WASHINGTON DC: Pity Merrick Garland. Whichever path America’s attorney-general takes – to prosecute Donald Trump or not – entails great risk. Putting the former president on trial would hasten the country’s drift towards political violence. Letting him walk away would make another coup attempt more likely.
Garland is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Either route could endanger US democracy.
The evidence amassed by the US House of Representatives’ Jan 6 committee is making it much harder to turn a blind eye. Garland’s quandary is acute. The standard of proof for a criminal conviction is considerably higher than lay observers of the Jan 6, 2021, protests might assume.
A botched prosecution would make Trump stronger and might even help re-elect him. When you strike at a king – even a former one – you must kill him.
PROVING DONALD TRUMP KNEW HIS ACTIONS WERE CRIMINAL
Garland’s task would be to prove beyond doubt that Trump had criminal intent – a high bar that means showing not just that he tried to overturn the election but that he was fully awar...