In a normal world, Donald J. Trump would be at least under indictment for his many crimes of sedition, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and outright fraud, but he remains a supported former corrupt president by a shocking number of Republicans who have thrown away reason, love of country or even common sense.
Such is the state of America today, a broken nation with a seriously wounded democracy and fading hopes for capturing what it once was or even deserves a chance to be.
Late on a Friday night about six weeks after Donald Trump lost his reelection, a fistfight nearly broke out in the White House between the president’s fired national security adviser and a top White House aide.
A motley crew of unofficial Trump advisers had talked their way into the Oval Office and an audience with the president of the United States to argue the election had been stolen by shadowy foreign powers — perhaps remotely via Nest thermostats.
For hours, the group tried to persuade Trump to take extraordinary, potentially illegal action to ignore the election results and try to stay in power. And for hours, some of Trump’s actual White House advisers tried to persuade him that those ideas were, in the words of one lawyer who participated, “nuts.”
There was shouting, insults and profanity, former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann testified to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Herschmann said he nearly came to blows with Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser who was part of the Trump’s group of impromptu visitors.
“Flynn screamed at me that I was a quitter and everything. … At a certain point I had it with him,” Herschmann recalled in taped testimony that played at a Tuesday hearing. “So, I yelled back: Either come over, or sit your effing ass back down.”
Even for a White House known for its unconventional chaos, the Dec. 18, 2020, meeting was an extraordinary moment, demonstrating how Trump invited fringe players advocating radical action into his inner sanctum, as he searched for a way to remain in office despite losing an election.
“The west wing is UNHINGED,” declared Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, in a text message sent as the meeting unfolded.
The rolling, hours-long shouting match was absurd, said Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.), a committee member. But nevertheless, the night was “critical,” he argued, since it provided a forum for Trump to watch as his own advisers shot down, one by one, the false theories to which he had been clinging in hopes of staying in office.
“President Trump got to watch up close for several hours as his White House counsel and other White House lawyers destroyed the baseless factual claims and ridiculous legal arguments being offered by … Mike Flynn and others,” Raskin said.
Still, Trump was not dissuaded.
This week, more than a year and a half later, Trump remains a defiant liar, claiming he lost the election to fraud at the polls but the truth, something he has ignored for all of his life as a shadowy real estate developer, flashy “reality host,” failed president and linking cancer on our society.
An increasing parade of former aides, now disaffected supporters are appearing before the House Select Committee over the last few weeks to reveal how far his cadre of illicit lawyers, now facing disbarment with suspended licenses, and blatant extremists that included violent militia groups, white supremacists and outright racists came to overturn a legal election and what is left of America’s tattered democracy.
The hearings and committee probe will continue. More witnesses and documents will add more proof that Trump ignored the law and the Constitution while he remains the “leader” is a disgraced and treasonous Republican party. A poll this week shows that while more and more members of that party are “waking up” to the con that Trump pulled on them and the nation was, is, and remains a “clear and present danger to our democracy,” a significant number remain supporters who would vote for him again if he runs for a new term in 2024.
That number, at least, appears to be shrinking. One who worked for Trump now admits he was “had” by his former hero’s con.
“This is about Trump pushing for uncertainly in our country, a sitting president asking for civil war,” says former Trump campaign adviser Brad Parscal. “This week I feel guilty for helping him win.”
Stephan Ayres, an Ohio Republican who participated in the riot at the Capitol, now admits he was fighting for a dishonest man with no principles or values. In his testimony Tuesday:
I do fear for this next election cycle, because who knows what that might bring — if a president that’s willing to try to instill and encourage to whip up a civil war among his followers, using lies and deceit and snake oil and regardless of the human impact, what else is he going to do if he gets elected again?
The House Select Committee is providing what is needed for the Justice Department and Attorney General Merrick Garland to indict, try and convict Trump and those who continue to aid his sedition against America.
in a normal world, that would happen but is normalcy possible in the America that Trump and his cult have created? Is America salvageable? Time will tell and time is running out.
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