The best protection Trump would enjoy from any of these known or potential investigations is the informal aura of legal impunity granted to former presidents. That protection has been stripped off by the insurrection, and the tepid defense mounted by his former party.

Republicans in Congress may not want to anger their base by voting openly to disqualify Trump from office. But they very obviously wish for Trump to be disqualified by somebody else. The pointed gestures toward the courts by McConnell and his allies are a clear signal that those judges shouldn’t extend to Trump any special protection.

Judges don’t think exactly like elected officials do, of course. But they don’t think completely unlike them. The motivation of jurists is a mysterious elixir of legal principle and political calculation. Their reasoning needs to make some sense, but the bar of “reasonable” tends to be much lower to reach a favorable ruling for their team.

Republicans are going out of their way to tell the courts that they don’t see Trump as a member of their team. Will nobody rid them of this turbulent Florida man?