^February 2, 2022. The final Gallup tracking poll had Trump at 21% favorable, lower than Nixon when he resigned and the lowest in modern polling history. A friend of Jared’s asks him how his father was feeling. “Well, he made a Faustian Bargain and got a big high and then had to pay off the debt – he is now the most famous person in America and the most hated. He conveniently forgets the second half as he travels between Trump Tower, Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster.”
^March 15, 2022. A Federal District Court judge determines in an Emoluments case brought by the AGs of Maryland and D. C. that a) the Trump family wealth grew by a net $3 billion during his term in office and b) 72% were unlawful gains from combining his public role and business interest. “All public officials, especially presidents, are supposed to make policy not money.“ The court orders the family to return $2.16 billion to the U. S. Treasury within three years.
^April 17, 2022. Trump is convicted of both perjury and obstruction of justice. The District Court judge gives him a six month suspended sentence. He is awarded the “Lindbergh Freedom Award” by the NRA for his “courageous defense of American values, no matter the personal cost.”
^February 1, 2022. The 92th Trump property since 2020, this one a hotel in Shanghai, takes the Trump name off a building or facility due to “negative brand values.”
^October 9, 2023. Comedian Hasan Manaj turns serious at the end of the last of his three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden:
“THANK YOU DONALD TRUMP!! I’ve made a lot of jokes about and money from you. I grew up as a young Muslim man told that, in America, anyone could become president. Well, Donald J. Trump sure proved that.”
“But now that it’s over, the fact is that America came this close to losing its soul in a bonfire to his vanity. So please allow this comedian this once to end on a serious note after the crisis we came though together. Exactly 200 years ago, Percy Shelley wrote Trump’s epitaph:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair. Nothing beside remains round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare. The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
^November 20, 2021 George Will looks back, with disgust: “They are two wings that cannot fly together – a Bannon-Breitbart group of arch-reactionaries and a group of more traditional party regulars who are as exciting as a traffic sign. Each blames and hates the other even more than liberal Democrats. For all of them it’s going to be a long four – or forty – years.”
^December 1, 2020. The Supreme Court rules 5-4 in support of Trump’s pardons of others, though the liberal dissenters are convinced that they appear designed to cover up the commission of crimes in which he was a co-conspirator. But by 8-1 it rules that his self-pardon is not constitutional. Justice Ginsburg, now a vigorous 88 and in probably her last major decision, opines against authoritarianism and monarchy.
“True, the pardon power appears nearly unlimited. But this Catch 22 is surely not what the Founders intended. That’s why no president and indeed no governor in our entire history has ever attempted such an evident abuse of power. As written by Sir Edward Coke in the famous Bonham’s Case in 1610, we will apply our sense of ‘common right and reason’ and be the final judge of what justice means.”
The lone dissenting vote is Gorsuch, who embraces what he calls “judicial modesty since the plain language of Article 2, Section 2 puts no limits on pardons.” Ginsburg, known for her subdued sarcasm in chambers, confides to Justice Sotomayor, “Good luck in the next 30 years trying to get that good-looking robot to ever rule against the most right-wing position possible. His views petrified the day he walked through the Federalist Society’s door.”
^January 21, 2022. Kellyanne Conway – who had been called “Satan’s trophy wife” by Stephen Colbert back in the summer of 2017 — gets her own hour show on Fox and a $4 million contract from HarperCollins to write, “Analyze THIS Alternative Fact! How I Speed-talked and Out-smiled all of them.”
November 10, 2020. The ticket of Mike Pence and Nikki Haley – their posters read “Mike & Nik” and “America Luuvs Guvs” – enter the general election trailing the Democratic ticket by 17 points due to the taint of Trump. They lose in an electoral rout, 74 million to 57 million votes and 408 electoral votes to only 130. The Senate goes Democratic 54-46 and the House Democratic majority grows from 230 to 242.
*Says 45: “Mike tried but, let’s face it, he’s not me. And we lost the Congress because they didn’t stand tall with me.”
*The next morning, the President-elect tells a large ballroom room of delirious supporters: “America will again be governed by the democratic premise that ‘we’re-all-in-this-together’, not ‘you’re-on-your-own-buddy.’ By Thomas Jefferson not Robinson Crusoe. So we’re going to fight for communities, not just big corporations, and my Cabinet will be stocked by people with ideas and ideals. No more foolish tweets about silly feuds. No more officially sanctioned intolerance and extremism. The American Democratic Experiment of 1776 is fresh again.”
