a shorthand for an attempted coup that, in actuality, lasted for two months and across multiple states. No doubt, the Capitol riot was the flashiest part of this effort. But there’s a real danger that the violence that day is eclipsing the public’s understanding of all the events — and crimes — that led up to QAnon idiots storming the Capitol.

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