Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg and special counsel Jack Smith have each indicted disgraced former president Donald Trump for felonies, and serious ones at that. There was no revolt, no violence and no outrage aside from the normally outraged Republicans. The pro-Trump crowd at the Miami courthouse was small and nonviolent.
Smith has shown there is no institutional aversion within the Justice Department to indicting a former president when the facts and the law require. Before his appointment, Americans had reason to doubt (based on the investigation's slow pace and apparent focus on low-level actors) whether that was the case with regard to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. Perhaps Attorney General Merrick Garland did not want to subject the Justice Department to more political vitriol, people thought. Maybe he recoiled at the notion that a former president's successor could jail a political opponent.