March 5, 2020. Trump is tired of the hourly fights with a Congress and media that despise him, as he balloons from 237 to 268 pounds and as his tweets about “FAKE NEWS” and “Pocahontas” are getting less traction due to overuse. Then there’s the Music Man phenomenon of people catching on to the Con if you stay too long in one place.
A concerned Ivanka – who moved back to Manhattan with Jared late last year – tells him in her usual breathy whisper, “Daddy, there’s no law saying a 74 year old man has to run for a second term. Declare victory and come home.“
This time, Trump knows his daughter is right. He could win in 2020 using his same ol’ blackmagic…but polling shows that he’d probably lose bigly. He calls Pence to inform him at 6am the next day and makes his stunning announcement at 11am.
Trump’s golfing now goes from twice to four times a week. But given his affection for cliff-hangers to get ratings, he keeps hinting that he may change his mind and come back into the race like Perot did in 1992, much to Pence’s suppressed fury. He never does, instead telling his Secretaries, “Ours is now really a cabinet government. So just go ahead with any decision you think best after you run it by either chief of staff Chris Christie or Tiffany [now his chief counsel.”
February 20, 2020. Today Trump tells AP, “World War II was really terrible but it’s not clear why America had to attack Germany after Pearl Harbor. Anyone wonder why all these wars occur on the Democrat Party’s watch?”
Confusion over Frederick Douglass was one thing but stunning ignorance by a commander-in-chief another. Rattled commentators start writing more about the 25th Amendment. Ratified in 1967, it allows for removal of a president for incapacity once a vice-president so declares and the Cabinet and Congress concur. It’s never been used to remove a President.
After the WWII comment, embarrassed conservatives have finally had it: Charles C. W. Cooke, editor of NationalReview.com, enlists 37 allies to urge Pence to invoke the amendment because ”for either mental or physical reasons, Mr. Trump can no longer effectively function as the President. That doesn’t mean that our philosophy is wrong, only that our President is.” Nine hundred psychologists and psychiatrists, ignoring the so-called “Goldwater Rule,” write Pence that “this president is so delusional and damaged that he is simply incapable of heading any organization, least of all the federal government.”
Pence ignores the pressure. In memoirs two decades later, he admits, “I saw up close how impulsive and vulgar this President was, just like the Mrs. told me from the start. But no way was I going to ensure my place for centuries as a Republican Judas who chose himself President.”
September 23, 2019. Under Article II, Section 4, President Trump is acquitted by a vote of 56 in favor of conviction, 44 opposed, as six GOP senators vote yes, risking electoral retaliation by pro-Trump diehards in their states.
Summing up their concern, Sen. John McCain, with the unique stature of both a war hero and GOP nominee, concludes a powerful statement to convict in front of a hushed chamber. says, “I’ve made good decisions and terrible ones, but as a candidate for the office under scrutiny, I don’t recall lying or playing footsie with Putin. Or willfully and repeatedly undermining our democracy. Let America be America again.” Joining him were five other “moderate conservatives” who chose not to be tarred with Trump & Bannon for the rest of their careers and lives – Graham, Collins, Murkowski, Corker and Alexander (Heller and Flake having been defeated the prior year and Rubio and Sasse having thoughts of 1600 affecting their judgments).
September 12, 2019. With Chief Justice Roberts presiding, the two legal teams line up – John Dowd and Ted Cruz versus David Boies and Laurence Tribe.
Cruz: “Most of the House’s case is based on the President being infantile and obnoxious. Trust me, I know that he can be. But vulgar misconduct in a President cannot be disqualifying or else Andrew Jackson and Lyndon Johnson wouldn’t have lasted a month.”
Understanding the long odds against conviction given the two-thirds threshold, Boies takes a surprising tack: “The problem for America is not any one fact but the whole truth about Donald J. Trump – he is glaring unfit to be president of America by dint of his unstable, uninformed, nasty, shallow, racist, misogynistic narcissistic behavior. He’s spent down our 231 year-old world-wide bank account of good will in just three years. And all of you know it.”
“While he lacks a sense of consequence, as the final judges you should not: millions of climate refugees, millions losing their health insurance, millions more growing up distrusting the courts, the media, and the presidency – that is, our very democracy. Since the Founders drafted the Impeachment provision before there were political parties, their actual ‘original intent’ was for you today render your judgment based on conscience and country, not party label. I’m sure you will.”
