The disgraced former president has been playing a lot of golf since his unsuccessful January 6th raid on Congress using his Trumpster fanatics as cannon fodder, in an attempt to block the certification of the Biden election win.
So far, 275 of the attackers have been arrested from more than 40 states. Capitol authorities estimate 35,000 attended Trump’s final rally, 10,000 were inspired to march to the Capitol with him, while he slithered away back to the White House to watch the mayhem on TV.
Police estimate that 800 fought their way inside through multiple police lines and began hunting for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence. This past week saw the first ‘conspiracy’ charges on the Oath Keepers group, which is one step away from sedition charges and a 20 year sentence.
The most common defense posed by the arrestees’ attorneys is that they were just following their president’s instructions to go to the Capitol to ‘fight like hell’ to save our democracy. Washington DC Chief Judge Beryl Howell was not impressed with that tactic.
“This was not a peaceful protest. Hundreds of people came to Washington, DC, to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power,” …”The titles of those offenses don’t even properly capture the scope of what Mr. Barnett is accused of doing here,” Howell said at one hearing.
We have not heard a peep out of Trump about setting up a defense fund or offering to pay for the legal defenses of the supporters that he unleashed on the Capitol. Yesterday was the first day of Congressional hearings on the riot. As expected, there was a lot of finger pointing on issues of poor intelligence and for what can now be seen in hindsight, an almost total lack of preparation in defending the Capitol and legislators and staff involved in the certification.
Capitol police officers gave testimony about the viciousness of the attacks on them and the unanswered calls for help, as defense lines were breached. By the end of the day, it was revealed that none other than General Flynn’s brother turned out to be one of the Pentagon generals delaying the decision to release National Guard troops.
The death toll stands at five. The police union say 140 were injured. Biden’s new attorney general, Merrick Garland, has promised a full investigation during his confirmation hearing. Not mentioned in any of the reporting so far is that if someone is killed during a riot, all those involved are subject to sharing the murder charge.
Trump will also be in the prosecutors’ cross hairs, for inciting and adding and abetting in the riot, even though he tried to be careful with the language he used. Investigators are following the money trail for those who funded the event and any direct interactions they had with the Trump people. One of those arrested had even coordinated some of their ‘security’ activities with the Secret Service.
Even more embarrassing, some 35 Capitol police officers are under investigation for having been “too friendly’ to the rioters, an issue not only for the Capitol force. Many current and former police officers and military have been arrested by the FBI.
The Pentagon has been tasked with taking a good look inside the ranks to determine how deeply Trump cultism has spread there, a task it does not welcome, as it expects there are many. And then there is the double issue of white supremacism inside police and the military, as it was openly on display among the rioters fighting with black capitol police officers that day.
It was kept out of the news initially, but emerged fully during the hearings, and with the testimony of officer Harry Dunn, a 6’7” giant of a man who related his shock when a rioter showed him his police badge and saying “We’re with you.”
But the January 6 riot is just one legal problem facing Trump. The Supreme Court allowed his long withheld tax returns for his business empire to be released, millions of pages. The Southern District Attorney of New York, Cy Vance has recently beefed up his prosecution team with a number of experienced financial litigation prosecutors, a sign he is moving toward filing charges.
Trump’s hotels and golf resorts have been hard hit by the pandemic, with the Trump DC hotel alone off 60% on its revenues. His net worth has taken a dive and possibly a sustained downturn, as his brand is now toxic. If loan foreclosures with banks like Deutsche Bank force him to liquidate, his empire might turn out to be a house of cards.
Trump is sitting on top of a big unspent campaign fund, boosted by a lot of unpaid bills like stiffing local police security at his numerous campaign rallies in the summer and fall. He is also known for stiffing his attorneys.
But he may have an ace in the hole, which he might be cranking up with his attendance and the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) convention this weekend. Despite his problems, he is still recognized as the major power in the Republican party, where anyone not in his favor would stand little chance of being elected in 2022 and 2024.
Trump raised tons of cash in 2020, ending up with an alleged $150 million in his own campaign kitty. The family is rumored to have taken countless millions in payoffs during Trump’s presidency, where he took advantage of getting paid favors via his position. He is not the first to do this, but is already being judged as the most prolific.
And last, a warning from an old saying, “Careful that ye don’t reap what you have sown”. Trump’s more active helpers in trying to steal the election from Biden slandered and libeled the Dominion and Smartatec voting system companies. They were ruthlessly attacked with claims of electronic vote flipping in the weeks after the election.
No proof was ever provided that sustained a judicial confirmation. Both companies have sued Trump’s lawyers, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Trump’s close friend Mike Lindell, the pillow magnate, for billions of dollars in damages.
All of them repeatedly made the false claims of the election being stolen, and that Trump had really won in a landslide. But with over 55 court rulings, no evidence was ever produced to win a verdict for the Trump team, and the Supreme Court considered it beneath its dignity to hear a challenge after so many losses.
The whole basis for the Capitol riots, the deaths and destruction was based on that one Big Lie. Psychologists have already been profiling some of those arrested and finding failed businesspeople, those with tax liens and other financial problems, who viewed Trump as their savior.
Throughout history, such people have been manipulated as mobs. But I must admit I never dreamed that I would wake up one day and find my own county almost turned into a Banana Republic over a disputed election.
The ignorance on display was appalling. We have Republican senators now who are refusing to address Biden as president, fearful of Trump’s wrath. America is deeply divided and there is no quick fix for changing that.
The good news is Biden has a very experienced team, unlike the grifters and political hacks that came in with Trump, and he changed them out like his socks. Running a government was never expected to be a game of musical chairs. You have to get things done that speaks for itself.
Jim W. Dean, managing editor for Veterans Today, producer/host of Heritage TV Atlanta, specially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.