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Aug 23, 2023·edited Aug 23, 2023Liked by Randall Eliason

Hi Randall,

Thanks for starting this very useful Substack. Like you, I was a longtime AUSA (EDVA). I have a few questions that perhaps you could address. I think they would be of general interest to your readership.

First, I was wondering whether you had a response to Harvard Prof. Jack Goldsmith's thoughtful piece in the NYT, here: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/08/opinion/trump-indictment-cost-danger.html?fbclid=IwAR0Wqe6E3pW7iHtOPY0RoLGLAFCaWUz24e8Zg7qqRqLqZ00hI5YXqVWNqrI Prof. Goldsmith can't stand Trump and what Trump represents, but still, I thought, made some fair points.

Second, I was wondering if at some point you could do something like a "Frequently Asked Questions" piece on the Trump prosecutions. One question would be, for example, whether it makes a difference if Trump truly believed he won the election. I know you've taken that on before, but I wonder whether, assuming he had such a belief, that would affect the government's obligation to prove that he acted "corruptly" in seeking to persuade/coerce election officials.

Another question might be whether the actual or perceived difference in DOJ's determination to go after Trump versus, for example, Hillary or Hunter could or should affect public perceptions of this prosecution.

A fourth might be what to make of the fact that the Georgia indictment charges so many of Trump's attorneys. When I was an AUSA. I always thought long and hard before going after a defense attorney no matter how sleazy and dishonest I thought he was (although I did go after one fellow who was laundering money for his supposed client).

And one more might be where, specifically, the law should draw the line between questioning the results of an election (which is legal), and seeking to change those results or simply bully the vote counters (which obviously is illegal). I don't know that I have a precise answer to that question, and it would make a difference to what is sure to be Trump's First Amendment defense. SCOTUS of late has been quite protective of First Amendment claims, as (in my view) it should be.

To say the least, this will be one of the most closely watched criminal cases in American history, and I think it important that the public perceive that Trump was treated fairly. Full public acceptance of his forthcoming convictions probably cannot be achieved, given how impervious some of his supporters are, but that makes the perception of open-minded people all the more important.

Again, thanks for your work on this Substack.

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