He should not.
How can a man who was willing to shred the Constitution in service of his own ambition once again run — and win — the highest office? We already know he will stop at nothing. We already know that he wanted to join the armed protesters at the Capitol. Was he planning to march in with them to stop the constitutionally required ballot counting? Why else go? The very idea of a United States president marching up the stairs of the Capitol to demand that the ballots be ignored to keep him in office should send chills up the backs of all of us, regardless of party. This is the sort of thing that happens in third-world dictatorships, not first-world democracies. And when it does happen in developing countries, we expect — we even train — the judiciary to stand up to it.
Should we accept anything less from our own criminal justice system?
Merrick is a former prosecutor and a careful man. He will not go off half-cocked. He will, until it is time for the final decision, give room to the prosecutors assigned to run this investigation. He will, I would bet, give enormous weight to their recommendation. Prosecuting a former president of the United States is not a decision to be made lightly. It will divide the country, without a doubt. The fierceness of the loyalty of a minority of Americans to the former president includes some of the loudest mouths in the media, as well as many committed Republicans who are still looking for holes in the Jan. 6 findings.
It makes sense to let the grand jury process take its course, to cooperate with the committee, to assure that all relevant testimony is available to the Justice Department. But the buck doesn’t really stop in the grand jury room: Grand juries as a rule do what prosecutors ask them to do, which means the decision will ultimately belong to the prosecutor-in-chief, who is the attorney general. I have confidence in the process, and most of all in Merrick.