He looks doomed; however, he has had an amazing ability to slip out of these predicaments and remain free, while his subordinates go to jail or are hit with big fines.
Donald Trump is at a key point in his life: will he fade from the scene or resurrect himself to become President again, and appoint himself the New Hitler? This year will determine his (and our) fate.
Trump’s first wife Ivana swore under oath that during their marriage Trump kept a copy of Hitler’s 1941 book “My New Order”, a compilation of his speeches, in a cabinet beside his bed. He admitted getting a copy of this book from Marty Davis, then Chairman of Paramount Pictures. During this period, one of his aides used to approach him, click his heels and exclaim “Heil Hitler!!!” as he neared his Master.
With six or seven different lawsuits and possible indictments in his present or future, he looks doomed; however, he has had an amazing ability to slip out of these predicaments and remain free, while his subordinates go to jail or are hit with big fines. Roy Cohn, Jeffrey Epstein, and many other former associates are now long gone, but as he nears his 80s, Trump still survives.
Ihave recounted Trump’s heavily Germanic ancestry in past LA Progressive articles (see “Heil Trumputin!”, August 16, 2017 and “Trumputin: Fascist in Training”, February 12, 2017), but here is a brief summary: Trump’s grandfather, Friedrich Drumpf, emigrated from a poor part of western Germany, Kallstadt, in October, 1885 at age 16, joining his older sister in the slums of Lower East Side Manhattan. After a few years there as a barber, he moved to the Seattle area in 1891 and started a restaurant for miners on their way to Alaska and the Klondike for the Gold Rush.
He sold his business in 1898 and moved to the Klondike himself, opening a restaurant/hotel that served 3,000 meals a day. His establishments specialized in booths with heavy curtains where women could entertain horny prospectors seeking female companionship. It was a high end brothel. He made a fortune, and as the Gold Rush started to wane, he sold his business again, and in 1901 returned to Germany to find a wife.
He had become an American citizen in 1892, and had changed his name to Frederick Trump, but the Kaiser wanted him for the German military, and he fled Germany with his pregnant new wife, Elizabeth Crist, for America. He settled in Queens in 1905, and developed a business with his Klondike riches, buying and building tenement real estate in Queens and Brooklyn.
He died in 1918 of the Spanish Flu, but his wife and son, also named Fred Trump, continued and grew the business. In 1926 young Fred was arrested for participating in a KKK rally in Brooklyn, but was not given a prison sentence. In 1936, he met a young blond haired, blue eyed woman visiting the U.S. from a poor area of Scotland, Mary Ann MacLeod, and married her. In 1946, Donald Trump arrived, along with three other children. The rest is history. The Trumps have always operated on the periphery of the law, and it has worked for them.
Donald Trump is the closest thing to a Mafia boss the Presidency will ever see. He learned how the Mafia operates from Roy Cohn: never write anything down; dictate instructions to trusted subordinates, who will then execute his orders faithfully. That way there is always deniability. It has worked for Trump…so far.
The 1/6 Insurrection
Trump’s biggest problem today is his deep involvement in and likely orchestration of the 1/6 insurrection, resulting in his being investigated by the DoJ, aided recently by the information and testimony developed by the House Select Committee. A number of Trump’s flunkies have been subpoenaed by the Select Committee and have taken the Fifth Amendment since he left office over two years ago, including Roger Stone, Mike Flynn, John Eastman, Alex Jones, and Jeffrey Clark. In addition, Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro refused to testify and have been indicted (Bannon has been convicted), and Rudy Giuliani is in the process of being disbarred.
A number of Congressmen who talked to Trump on 1/6 and before about the insurrection, including Jim Jordan and Scott Perry, have refused to testify. And then there is former Congressman Mark Meadows, Trump’s Chief of Staff in the months leading up to 1/6. Six thousand pages of memos, emails, text messages, PowerPoint presentations and other documents sent and received by Meadows between the 2020 election and the 1/6 insurrection were obtained by the Select Committee (and are now in the possession of the DoJ). He also burned some documents during the transition period between the Trump and Biden Administrations. Meadows refused to testify before the Select Committee, and was found in contempt of Congress, but the DoJ declined to prosecute him.
