My father was a confirmed Nixon hater. He hated Nixon right up to the moment that Tricky Dick got on that helicopter and waved to the crowd after he resigned. Dad stopped hating Nixon at that point because as he said to me, public humiliation was a far worse punishment than any time spent in jail.
Which is how I feel about Trump. And after yesterday’s final session of the January 6th Select Committee, I thought that maybe, just maybe, those of us who really hate Trump would have an opportunity to see this piece of sh*t publicly humiliated for the very first time.
So, I sat up all night reading the 154-page report issued by the Select Committee which lays out in detail the information behind the four criminal referrals against Trump that the Committee is making to the DOJ.
Actually, the text which lists and explains the referrals is only 86 pages. The rest of the report covers related matters, such as the ethics complaints against various House members who refused to testify, the credibility of different witnesses, the identity of every witness and 762 detailed footnotes just to make it clear that the entire report is based on what the Committee heard and read.
Now let me make it clear that I’m not a criminal defense attorney. In fact, I’m not any kind of attorney. But I know how to read the English language and I know what words like ‘conspiracy’ and ‘obstruction’ are supposed to mean. And I hate to say it, but this report did not prove that Trump either conspired to commit the January 6th attack or that he obstructed the work of the Committee in any way at all.
What the report shows is what we have known about Trump since the day he was inaugurated, namely, that his definition of the behavior and role of the President is to shoot his mouth off continuously without the slightest regard for whether anything he ever says is even remotely close to the truth. And it should be added that not only does he never stop or even attempt to control his verbal diarrhea, but he always delivers his homilies and his statements in a vulgar and semi-literate content and tone.
This guy, meaning Trump, wouldn’t know how to manage a large, multi-faceted organizational project if his life depended on it. What he knows how to do, and this has been described in virtually every book about Trump’s presence in the Oval Office, is to sit around and shoot the sh*t.
Which is exactly what he did in virtually every discussion which the Select Committee claims is a reason why Trump should be charged.
Example: Trump is charged with trying to force Pence to violate the Constitution by rejecting the initial electoral ballots that needed to be certified by the President of the Senate, who happens also to be the V.P. Trump further tried to pressure Pence by bringing a mob to D.C. to disrupt the electoral count on January 6th.
I assumed that what we would get from the Select Committee were instances when Trump or people working for Trump helped the various militias and other participants in the riot to get to D.C. either through organizing such groups, paying them to travel across the country, or whatever logistical support was required for them all to show up.
In fact, Trump’s entire effort to bring a crowd to D.C., which would ultimately march to the Capitol, was nothing other than a bunch of tweets saying how much he hoped people would show up at the rally he held on the Ellipse. Sorry, but a public tweet hardly ranks as a conspiracy about anything.
When various rioters were asked why they showed up for the demonstration and the assault on the Capitol, they all said they were responding to what Trump ‘asked them’ to do. How did he ask them? By sending out tweets.
Another example: Trump is charged with ‘corrupting’ the government. This entire charge is based on Trump’s brief attempt to name a DOJ attorney, Jeffrey Clark, as acting Attorney General in return for Clark sending official letters to Pennsylvania state officials warning them that their voting procedures were compromised. This conspiracy was so secret and so furtive that the entire senior DOJ staff threatened to resign if Clark’s appointment went through. The alleged appointment was withdrawn.
I could give similar examples of how the other charges against Trump are justified by nothing but loose talk, but I think you get the point. I am still waiting for someone, anyone, to describe a meeting with Trump in which a plan to ‘threaten American democracy’ was actually developed and put together with Trump either telling others what to do or agreeing that the plan should go forward, and specific actions actually take place.
You would think that a legislative body (the Select Committee) whose membership includes a former federal prosecutor (Adam Schiff), and a former Constitutional law professor (Jamie Raskin) could put together a referral document that would meet minimal standards for charging someone with violation of the federal criminal code. You would think.
This document ain’t it, which means that Trump haters like me will just have to cool our heels and hope that a public humiliation finally takes place.