From the Wall Street Journal editorial board:
Donald Trump’s post-election behavior in 2020 was deceitful and destructive, and his malfeasance on Jan. 6, 2021, was disgraceful, but was it criminal? That’s the claim in the extraordinary indictment issued Tuesday by a federal grand jury established by special counsel Jack Smith.
This is a remarkably broad theory of “conspiracy to defraud the United States,” and one with troubling implications far beyond the fate of Mr. Trump. Mr. Smith’s theory seems to be that if a President and his “co-conspirators” are lying, and then take action on that lie, they are defrauding the U.S.
This potentially criminalizes many kinds of actions and statements by a President that a prosecutor deems to be false. You don’t have to be a defender of Donald Trump to worry about where this will lead. It makes any future election challenges, however valid, legally vulnerable to a partisan prosecutor.
None of this is an apology for Mr. Trump’s post-election behavior. These columns have been clear from Election Day that we have seen no evidence that the election was stolen, and that Mr. Trump should have resigned in disgrace after the events of Jan. 6.
But the good news of that day, and of all four Trump years as President, is that America’s institutions held up under great stress. If there was a conspiracy, it was by a gang of misfits.
Read the full editorial. No paywall.
Jack Smith’s theory seems to be that if a President and his co-conspirators are lying, and then take action on that lie, they are defrauding the U.S. https://t.co/H6IT0JLJlz
— Wall Street Journal Opinion (@WSJopinion) August 2, 2023