To me, this cries out that Meadows has been given qualified immunity by the DoJ, and is now cooperating.
We are within a year of the first 2024 Presidential primaries, and it is beyond time for the DoJ to indict Trump and the others. There may be a few more witnesses to bring before the Special Counsel, but get your act together and indict, AG Garland, before it is too late. If Trump is not indicted, that sets a terrible precedent for future Presidents: They Are Above the Law…
Marching Through Georgia
Fulton County (GA) DA Fani Willis is preparing to indict Trump and some of his flunkies, including Rudy Giuliani and possibly Senator Lindsay Graham, for trying to interfere with the 2020 Georgia Presidential Election vote count, in violation of Georgia Code Section 21-2-566 prohibiting willfully tampering with final voter tallies, and 18 U.S.C Section 241, which makes it unlawful to conspire to interfere with the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured by the Constitution or laws of the U.S. A special grand jury last month concluded a lengthy investigation begun in June, 2022 into Trump’s January 2, 2021 tape recorded pressuring of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger to “find 11,780 votes” in the state, enough to win the state’s electoral votes.
To me, as a former prosecutor, this case looks like a slam dunk. The tapes clearly establish criminal violations of Georgia and federal election laws by Trump and others. I can envision Trump as a prominent member of the infamous Georgia chain gang. And little Lindsay…
Trump’s Sexual Misconduct
Trump’s hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, which resulted in a prison term for his fixer Michael Cohen, should also result in the same for Trump, aka “Individual No. 1”. Why he was not indicted earlier by name is a mystery. The former publisher of the National Enquirer, the well-named David Pecker, has recently testified in detail about Trump’s deep involvement in the payoff scheme: the first check paid to Stormy was signed by Trump himself; the other payments were made by Michael Cohen on Trump’s behalf. Trump will be indicted.
Keeping Classified Documents
President Biden and former VP Pence have cooperated completely regarding the classified and other government documents that have been discovered at their residences and offices, but Trump has completely stonewalled the DoJ. However, there is a question as to whether a trial could ever be held, since the classified documents would almost certainly have to be identified. However, it could be argued that whether or not the documents are classified is irrelevant to the main issue of the former President’s unlawful retention of any government documents, classified or unclassified, that should have been archived when he left office. See my LA Progressive article entitled “What Did Trump Take to Mar-a-Lago?” (September 5, 2022).
Trump’s Manipulation of His Net Worth and Assets
The Trump Organization has been fined $1.6 million for manipulating the assets of Trump’s companies, and it is somewhat likely that the New York DA will decide to indict Trump for his participation in this manipulation, by increasing the value of these assets when it served his purposes, and decreasing their value when it reduced his taxes and was otherwise helpful.
DA Bragg has not shown a lot of courage so far, but perhaps getting the conviction and fine against the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg for insurance and tax fraud have propped him up.
The Italian Connection
When AG Billy Barr hired Connecticut federal prosecutor John Durham to be a Special Counsel to root out the supposedly corrupt origins of Robert Mueller’s investigation to uncover the Trump-Russia connections during the 2016 election, he turned up nothing. But what Barr and Durham did turn up from Italian intelligence authorities was a tip that linked Trump to “possible serious financial crimes”. Durham opened a criminal investigation of this matter, but then promptly buried it. Did it involve the Italian Mafia? This potential scandal is just evolving, and much more needs to be developed.
Any trial or trials of Trump and his cronies would most likely not happen for many months from now, and probably not before the November, 2024 election. And it is likely that Trump could run for President even If he is convicted of a crime. He would not be sentenced for months after any conviction, and he potentially could remain out of prison pending appeal.
Amazingly, a conviction or even Imprisonment would not bar Trump from running for President. The Constitution sets out the requirements for becoming President, and not being a convicted criminal is not one of them. And newly-elected President Trump could pardon himself from a federal conviction. Or his friends on the Supreme Court could issue him a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.