September 10, 2019. Fox’s Sean Hannity runs his 63rd segment attacking “the Deep State”, an update of the McCarthyite ‘Commies’ or Church’s “the Devil.” Those are perfect invisible enemies to spook people without requiring any documentation…and is a near-perfect explanation for any problem Trump creates or encounters.
Fox doesn’t stop there. Media critic Howard Kurtz in a repeated BreakingNews segment reveals an analysis showing that 94% of MSNBC’s coverage of Trump is negative. “Wonder why?”, he rhetorically asks. He’s answered in a column by Greg Sargent of the Washington Post (@ThePlumLineGS). “For the same reason that sink holes and Ebola get bad press. Or does Fox think a cable rival should ignore what’s objectively true, as it does nightly?”
@BillMoyers weighs in on the Deep State: “Recall that these are the kind of civil servants who Timothy McVeigh targeted for death. Since the Government is us in a democracy, it is profoundly unpatriotic to attack ‘we-the-people’ who want democratically elected government to protect our streets, our rights, our health and our wallets. If they don’t do it, who shall we look to – Wells Fargo?”
September 7, 2019. The Friday before the Monday Senate Trial is to begin, three million Americans – carrying 10 million petition signatures – pour into Washington to protest Trump…triple the size of the previous largest protest ever in one place on American soil (the June 12, 1982 rally for a Nuclear Freeze) and five times the number who attended 45’s Inaugural.
“We meet today on the steps where Dr. King told us of his dream,” says march chair Gloria Steinem. ”Today he would tell us of his dream of a president who again is judged not by the color of his hair but by the content of his character – whether he has honesty, humility, empathy. He doesn’t… and America deserves better!” She is drowned out by chants of “Lock him up” and
“Get him out!”Trump responds that night with a tweet:
“Sorry losers. I’m STILL the president and you’re not.”
August 11, 2019. “Rumors to the contrary,” announces President Trump in an eagerly awaited press conference at 11am in the august East Room of the White House, “I’d never walk away from my obligation to the forgotten Americans I was elected to represent. I’ll expose the vicious animals in Pelosi’s caucus who want to repeal my landslide victory in 2016. And then I will be exonerated in the Senate.”
He is standing in front of a big blow-up of the electoral map with red and blue states colored in, which means an ocean of red with some Islands of blue given the lens of 1789.
August 10, 2019. Resignation is also being secretly gamed out between Trump’s lawyers and Mueller’s top staff in the Special Counsel’s secure law offices on M Street. “We represent something you crave – a client out of office,” says lead Trump counsel John Dowd. “But you have the power to mitigate damage and liability to our client. Let’s talk.”
Dowd proffers three non-negotiable demands in exchange for a resignation like the one VP Spiro Agnew got in 1973. Drop the pardon appeal; keep his files away from state investigations; not require any disgorgement of any “ill-gotten gains.”
Within a half hour, Mueller rejects all three, reminding Team Trump that they’re not in Manhattan anymore. “His abuses were so glaring,” he tells a glum Dowd, “that we’d violate our oaths of office to even consider dropping our pardon case or sealing our files. Nor can we allow future politicians to think they can milk public office for self-enrichment.”
That night Trump, fuming, stares at a draft resignation speech. “I just found out that I have both Diabetes Type 2 and Vertigo. Notwithstanding my great stamina…so I’ll be resigning the office of President noon Friday.”
August 9, 2019. Could the most competitive person in the world – one who brags that he’s never apologized for anything – resign the presidency to avoid a humiliating trial in the Senate? Like Nixon?
Rudy Giuliani thinks not, citing two reasons to Crains’s New York: “First, he’s all about success – and quitting isn’t a success. Also, it’s mathematically very unlikely that a third of the GOP Caucus would agree to convict and get to the two-thirds required.”
On the other hand, Tony Schwartz, the actual author of Art of the Deal, tells @TheBeatwithAriMelber: “He’s a bulldog and a pragmatic dealmaker. Remember how Trump said he’d never settle the Trump ‘University’ case? Then, boom! — he spent $25 million to end it. He’s not wearing a suicide vest.”
