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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Why America Needs to Know about Trump Getting Spanked in Silk Pajamas

He's not just a career criminal, he's also an "orange turd" with no taste

By Thom Hartmann for the Independent Media Institute 

The most powerful elected Republican in America declared war on the rule of law.

House Speaker Mike Johnson announced that Congress, on behalf of wannabee “day one” dictator Donald Trump, is going to use every power available to him and his colleagues to nullify America’s court system.

“President Trump has done nothing wrong here and he continues to be the target of endless lawfare. It has to stop. And you’re gonna see the United States Congress address this in every possible way that we can, because we need accountability. … All these cases need to be dropped, because they are a threat to our system.”

“All these cases” and potential future cases include Trump:

  • Sharing secrets with Russia that burned US and US ally spies.
  • Inciting rebellion against the United States on January 6th.
  • Running his businesses from the White House while multiple foreign governments poured cash into his properties in violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.
  • Stealing national defense secrets from the White House, transporting them to Florida and New Jersey, and then lying to the FBI about them.
  • Raping and then threatening and defaming E. Jean Carroll.
  • Criminally obstructing investigations into his campaign’s ties to Russia.
  • Conspiring with Republicans in multiple states to defraud the American people with forged Electoral College certificates.
  • Threatening Georgia’s Secretary of State with criminal prosecution if he wouldn’t “find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.”
  • Violating campaign finance laws on multiple occasions.
  • Committing tax and insurance fraud.
  • Extorting a foreign leader to manufacture dirt on his political opponent.

And those are just Trump’s commonly known crimes; we haven’t yet begun to dig into other consequential crimes Trump committed to become president in 2016 and during his four years in office.

From his teenage years violating fair housing laws by marking rental applications for his father’s properties with a “C” for “colored” when Black people applied, to decades of business crimes including a fraudulent “university” and fake charity, to stealing money from thousands of employees and contractors, Trump has been a one-man crime wave his entire life.

And now, given the choice between throwing in with a career criminal or defending America’s criminal justice system, separation of powers, and the rule of law, today’s Republicans have chosen to throw in with the crook. Barry Goldwater and Everett Dirksen are rolling over in their graves.

The foundational genesis of the world’s modern democracies was established on June 15, 1215 when the lords and barons of England forced King John to sign the Magna Carta, guaranteeing they could only be imprisoned or stripped of their assets through an open and transparent legal process. It forced the British royal to submit himself to the rule of law.

For four hundred years the right of habeas corpus extended only to the British nobility, but a series of revolts in the 1600s extended it to “commoner” knights working for the king and to a few others. 

Over the next hundred years, these rights were more broadly applied in Great Britain and other European republics and, in 1789, to citizens of the United States.

And now one of America’s two political parties, following the example of nations like Russia and Hungary — whose leaders earlier this century rejected the rule of law in favor of oligarchy and autocracy — have similarly turned away from this 809-year-long tradition.

Republican democracy, as our Founders defined our nation, can’t survive in the absence of the rule of law.

John Adams was fond of quoting Aristotle’s saying that “no government can stand which is not founded upon justice.” He wrote the first draft of the Massachusetts constitution, and was particularly proud of his authorship of its Article XXX, which he frequently cited:

“In the government of the commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them; the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them; the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them; to the end that it may be a government of laws, and not of men.”

Republicans and rightwing hate media are hysterical about Stormy Daniel’s testimony yesterday in a New York City courthouse. Fox “News’” Kayleigh McEnany was particularly upset that Daniels was allowed to detail Trump’s extramarital romp:

“Imagine if you’re a juror on this case and you are a female juror and you are hearing these details. You cannot get that out of your mind.”

The simple reality is that all Americans should have heard, in the weeks before the 2016 election, about Trump’s coercing Daniel’s into having sex: If it had come out after the Access Hollywood tape, Hillary Clinton would have been our president, three rightwing cranks wouldn’t have been put on the Supreme Court, abortion would still be regulated by Roe v Wade, our democracy would be intact, and we’d be years ahead on getting climate change under control.

Instead, once Russian Intelligence learned that the Access Hollywood tape was going to be released on October 7, 2016 (fewer than four weeks before the November 8th election), it appears they — along with Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, and David Pecker — choreographed a series of efforts to refocus voters’ attention on Hillary Clinton and prevent the story of Trump’s previous philandering from coming out.

The Access Hollywood tape — which had been held by US news agencies for at least a day and probably several while it was being authenticated — dropped at 3:30 PM ET just 30 minutes after the DHS and DNI reported:

“The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.

“These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow—the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

Stormy Daniel’s publicist immediately began pushing her story to The National Enquirer, with negotiations settling on $130,000 and a signed non-disclosure agreement executed on October 10th.

That same month, FBI Agent Charles McGonigal, who shared multiple connections to Rudy Giuliani and was later prosecuted and is now in prison for his work on behalf of a Russian oligarch, worked out of the FBI’s New York office and was in charge of the investigation into Trump’s connections to Russia. 

His office repeatedly leaked damning false speculation about Hillary’s emails, leading Rudy Giuliani to tell Fox “News” on October 26, two weeks before the election:

“I do think that all of these revelations about Hillary Clinton are beginning to have an impact. I think [Donald Trump’s] got a surprise or two that you’re going to hear about in the next few days. I mean, I’m talking about some pretty big surprises… We’ve got a couple of things up our sleeve that should turn this thing around.”

As The New York Post reported:

“It was agents of that [NY FBI] office, probing Anthony Weiner’s alleged sexting of a minor, who pressed Comey to authorize the review of possible Hillary Clinton-related emails on a Weiner device that led to the explosive letter the director wrote Congress.”

Two days later, James Comey caved to the pressure from McGonigal’s office, the media, Russian Intelligence, and Giuliani: He held a press conference on October 28th to announce a renewed investigation into Hillary’s emails. Trump rushed to the TV cameras and said:

“As you know I’ve had plenty of words about the FBI lately, but I give them great credit for having the courage to right this horrible wrong. Justice will prevail.”

Secretary Clinton was outraged, telling the media:

“We are 11 days out from perhaps the most important national election in our lifetimes. Voting is already under way in our country.”

With the Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal stories safely buried by Trump’s conspiracy with Michael Cohen and David Pecker, as Nate Cohn reported for The New York Times, the “look at Clinton, forget about Access Hollywood” (my phrase, not theirs) campaign was successful:

“Mr. Comey’s letter came about one week after the third presidential debate and less than two weeks before Election Day. At that time, most polling averages showed Mrs. Clinton ahead by around six percentage points in national polls. A week later, her lead had declined to three points. …

“Late-deciding voters broke overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump, the exit polls showed, and the Comey letter and its disclosure of new information in the email investigation was a significant part of the news coverage over the last week of the election.”

Russia’s efforts and Trump’s criminal conspiracy cost Clinton the election and now, as Speaker Johnson told us yesterday, Republicans in the House of Representatives will be doing everything they can to bury that fact and generate a whole new set of distractions as we head toward this November’s election.

When it comes to seizing power, they are telling us that they believe the rule of law, and thus our democracy, is merely an inconvenient impediment to be brushed aside. 

They clearly understand the importance of yesterday’s testimony and these trials.

American democracy suffers — perhaps fatally — if their efforts (and Aileen Cannon’s) cause Trump to get away with his crimes and return to the White House. 

Vote. And tell your friends. 

Thom Hartmann is a talk-show host and the author of The Hidden History of Neoliberalism and more than 30+ other books in print. He is a writing fellow at the Independent Media Institute and his writings are archived at hartmannreport.comThis article was produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute.