UPDATE: On March 30, 2023 Donald Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury for reportedly more than 30 counts of financial crimes. The charging documents have not yet been released that would inform the public about what the grand jury indicted him for more specifically.
Rick Reilly got it right when he wrote the book Commander in Cheat about how Trump cheated and lied about his golf game and then consistently cheated and lied with impunity over and over in his job as president. What you see is what you get when it comes to human psychology. Trump was and still is a cheater: a man without a moral core who lives in a reality bubble that is an alternate universe of his own creation in which he is endlessly winning. Reality is about to hit him upside the head in the form of multiple criminal indictments for breaking the law. Trump didn’t have to break the law. No one forced him to do that. That was HIS choice. And he made it over and over. Now Trump will make all of US pay for HIS moral transgressions:
- Stormy Daniels Campaign Funds and Financial Crimes Violations (Manhattan DA)
- Mar-a-Lago Documents Obstruction- Refusal to Return Top Secret Documents (Jack Smith, Special Counsel DOJ)
- Georgia “Find me the Votes” (Special Grand Jury Fulton County Fani Willis)
- January 6th Attempt to Overturn a Free and Fair Election and Incite an Insurrection (Jack Smith, Special Counsel DOJ)
The Stormy Daniels Case- What’s That All About?
The Manhattan DA’s Office, which will likely be the first office to bring an indictment (yes, they just did) in a series of indictments, is bracing for assaults from an enraged Trump and his horrible supporters. Why? Because He Who Promotes the Big Lie wants his supporters to seek revenge on his behalf. Trump is promising “death and destruction” if he is indicted.
Is anyone surprised? This was inevitable. Trump is about to face consequences (finally) for breaking many laws he KNEW he was breaking. He not only did not care about laws and norms, he thought and still thinks laws are for suckers. Rules were not supposed to apply to him. He will forever falsely claim he did not break the law (in his make believe, fairytale world he DIDN’T break any laws) and that he is being unfairly attacked. His rallies are the same old dreck. All of them. Rampant, dark lie fests.
The Stormy Daniels matter, which was about to blow up as the 2016 election was about to take place, was the start of Trump’s cheat to win presidency. All of the other indictments and his two impeachments were also part of his cheat to win and cheat to stay in power handbook. With Stormy Daniels he paid off the porn star so she would be quiet about how she slapped him on the rump with Forbes magazine (people have many strange sexual fantasies) – that could not come out so close to the election. He needed the public to think that he could be presidential. Numerous magazines and newspapers reported what Daniels said:
“She says one time he made her sit with him for three hours watching ‘shark week.’ Another time he had her spank him with a Forbes magazine.”
Dubé and the other consultant confirmed to Mother Jones they exchanged these emails.
The campaign consultant who wrote the email to Dubé tells Mother Jones that Daniels said the spanking came during a series of sexual and romantic encounters with Trump and that it involved a copy of Forbes with Trump on the cover.
A fall 2006 cover of Forbes does feature Trump and two of his children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka. (Mother Jones)
Trump had Cohen pay off the porn star ($130,000) so that he could pretend to be respectable and get elected. Once in the Oval Office Trump signed a number of smaller checks to reimburse Michael Cohen the $130,000.
Why is that illegal, you ask?
A conviction would be likely to hinge on prosecutors’ proving that Mr. Trump reimbursed Mr. Cohen and falsified business records when he did so, to hide an election law violation. (You are not supposed to use election funds to pay hush money to a porn star- that is not a permissible use of the funds you have obtained from your donors. Ask John Edwards about that.)
Trump’s scandal led to Michael Cohen doing jail time, but not Trump. Cohen went to jail because he carried out Trump’s bidding as Trump’s fixer. Why was that fair? Cohen wasn’t the one who had the illicit affair with a porn star which created a need to pay her off so she wouldn’t expose him. He was just the errand boy for Trump. The reason Trump was not indicted after the facts came out and Cohen took the hit, was that by the time this illegality was exposed he had become the sitting president. Robert Mueller then gave him cover by codifying the OLC rule about whether a president should be indicted to mean that a sitting president COULD NOT be indicted as long as he is president. That seemed to be tolerable because a president could always be indicted for his crimes AFTER serving as president.