But the real drama is being played out again in the White House living quarters with only him, Melania, Ivanka, Jared, and his two sons. “Resigning isn’t me – you all know that.” His daughter pleads with him. “Daddy, since many GOP senators envy your success, who knows if mob psychology will stampede them as it can people anywhere. And if you were to be convicted, it would live forever with your heirs and theirs. Clinton survived Impeachment but he wouldn’t have survived a conviction. Resign with grace and you’ll always be the 45th President.“
August 6, 2019. The House approves the first three reported Articles by a vote of 235 to 200, while Dereliction/Abuse is agreed to by 230 to 205. On behalf of nearly all his Caucus, Speaker Paul Ryan goes to the well of the House floor. “To take such a drastic step, I believe this body needs hard forensic evidence – like that Blue Dress or that incriminating tape. Lacking that, we shouldn’t punish someone who’s made some rookie mistakes in an effort to enhance our freedom.”
Yet 15 Republicans, largely from swing, purple districts, break ranks from their party leadership to form what they call “The New Chapter GOP.” “We have to look in the mirror and in the faces of our grandchildren about what we did with an abusive President — and our party label will provide no defense. We believe in the-rule-of-law, not law-by-rulers.”
July 28, 2019. At the conclusion of the Committee vote, the President tweets, “Again, vindication since the most serious Articles were thrown out. These PARTISAN FAKE CHARGES will fail in the Senate.”
*@Markos: “First, he wasn’t elected — he was selected by the Geography College. And anyone with a brain understands that he’s a Wizard of Ooze.”
*@TribeLaw. “To those Democrats who worry that Pence may be worse than Trump, remember the famous exhortation of Justice Learned Hand: ‘Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.’
*Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells @JoyAnnReid, “I couldn’t allow a simultaneous or sequential Impeachment of Mike Pence because it would simply be too much for the country to absorb. Plus I can’t allow a blatantly self-serving action that could elevate me to the Presidency.”
*Newt Gingrich publishes a quickie e-book called “The Treason of the Democrats” with a time-line of the Impeachment story for an advance of $500,000 from Harper Collins. “Recall that Jesus Christ and George Washington,” Gingrich tells Fox & Friends, “were once unpopular disrupters too.” Responds a surviving son of Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, “Donald Trump is less like Christ and more like a combination of Frank Underwood and Chauncey Gardiner.”
July 27, 2019. Nadler continues: ”We cannot, however, definitively document the extraordinary allegation of treason by actively and personally colluding with Russia to influence the election. While it beggars belief that he was unaware of the many now known interactions between his campaign and agents of Russia to rig the election or even about a possible quid pro quo of softer sanctions for more hacking, ‘conscious parallelism’ in this context is not sufficient proof. His staff’s conversations with intermediaries are dismaying if not disloyal – especially those admitted by Donald Trump Jr. But they are still shy of ‘scienter’, a treasonous intent on the part of the President, not to mention that the Constitution requires two witnesses to prove treason and there are none who have come forward.”
“Last, problems of the ‘slippery slope’ have led us to not report out an Article for systemic lying. His hundreds of documented falsehoods are unprecedented — especially those he insists on repeating even when corrected (Obama illegally wiretapped him, 3-5 million ‘illegals’ all voted for Clinton) and when he admittedly makes up conversations with the head of the Boy Scouts and president of Mexico.
“These have warped and poisoned public debate so millions can’t know what to believe. While we’d like to demonstrate to future candidates that relentless lying doesn’t pay, we cannot come up with a red-line-test for distinguishing between ‘twistifications’ (Jefferson’s word), white lies and willful, repeated, consequential lies.”
July 27, 2019. Nadler continues: “Last, we couldn’t ignore the weight of evidence on this combined charge in the Bill of Particulars. While any one isolated act could be arguably innocent or explained away, the whole is so much greater than the some of its parts that we had to ‘connect the dots.’ And they added up to the conclusion that he tried to run the country like the Apprentice.”
“It was a failure to fulfill his oath of office when his administration hollowed out the State Department and so many federal agencies by failing to even nominate many key people for over a year, refusing to do anything significant after Russia interfered with the 2016 election – which he can barely acknowledge, actively sabotaging the ACA law, ignoring settled science and so persistently making foolish comments (Lebanon attacking Hezbollah when it was part of its cabinet government, among hundreds of examples) as to make America a “laughing-stock” worldwide, which significantly damages our alliances and trade relations.
