Jul 21, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Legal wall closes in on Trump and his allies over election lies

Trump at the border wall in June 2020. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty

Brick by brick, the law is building a wall around former President Trump, conservative columnist David French writes in the New York Times.

Why it matters: The U.S. legal system has withstood concerted attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Many of those involved — including President Trump, his lawyers and his media allies — are facing consequences.

Zoom in: Courts and prosecutors, in real time and huge pressure, have responded to election denial and the Capitol attack in a way that's "meting out justice to the participants and establishing a series of legal precedents that will stand as enduring deterrents to a future rebellion," French writes.

  • Michigan's attorney general on Tuesday charged 16 pro-Trump fake electors for their involvement in an alleged scheme to reverse the election results.
  • That same day, Trump said he'd received a letter from special counsel Jack Smith informing him he's a target of the grand jury investigation into Jan. 6.
  • A day earlier, Georgia's Supreme Court rejected an attempt by Trump's lawyers to stymie another investigation into election misconduct, which could soon heat up.

While Trump remains the GOP front-runner despite his growing legal woes, some 350 participants in the Jan. 6 insurrection have been charged.

  • Fox News paid a record defamation settlement to Dominion Voting Systems over false claims about vote rigging, and OAN and Newsmax still face pending cases over claims made on their air.
  • Several Trump former lawyers also face lawsuits, censure and potential disbarment, French notes.

The bottom line: "In an era when so many American institutions have failed," French writes, the law and courts are working. 

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