Back in 1990 or maybe 1991 I did some fundraising work for Eli Wiesel to add money to a foundation that he created with his Nobel Peace prize. At the time, Eli told me that he had just given the Foundation’s assets to a ‘wunderkind’ stockbroker named Madoff. That’s what Eli called him – a ‘wunderkind.’
The day that the government announced that Madoff was being investigated for Stock fraud and grand larceny, Madoff’s lawyer immediately stated that his client was ‘cooperating’ with the investigation.
The government needed Madoff’s cooperation like they needed a hole in the head. All they had to do was look at one of his monthly statements sent to investors like Eli, then check the amount of money sitting in the underwriting account, and Madoff was on his way to jail.
Now hold that thought, okay?
I still don’t think we give Trump credit (and I’m being serious here) for how he changed the political game and brought an entirely new and different strategy to bear if you want to run to be President of the United States.
Trump was the first national candidate to hold massive, crowd rallies in more than 30 states. Trump was the first national candidate to copyright the slogan he used and then make himself a buck every time someone bought a t-shirt, a bumper sticker, a flag, or a hat. Trump was the first national candidate to run an entire advertising effort on social media. Trump was the first national candidate to use the mainstream, media as a foil rather than as an ally for his campaign.
And in case you haven’t noticed, he’s still doing it differently from everyone else. When he got booted off of social media, he created his own social media platform which he uses every day. He continues to hold big rallies in both red and purple states.
Heard anything lately from Barack? How about George W. Bush? They behave like all former Presidents behave – keep their mouths shut and make an occasional public appearance here or there.
Not Trump. He’s again doing things a different way. Or I should say, he was doing things differently until this week, when he announced that his home and office had been searched by the FBI and that he was ‘working and cooperating’ with the investigation that produced the FBI raid.
Trump wouldn’t know how to cooperate with any investigation into his public or private affairs if his life depended on it. Every investigation is a ‘witch hunt,’ every investigation is wrong or worse, every investigation gives Trump an opportunity to stall or deny, or both. When was the last time his attorneys willingly handed over some documentation without first being served a subpoena? Never, that’s when.
But all of this changed, and Trump just became another poor schmuck trying to stay above water when he announced after the FBI showed up at Mar-a-Lago that he’s ‘fully cooperating’ with the investigation into the official documents that he took with him when he left the Oval Office the day that Joe was sworn in.
What do we now have with Orange Shithead’s declaration that, in effect, he has nothing to hide? Another Barnie Madoff, that’s what we have. Which tells me that OS is guilty as sin.
If I were called down to the federal prosecutor and told I was being investigated for a crime I didn’t commit, the last thing I would say is that I was ‘fully cooperating’ with whatever they did or were going to do. I don’t need the 5th Amendment or any Constitutional protection against self-incrimination for the simple reason that I, like most people, don’t go around breaking the law.
So, I’m going to make it easier for the Feds to accuse of doing something I didn’t do? Nosiree bob, not going to happen. Not going to happen at all.
Let’s remember that Trump surrounds himself with people who whether or not they cooperate with a criminal investigation, all end up being convicted of some crime. Manafort went to jail for tax evasion and money laundering, Bannon stole a million bucks from a phony foundation that was allegedly going to finish building the Mexican wall, Stone, Flynn, Papadopoulos, and Gates were all convicted of lying to the FBI.
If Giuliani goes down the tubes for promoting the phony election sham, he’ll have company with Trump’s other lawyers – Roy Cohn, Michael Cohen – who lost their licenses because they engaged in some kind of flim-flam. Actually, Rudy has already lost his license to practice in D.C. after a New York State Appeals Court found that he made ‘demonstrably false and misleading’ statements about voter fraud.
But making false and misleading statements tends to get you a job working for Trump. Which is why Trump’s sudden confession about cooperating with an investigation is very new and very different since the statement implies that maybe he knows the difference between right and wrong.
Don’t hold your breath.