Ross: Will WA Republicans turn a blind eye to Trump’s crimes?

Aug 15, 2023, 9:10 AM | Updated: 9:20 am

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FILE - Former President Donald Trump walks to speak with reporters before boarding his plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Aug. 3, 2023, in Arlington, Va. The federal judge overseeing the 2020 election conspiracy case against Donald Trump will hear arguments over a request by prosecutors for a protective order seeking to bar the former president from publicly disclosing evidence shared by the government. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

We now have Trump’s Georgia indictment: Listing 161 overt acts committed by former President Donald Trump and his team as part of a conspiracy to keep him in office past January 20, 2021.

It took a while, but we are witnessing a historic moment: a conspiracy that Trump supporters actually do not believe in.

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Obviously, he is not guilty unless convicted. But it sets up a difficult decision for the Republican party because whether Trump is convicted or not, everybody knows what he tried to do. We saw it for ourselves.

He is the first President to set up a private organization for the purpose of keeping himself in office past the term set by the Constitution.

So even if he gets off and walks free, it doesn’t change what he did. It just means he won’t be criminally punished for it.

So when the time comes for the Presidential primary elections, what will the Secretaries of State do if Donald J. Trump is on the list?

Under the Constitution, in order to serve, a presidential candidate must have been born on American territory, be at least 35 years of age, and must never have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the Constitution of the United States.

The question is who enforces those requirements.

Presumably, if the name of a known underage candidate was submitted, the Secretaries of State would reject it.

But what if the name of a known insurrectionist was submitted?

When I asked our Secretary of State’s office whose job it is to enforce that, I got an email from spokesman Derrick Nunnally who wrote, “Political parties submit the candidate names to appear on the primary ballot … The Secretary of State has no statutory power to evaluate a candidate’s qualifications for the office, which are set in federal law.”

And sure enough: under the Revised Code of Washington, the party chair submits the names. So in the case of the State Republican Party, it’s State Representative Jim Walsh who will decide whether Donald Trump is eligible for the primary ballot in Washington.

He’s the one who will have to decide whether those 161 overt acts in furtherance of a conspiracy to violate the Constitution really happened, or can simply be ignored.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Will WA Republicans turn a blind eye to Trump’s crimes?