Trump has been indicted by a grand jury on 7 felonies, including obstruction of justice. I’m told by a prosecutor that I know that proving obstruction can be harder than proving other crimes, and the media is saying that Jack Smith, the special prosecutor, is aggressive in his investigations but conservative in his prosecution decisions: he doesn’t bring cases he can’t win. He doesn’t even bring cases he things are strong maybes. Smith brings cases that he knows he has the evidence to prove.
Other charges, for mishandling classified records and even the Espionage Act violations should be easier to prove, or so my prosecutor friend says, so if Smith has the goods on obstruction, then he surely has the goods on these other crimes. Watch for the obstruction charge to be the swing count. If Smith doesn’t nail Trump on everything, it will be because the obstruction case faced unexpected new exculpatory evidence. If that happens, expect the Espionage Act case to also become shaky. But expect the records charges to stick — at least at the trial court.
That, however, brings up another issue: even if Smith can win convictions, can he preserve them on appeal. I don’t yet see any reasons why he shouldn’t be able to do so, but our SCOTUS has been particularly corrupt lately, and we can never forget Bush v. Gore when the majority openly admitted in their decision that their rationale did not hold up, and that though they were deciding the case, they did not want any lower court to use it as precedent. Things have only gotten worse at SCOTUS since, so time will tell whether they have the integrity to rule appropriately.
In the meantime, get ready for 6 to 20 months of pretrial motions and general waiting around. This is the end only of one phase, though for me it seems an auspicious beginning to the next.