As scandals swirl around President Donald Trump, Republican leaders stand silent. We all now know that Trump has been accused of committing multiple financial and sexual crimes. And things are getting even more disturbing.
With the arrest of Trump’s longtime friend, Jeffrey Epstein, who was charged with sex trafficking of minors, a federal lawsuit filed in New York in 2016 naming Trump as a co-defendant has taken new relevance. The suit claim both Trump and Epstein raped a 13-year-old girl multiple times at Epstein’s New York mansion.
The suit also alleges that Trump threatened the victim, telling her that he would have her entire family killed if she opened her mouth.
The victim was scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles press conference six days before the 2016 election, but abruptly canceled the event over the death threats.
At this point, you have to wonder how far Donald Trump has gone and what other crimes he has gotten away with — maybe shooting someone on Fifth Avenue?
Maybe he was right when he said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and his supporters would stick with him. We’ve seen him get away with too much by now. No restraint on Trump will ever come from his party or his base — especially after the passing of John McCain. So save your breath. Trump will be restrained only if his party loses the House or the Senate. That’s what is at stake in the 2020 elections — so vote accordingly.
And for those Republican moderates, independents and suburban white women who voted for Trump in 2016 and are considering voting against GOP House and Senate candidates in November to put some limits on the president and show their disapproval at GOP lawmakers’ failure to act as an independent branch of government, let me describe the stakes in another way:
Trump still refuses to show us his tax returns long after his “audit,” which can only mean he is hiding something. His campaign chairman Paul Manafort is a convicted tax cheat who was trying to keep Putin’s stooge in power in Ukraine. Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen is another confessed tax cheat.
But the moral vacuum at the heart of the Trump White House is worse than what we see on the surface. It’s not just about collusion, corruption and money laundering, it is about his behavior — crass language, simplistic slogans reminiscent of authoritarian regimes and his insistence on personal loyalty over loyalty to the Constitution or institutions.
And with the president assaulting the media with terms such as “enemy of the people” and attacking the judiciary on a regular basis, everything goes, so grab what you can, because no one’s looking. The cat’s away.
Sadly, today’s Republican-dominated Senate behaves just like co-conspirators. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other party leaders have effectively blocked any attempt by House Democrats to hold this president accountable.
We all know Trump is unfit. President Richard Nixon resigned on the eve of impeachment because, in part, he had a level of respect for the presidency. But Trump isn’t likely to resign in disgrace because he has no sense of shame. He also never takes responsibility. Since taking office, he has persistently attacked anyone who tries to prevent him from breaking the law. Like a toddler trying to escape discipline, he blames others for his own misdeeds, cries that investigations and criticisms of him are unfair and “fake news.”
Part of that is strategic — again, Trump is playing a game, not trying to craft and enact policies framed by a coherent political view. The endless lies have turned the air around him into a murky miasma that is designed to create confusion, like a series of stun grenades.
And the Republican leadership has enabled him. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) told Republican supporters that the party must keep the House to protect the president.
What a remarkable display of Political Cowardice.
Again, this is what is at stake in the 2020 elections — so vote accordingly.
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