And while Presidents too have first amendment rights and the right to pardon, it was an abuse of his legitimate power to a) personally bully so many citizens on twitter, b) use his pardon power to cover up unlawful acts in which he participated and c) regularly try to delegitimize major institutions of democracy because they criticized him – the judiciary, the media, the Congressional Budget Office.“
July 27, 2019. After five months of hearings, deliberations, leaks and massive coverage, the House Judiciary Committee, in a largely party-line vote of 24-17 – with two Republicans in favor — today reports out four separate articles of while dismissing two others. According to Chairman Nadler:
“First, it’s beyond doubt that Trump did try to ‘Obstruct Justice’ by his own incriminating statements, actions and tweets – including the firings of five prosecutors overseeing investigations into him [Bharara, Yates, Comey, Rosenstein, Mueller], release of classified information about the case to Russian officials in the Oval Office, constant belittlement of the investigation as a “witch hunt”, admissions about his motives, the lie about a secret taping, drafting of a misleading statement of Juniors meeting with Russians, even his pardon’ in this context.”
“Second, he also did profit from foreign emoluments by publicizing and maintaining ownership in properties run by his children that kept receiving discretionary benefits from foreign entities. Indeed, according to evidence gathered by this Committee, he and his family’s net worth rose from $2.1 billion to $5.1 billion so far while in office. His defense that ‘my sons are brilliant’ wasn’t taken literally by the Committee.”
“Third, he committed perjury denying under oath that he pressured Comey to go easy on Flynn given Comey’s contemporaneous notes and conversations, interviews with White House staff, and Trump’s history of persistent lying both under oath and daily as president. His penchant for perjury and lying does not prove this case but helps explains it.”
March 3, 2019: In Birmingham, Alabama, a group of young, white men wearing confederate flag t-shirts and shouting “Dylann Roof!” surround, taunt and then shoot to death two Muslim men wearing turbans. An hour later, at a press conference about the killings in another part of the city, a different group of men in the same attire severely beat up five journalists, including a CNN cameraman and New York Times reporter. They are listed in serious but stable condition.
@RBReich tweets: “It’s past time that the President of the United States just stop berating reporters as ‘disgusting…the worst people’ and stop implying Muslims are terrorists.” The Southern Poverty Law Center re-releases its study showing that Hate Crimes grew 40% from 2016 to 2017. There are reports that armed White Militia groups in several Northwest states are wearing an insignia quoting Nevada’s Sharron Angle: “HERE’S Our Second Amendment Remedies!”
Rush Limbaugh throws ‘not a dart but a fit.’: ‘It’s disgraceful to blame the President for the random acts of some stupid individuals. What about his free speech?” Reich responds. “Everyone has first amendment rights, even boisterous presidents and radio talk hosts. But presidents until now have usually had the good judgment not to throw matches on kindling. Remember, it was Trump himself who said after a judge ruled against his first Muslim Ban, that ‘if something happens, blame him and the Court system.’”
January 30, 2019. Capping a month of extraordinary news, the new House Judiciary Committee chair – the brainy, understated Jerry Nadler of New York — announces the creation of a special subcommittee to begin to investigate the possible Impeachment of the 45th President.
Says Nadler: “There is so much public evidence on such an array of misconduct that the Congress, under its duty in Article II, Sec. 4, has an obligation to study the possible removal of President Donald J. Trump from office.”
“We will have open public hearings and access to all the files of the Special Counsel and Senate/House Intelligence Committees. Like the Rodino Committee, we are searching for facts and a bi-partisan vote, if possible.”
Kellyanne Conway: “I can personally vouch that President Donald Trump is the most honest President ever. Certainly at least since Lincoln. And why is the media still ignoring Hillary’s failure to release all her emails and ties to uranium oligarchs?”
Make your voice heard! Get the attention of President Razzle Dazzle as he scours Twitter at 6am…
@ShadowingTrump brings together 18 policy experts into a ‘Shadow Cabinet” that debunks Trump & his Cabinet when they don’t lead but mislead. Sort of an online “Justice League” only instead of superheroes, we’re scholars, advocates and former public officials.
While President Trump of course has legal legitimacy to be president, he lacks moral legitimacy when he incessantly fabricates, distorts, denounces, misdirects, cherry-picks & self-enriches in an almost…
LARRY TRIBE: “I am enthusiastically participating in the Progressive Shadow Cabinet because no one of us can be as astute and wide-ranging as all of us — that is, our whole exceeds the sum of our parts. Ideally, our ensemble can best contain his lava of lies and disinformation.”