Trump prosecution necessary -- no matter how 'awful' the MAGA movement response: conservative
Donald Trump addresses supporters at the Peabody Opera House in Downtown Saint Louis in 2016. (Gino Santa Maria /

The criminal case against Donald Trump is "both comprehensive and compelling," according to a conservative columnist, but it remains uncertain whether he will ever be prosecuted for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

A federal judge found the former president had "more likely than not" broke the law in his attempt to remain power, and the House select committee has revealed strong evidence for prosecution, but The Bulwark's Charlie Sykes said the decision to charge Trump carried immense political and historical weight.

"Failure to charge Trump with anything would essentially concede that current and former presidents are above the law," Sykes wrote.

The fallout from indicting Trump could be intense, emotional and potentially violent, and the former president has already called for huge protests if he's charged with any crimes, which Sykes said was clearly meant as a threat to intimidate prosecutors.

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"But they shouldn’t worry about the politics, because whatever they decide it will be awful," Sykes said.

Sykes agreed with former DOJ prosecutor Andrew Weismann, who urges his former colleagues to bring a wide-ranging "hub-and-spoke" case tying Trump to all the schemes aimed at keeping him in the White House, rather than focus on smaller, perhaps easier-to-prove elements.

"Minor criminal charges will not spark a minor political reaction," Sykes wrote. "Bigger charges are not actually more incendiary that middle-of-the-road charges because the rage meter is always dialed up to 11."

The MAGA right will see any move against Trump as an act of war, so Sykes urged attorney general Merrick Garland to go big and kill off his political chances once and for all.

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"Garland has a chance to place an exclamation point behind Trump’s seditious criminality," Sykes wrote. "Charging Trump with 'conspiracy,' 'fraud,' 'obstruction,' and/or 'incitement,’ would not move the MAGAites, but it would help educate millions of other Americans who might remember what it means to keep a Republic."