In reply to a post on the previous blog and because I am currently glued to the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump......
Quite a few believe Trump was inspired to run for President after being roasted by Barack Obama and Seth Meyers at the Whitehouse Correspondents Dinner. They totally humiliated him and the cameras caught every moment of it. He was seething. I am not sure he even wanted or expected to win, he knew nothing about politics and world affairs, it's doubtful he could find Ukraine on a map, even now, or indeed North Korea. On a visit to Pearl Harbour he had to ask the hosts 'what happened here'. He has had a life where everything was handed to him on a plate, yet at every turn he has f**ked up. Trump Airlines, Trump Steaks, Trump Vodka, Trump University, Trump Casinos. His properties worldwide are not the success he would have us believe, many are just fronts for money laundering. His wealth is unproven, why won't he release his tax returns? Why did he use his charity funds to buy a portrait of himself? Is he broke? I think he probably is, and I think what we have seen revealed over this past 3 years is just the tip of the iceberg. Trump has led a life of crime, how much evidence against him will come out when he is no longer in power? Given his word is not his bond, and he can never be trusted, how many have tapes? Was Ukraine the only country he was putting the thumb screws on? What else is in that secret server that held the transcript of Trump's telephone call with the President of Ukraine?
There has probably never been a President more desperate than Donald Trump to win a second term in office. At the moment he seems to be immune from criminal prosecution for his obvious crimes because of the office he holds. Once he is out of office he will be hit with every crime he ever committed, many of which, will put him in prison. And given his obnoxious personality, his enemies will be lining up for payback.
From my vantage point over the pond, I am watching the impeachment trial in astonishment. I have always been a huge fan of the USA, probably because I have been a devotee of Hollywood movies all my life and I can't understand why the cavalry or a band of heroes and heroines haven't yet rescued America from this atrocity. But that isn't fair, the heroes and heroines are there in plain sight. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Rachel Maddow, George Conway (husband of KellyAnne), Stephen Colbert, just a few, and my own personal favourite Bill Palmer (@PalmerReport), who provides a constant stream of information and updates and easy read explanations of what is going on. They may not be in the obvious forms of Charlton Heston and Stewart Granger, but in standing up to the crazed monster that is Trump, their heroism is beyond question. For some reason he strikes fear in many (heads on pikes anyone?) - terror of a childish playground nickname? One can imagine Donalds senior and junior's glee at discovering that Schiff, can be made to sound to like 'shit' - they are still high fiving each other for this on a daily basis. They are the kind of guys that 'man hit in the stomach with football' videos are made for.
What astonishes me is the moral compass of the Senate Republicans, especially the religious ones. Trump has been caught red handed, virtually standing over a body with a smoking gun, or caught with his hand in a very small cookie jar. Their defence 'nothing to see here, walk on by' is bizarre, because the facts are right in front of us and can be summed up in a one paragraph movie pitch that audiences of all ages and intellects can understand. President of USA withholds aid to a nation fighting Russia unless they announce an investigation (and create a scandal) about his strongest political rival in the 2020 election. It is a snivelling, weaselly thing to do, but typical for a well known cheat and a liar. More bizarrely still, while the 'boring' cold hard facts are being played out in the Senate, the dirty, more salacious details are coming out simultaneously on prime time TV (Go Rachel!) and' 'tell all' bestsellers! Hopefully Rachel can persuade those witnesses, denied by the Senate, to come and tell all on her show.
The Republican Senators may be ignoring the nitty gritty of how the crime was carried out, but outside of their cocoon, the USA and indeed the whole world, are watching, listening and reading all about it. And each day, it seems as though new evidence is emerging, evidence the Republicans won't listen to in the trial, but that will be listened to by all their millions of voters. Trump's crime spree won't stop, he is a desperate man (reminds me of Rico in Little Caesar) and his power will be unreined and unrestricted if he is acquitted. That puts not only the US but the whole world in imminent danger. I don't know what the human cost of Trump has been thus far (where do you begin?), but what will it be when he no longer has any boundaries? Will he then be able to 'take out' any ambassador or government employee at will? Using private, unvetted, individuals of his own choice and undercover? Just like, err, a mob boss.
Trump has thus far enjoyed immunity for his crimes because he is the President, based on a line from an ancient memo. That immunity stops whether it be this year or 2024. He has no incentive to stop committing crimes, more so if he is acquitted by the Republican Senators, because he knows he will have a limited amount of time in which to amass more money, this year or in 4 years time. He will have an end date. A day when he steps out of the White House and into a jail cell. A designated amount of time in which to up the ante and shamelessly give in to his self proclaimed passion for greed - more gold toilets. With Trump having unrestricted power, some kind of humanitarian catastrophe is a given. Literally, the day after the Mueller report, while thinking, 'phew, got away with it', he was emboldened to make the infamous call to Precedent Zelensky! How soon after a Senate acquittal, will Vladimir Putin get an invitation to a State dinner at the White House? Heck he will probably invite Mohammed Bonesaw and Chairman Kim along, so they can all be best buds together. Not to mention, the best of US and Russian hookers - I think he and Vlad have got a kinda macho bet going on as to who has the best hookers, but it could all end in tears because Vlad has the actual tapes.
A vote for acquittal will render the whole Impeachment process worthless. Trump will have supreme power, there will be no checks and balances, how scary is that? Yes, he will be able to shoot someone on 5th Avenue and get away with it. He knows prison awaits him, he has nothing to lose. Plus, every Republican Senator who votes for Trump's corruption will forever be in his debt. Just the sound of that would make me scream 'kill me now'. He degrades and demeans his puppets and minions most of all.
I doubt this will be read by anyone who needs to read it, but I do have a glimmer of hope that some of the Republican Senators will do the right thing. History will not be kind to those who supported the abomination that is Trump, all those with close connections to Trump will soon be using his own line, 'I don't know him'. A lot will have big blanks on their CVs and a lot of explaining to do to their grandchildren.
But my optimism is based on more than a glimmer of hope. Whilst the Senate is denying documents and witnesses, they are coming out anyway. Lev Parnas may well have opened the floodgates to tapes and videos - Rudy Guiliani has 'insurance' and I would bet he is not the only one. Trump has lost his power to 'catch and kill' incriminating stories (please let there be an abortion one!) and he is now vulnerable prey to every investigative journalist out to get him. While the impeachment trial is playing out in the Senate, the 'real' trial on TV and social media is getting eye witness evidence and crime scene photos and videos. And, ultimately, the only Court that will matter is the court of public opinion and Trump's sinking poll numbers.