Another week, another silver bullet misses Donald Trump. Once more we suffered through the same endless roll of waves of crimes, accusations, near-indictments and just bad words to which we’d become accustomed during the Trump presidency.
We went from “Trump has classified material under lock and key at Mar-a-Lago” to a group of people paying $1,800 to fly a banner reading “ha ha ha ha” over the resort to mock a Trump staying 3,000 miles away in New York. On cue, the regulars on MSNBC and CNN brought out their running-dog former CIA and FBI officers to tell us tick-tock, the walls are closing in, this time it will stick, Trump is going down, he’ll be in jail before he runs again for office. If we can’t stop him with the electoral system, we’ll use the judicial system. This. Is. The. One.
Except it isn’t. The offense itself — some variant of mishandling of official materials — is muddled from the get-go by the former president’s former ability to declassify anything, a power he claimed he already used before he left the White House to magically spay the documents. An Espionage Act prosecution is a non-starter, requiring as it does the showing of intent to harm the United States.
It seems the documents, however classified and/or sensitive they are, were securely stored at Mar-a-Lago — and the risk of exposure was very minimal. The FBI nonetheless threw the kitchen sink at Benedict Donald with a full-on raid, to enforce the Presidential Records Act, a law that actually has no prescribed penalty associated with it. Given the presumed age of some of the documents and non-impact, this was sort of like not returning a semi-important library book.
The story will drag on a while, buoyed by leaks supposedly telling us politically salacious details about the secret documents (the single handwritten doc stored by Trump will likely take on lore akin to the grassy knoll for Trump conspiracy buffs). But in reality. “Mar-a-Lago-gate” is fast on its way to closing, joining Russiagate, Ukrainegate, Stormygate, January6gate and all of the others on the ash-heap of history. It is close enough to being a dead story that it’s worth helping our progressive friends through the five stages of grief — Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance — that accompany something once so important passing. RIP.
Are we really doing this all again? There is no way Trump is not guilty of something. There is no way the Orange Man can finish his term without jail time. Robert Mueller laid out a roadmap to post-term prosecution. Wait until we see his taxes. January 6 had to have been sedition or treason or truancy. It could not have been sort of a violent but potently nothing, amirite? OK, fine, now that he is no longer protected as president and is a regular citizen again the gloves are off and he is going to jail. There is no way Trump is going to run again unless he campaigns from prison.
But are you gonna ignore (checks notes for name) Cassidy Hutchinson? Whaddaya mean Georgia still hasn’t filed an indictment for election fraud, it’s been how many years? Wasn’t his grabbing the wheel from the Secret Service driver on J6 enough? What about that we call it J6 now? We were so close with the Emoluments Clause, and then the DC hotel business. The walls have to be closing in. Dig up Ivana, her coffin is probably full of purloined documents! Repeat after me: “I know we’ve said it many times before, but this time…”
Mueller time should have worked but he wimped out! I paid $29.95 on eBay for a Mueller bobble head doll and you’re telling me the guy had nothing at all, not even a pair of twos to play? Sanctimony (“Nobody is above the law, you know”) runs inverse to memory (“But her emails!”) in the poli-grieving process. If you’re gonna take a shot at the king you better not miss. And Garland has been putting in a lot of range time. I Googled “RICO” and per Wikipedia this has to work, unless the DoJ is in on it too…
So Dotard had top secret documents, probably was going to sell them to the Russkies, so he’s guilty under the Espionage Act, which carries the maximum penalty of death, like the Rosenbergs or someone else: this is it, the silver bullet! What the hell is wrong, there were hundreds of peeResident Brown Shirts at the Capitol, can’t you idiots get one of them to flip and accuse Trump?
What about the Alfa-Bank and the Yota smartphones, the hotel deal, what about the pee tape for gosh sakes! You made us believe there was a pee tape and this whole Trump thing was going to be over before it ever really began. Where is the pee tape? We were promised a pee tape. And a hero, we want a hero, and all you gave us was Robert Mueller, Michael Avenatti, Michael Cohen, Adam Schiff, Dr. Fauci (optional), Liz Cheney and now Merrick “Milquetoast” Garland. Somebody do something to fix all this and we promise never to use the expressions “Period. Full Stop. End of story” or “Let that sink in” or “I’ll just leave this here” or “methinks” again on Twitter.
Yeah, that Joe Biden, what a guy, woo hoo. Yes, I guess we all lost our minds again, this time over what is probably “presidential memorabilia,” stuff that would have ended up anyway in Trump’s presidential library on “indefinite loan from the National Archives” if Trump had just gone through channels like Obama and Bush.
OK, well, Russiagate didn’t work. Trump doing something naughty with Ukraine didn’t end in an impeachment conviction. Michael Avenatti is in jail. The deal with Stormy Daniels and the other Barbies might have been sleazy but it was not criminal. And his 700 sexual assaults!
So, alright, nobody could make an indictment out of all that fuss over security clearances for Don and Eric. The Southern District of New York could not find something to charge Trumpkins with vis-à-vis property taxes or valuation stuff no one really understood, and the various walls never closed in. Maybe Trump will be forced to release his taxes if he runs again, there’s a bright side, gotta be something in those taxes, right? I mean, who takes the Fifth except guilty people, the Orange Man himself said that when he was talking about Hillary, but it applies to him and the Trump crime family.
The family, that’s right, that’s his Achilles heel! Ivanka had some sort of sweetheart deal with China or something even before Hunter Biden to trademark her fashion things, and Jared sold NYC property too cheaply, and Don Jr., had his hand in some golf course thing I think I remember, in Sweden or maybe Scotland. And didn’t Trump flush secret documents down the White House pooper, that was wrong, right? There is still time for Trump’s accountant to flip and tell us all, got to be some indictable stuff in those books, eh? Or maybe Michael Cohen, he has another book coming out, that will likely cement his role as Fredo and send the Trumpster to the slammer. Hope his cellmate is ironically named Tiny.
And Merrick Garland is not really done with the documents, is he? I mean, he hasn’t indicted Trump for anything over them yet — yet — but it could be just nine dimensional chess with Garland waiting for the exact right moment to bring in something from the Articles of Confederation or the Stamp Act showing Trump is guilty. He’s gotta be guilty of something. Right?
Maybe next time.