Monday, April 03, 2023

Beyond Belief

Well, I guess at least we know now what would happen if Trump really did pull out a gun on Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody dead. The Manhattan DA would see to it that he got arrested if the cops didn't arrest him immediately, and everybody from Glenn Youngkin to Lauren Boebert would put out a strong statement condemning the politicization of New York's law enforcement community ("If they can come for Donald Trump, they can come for you!"). The otherwise fractious Republican party would be absolutely united in not mentioning that the former guy had, in fact, killed somebody. They could be showing the video on CNN and the Republicans would be shouting prosecutorial abuse, and probably racism ("Would anybody call for arresting Barack Obama on the basis of these flimsy allegations? No, it's only white ex-presidents who get treated this way!") and there'd be CNN pundits waggling their heads in agreement.

If it's beyond belief, Glenn, then stop believing it. Or pretending to believe it, as the case may be. What's a "manufactured basis" for an arrest? Do you mean it was manufactured by the federal prosecutors in December 2018 in the sentencing memo for Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, for his felonious structuring of hush money payments that Donald Trump ordered him to do?

Attorneys from the Southern District of New York state explicitly in the court filing that Cohen “acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1” in handling payments to two women who claimed to have an affair with Trump long before the election. Trump is identified in this and other filings by U.S. attorneys as “Individual-1,” who “was elected President.” (The women are Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels.)

Like nowadays it's not good enough for an indictment to be legally correct, it has to be original too?

So that's how it's going to be going for the next 20 months in these Untied States. All the indictments are going to come down, as I expected, in New York and Georgia and DC, and the law will begin taking its majestic course, but nothing that happens will impress Republicans enough to interfere with Trump's renomination, the only candidates that have a prayer of beating him in a primary will continue to be so paralyzed by fear of doing the wrong thing, as Steve was saying on DeSantis, that they won't even mention his name in public, and he'll be renominated before he even gets close to coming to trial on any of the charges. As the Republicans leak each new indictment to seize the narrative in advance of the prosecutors, they'll attach it to a crazy hypothesis of what the charges actually are: from the conspiracy to hide almost $300,000 in illicit campaign contributions and unreported self-loans is "How is it a crime to sleep with a porn star?" through the conspiracy to steal thousands of documents from the National Archive for whatever dark reason ("Who wouldn't want to hold on to some souvenirs?") to the conspiracy to use violence to frighten Congress into wiping away the results of the last presidential election ("They were tourists admiring our beautiful Capitol!"), and 70-odd million voters will go to the polls knowing even less about the allegations than they do now.

I guess there's some vague hope that the indictments will be more interesting and systematic than has seemed to be the case, more unified, I want to say, in the picture of the Trump operation as devoted to theft, extortion, and intimidation—a racket on all sides (including the $250-million New York State bank fraud case, my favorite as I've said, civil not criminal but capable of killing the Trump Organization for good). I thought it was a good sign that Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg fired his Trump-paid lawyer in favor of Seth L. Rosenberg, a veteran prosecutor from the Manhattan DA's office himself, where he ran the rackets bureau, good man to make a plea deal for a man in his 70s who's possibly sick of his cell on Riker's Island (the spin from anonymous parts of Trumplandia is that they themselves pressured Weisselberg to make this move because they didn't trust the lawyer they were paying, but in public, a Trump Organization lawyer in the case, Susan Necheles, has denied that: "Mr. Weisselberg’s decision to change lawyers was entirely his own, a decision which I understand Mr. Weisselberg made in consultation with his family after the conclusion of the trial").

I'll try to offer some thoughts on the New York indictment tomorrow.

Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names.

No comments: