With the New York Attorney General now looking into criminal charges, Charlie Pierce ruminates on history’s precedent for what lies in wait for TFG on the road to the chicken roost.
I’ve scoured my memory for historical precedent for this situation. Gerald Ford saved Richard Nixon from post-presidential prosecution, and Ronald Reagan’s declining health saved him from spending his retirement talking about Iran-Contra. And at least, in both those cases, we were talking about crimes committed in office in the general course of presidential business. But the closest parallel that I can come to having a former president* run aground for crimes of personal cupidity and fraud is how Ulysses Grant got thrown into penury for lending his name to a securities firm run by his son and a grifter named Ferdinand Ward. (There is no evidence that Grant knew anything about Ward’s schemes.) And that is not a very close parallel at all. But, then again, the country never elected a career crook to the presidency, either, so we’re through the looking glass here, people. White is black and black is white.
The important thing is for the prosecutors to make sure their case is ironclad and copper-riveted, and it’s also vital that the investigations into Trump’s possible money crimes not obscure or minimize the crimes he committed against the United States, including his complicity in the events of January 6. The full scope of his alleged criminal enterprises, which include his presidency* as surely as they include insurance fraud and paying off porn stars, has to be demonstrated in public and at length, if only to remind us of the eternal truth once put into words by the late genius, George V. Higgins.
“This life’s hard, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.”
Calling all chickens. Your roosts are ready now.
Meanwhile, the Republicans in Washington are beginning to realize that the longer they flagellate about what happened on January 6 and how TFG keeps raising his tainted pate above the horizon, the longer the voters are going to be seeing stories about The Big Lie and attempts to keep relitigating an election that was over six months ago. As long as the loons are screaming in Arizona, Michigan, and from the back benches, the harder it will be to sell the GOP message… assuming they have one, which is problematic in itself.
Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice:
The same miscreants who made BUT HER EMAILS!!! their banner for the last five years and counting are now whining that, well, their actions just a few months ago could be ‘misconstrued’.
And to avoid the risk of a commission pledged to end with 2021, they’re busy dragging out the process, which makes it all the more likely the eventual commission(s) will still be front-page news in 2022.
Because dragging their feet, and character assassination for clickbait, is all they have left in their political arsenal.
The arc of Karma bends slowly, but it will always bend towards Gotcha.
ETA: Thanks to Joe Biden, TFG means “The Former Guy.”