Events are About to Catch Up with Trump and Company. History will Not be Kind.
In a sense, many of us alive today have been here before. There came a time in Watergate that the weight of evidence and history would no longer be denied. It was an amazing thing to observe. Two things stood out in particular.
One, when the time came, a handful of people made a difference. In the right place and with the right amount of authority, they stood up and did the right thing. I could add that they finally did the right thing, but let’s not be mean spirited. A group of Republican legislators (not enough to fill a van) went to the White House and declared that this was over. They and others would join the Democrats in impeachment. Nixon resigned shortly thereafter.
Two, a lot of people did NOT stand up and do the right thing. They continued to defend Nixon and disparage his accusers right up until the end. They willfully ignored that Nixon had directed a cover-up. Nixon tried to misuse government to thwart investigations and to punish enemies. That was OK with his supporters.
History was not kind to this latter group. The verdict was quickly rendered. Many lost reelections in the post-Watergate landside. Some faced charges on their own. Future generations of their own family will know what failed choices they made.
Most of us never face a moment of historical importance. Many of those involved in Watergate did not expect such a call. Many did not realize the call had come until they were knee deep in the morass. No matter. When the call comes, you get one shot to get it right. No do overs allowed.
It feels as though we are about to come to a similar critical point with the Trump administration. History is about to come calling.
As Special Investigations go, the Mueller investigation is not yet very long running. But there seems to be a crescendo arriving in the coming weeks. Just from what we know publicly, it is difficult to imagine no charges of obstruction of justice. The Special Prosecutor’s team is especially adept at uncovering financial crimes. If there was/is money laundering and tax evasion in all this, they will find it and prove it.
Trump’s tax filings will likely become part of the public record in all this, and that is not likely to be good news for him. Mr. Trump is in violation of the emoluments clause of the constitution. Period. Lawsuits are moving through the courts on this already.
Over 20 individuals and organizations have already been charged. Some have pleaded guilty. Looking at the Manafort case, he seems well on his way toward spending the rest of his life in prison. He strikes me as a man more afraid of his former colleagues than justice. Still – he may yet choose in the end to chat a bit with the prosecutors.
The circle is getting tighter, Mr. Trump gets more erratic. More people and organizations are finding they can no longer stand with him. I would have thought it impossible to make the following statement a year and a half ago. Charges of collusion, collaboration, even treason are no longer impossible. It is difficult to come to any other conclusion, given Helsinki and Trump’s statements.
His core base remains with him, but we know now that this will be the case no matter what happens. They have written themselves out of the dialogue over country’s future. History awaits them as well.
The bell is, I believe, about to toll. How people choose to answer that call will determine the future of this country. It will also mark us as individuals, communities, and organizations for the long-haul. I would not want to be on the wrong side for this one.
Putting aside the fate of the nation, who wants to make their stand defending Donald Trump, of all people? Really? Trump over the rule of law and the country’s best interest? Choose carefully. As always, no do overs. We will remember the choices made.
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