Trump was identified in the charging documents of the case against Michael Cohen as the unindicted DIRECTOR of the scheme. He was never shielded from indictment after leaving the presidency. Yet after Trump left office, the DOJ did not indict him even after Merrick Garland took over with the new administration. It has been over two years now. Where is the indictment by the DOJ or the FEC for that matter? The DOJ and FEC failed to do their jobs here. Maybe because the case relies on a legal theory that will be tough to prove. Maybe because DOJ has its hands full with the other two massive investigations into Trump. They left it to the District Attorney of New York to do their dirty work, indicting Trump for the first of a series of illegal actions that are Trump’s MO. He cheats and lies to win. He cheats and lies to stay in power. Of course he does.
Why Does the Stormy Daniels Case Matter?
The reason it is important to indict Trump for the Stormy Daniels case is that it was the first of a series of crimes that Trump committed that were all about gaining and keeping the presidency by any means possible including breaking the law to do it. If there are no consequences for Trump, it invites the next dictator wannabe to use the same playbook. Trump also needs to be treated like every other American. In our democracy a former president is a regular citizen. Another politician would be subject to indictment here for violating campaign finance laws. Ask John Edwards. If there is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt the jury will come back with a not guilty.
But Trump cannot let the legal system play out. Trump is, predictably, going to war against American institutions, the legal system, the political system, police, FBI, prosecutors; anyone and everyone trying to impose consequences on him for breaking the law. In the process, he will stress test those systems and all of us with his self-serving campaign of terror. He retweeted an image of himself with a baseball bat behind an image of Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan DA, about to strike him in the head. Free speech? Incitement to riot? Both? This is just the beginning, folks.
Think about how much money our country has already spent on Trump to uncover his crimes and pull together the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt and then some so that he could be fairly prosecuted, the massive effort to look behind the barriers he has erected to get at the truth so that he could face consequences. Unlike other Americans when they break the law Trump as president had massive power to put and promote people in high places who were his protectors and apologists.
I think the reason Merrick Garland’s DOJ has not prosecuted Trump yet was that the department likely had hold over Trump aligned personnel left in place that Garland failed to remove because he wanted to believe the agents and prosecutors were apolitical. They used to be. And they are supposed to be. But under Trump I bet politics was part of the equation when it came to being staffed on cases and getting ahead at DOJ. These political people can be hard to ferret out. It’s not like a Trump sycophant wears a badge proclaiming his or her allegiance to Trump. Garland may have been too faint hearted, overly trusting, overwhelmed or trying to be too fair to office personnel to conduct a purge of Trump aligned people.
What is Going to Happen to US Because of Trump
It is ironic that Trump got elected by winning over the Evangelical voters who believe in autocratic family values: if you don’t follow the rules you get consequences. Go to your room! Go to the shed for your whupping! It’s also psychologically revealing that Trump wants to be swatted on the rump by a porn star or allegedly peed on by Russian hookers. Trump (unless he has become psychotic and therefore unable to tell truth from lies) knows he is lying and cheating and that he ought to get a thrashing. He knows he broke the law and deserves to be punished.
Instead, however, Trump will punish US for HIS crimes. He will rally his mob to attack and discredit our institutions and the people trying to hold him accountable. The good news is that in the general election this effort by Trump will drive people to the polls to abolish him and his party. Not in the primaries. In the general election. The bad news is that until he is banished or no longer alive we will be assaulted by Trump and his hateful campaign of revenge. You might want to forget about him but he will be in your darn newsfeed every day doing and saying outrageous shit.
If you sent your kid to time out and they threatened to get their armed followers out to assault you, you would laugh. But Trump has amassed a huge number of gun toting worshippers who believe in him. For that reason our country is in for a very disturbing period of time in which the threat of violence, intimidation and incidents of actual violence will be spawned by the vengeful destructive force that is Trump. Until Trump is politically defeated or dead our country will be tormented by him.
The 2024 Potential
2024 might be the turning point. Currently Trump is on a path to win the Republican nomination. A rematch between Trump and Biden in a general election would currently yield Biden a second term and in the process could sweep away the hold the Republican Party has over the House and reconfirm the Senate for the Dems. In 2024 the American people would have the chance, if they take it, to finally break the fever and send Trump to the woodshed along with all the silent or Trump aligned Republican apologists who are are not speaking out against him or are actively enabling him like Jim Jordan, Lindsay Graham, and so many other wussies.
If Republicans cannot rid themselves of this menace they deserve the whupping that’s coming. Every one of them deserves the woodshed.