By Vernon A. Williams
The former occupant of the Oval Office better not be too quick to take victory laps just because those in his party who fear him more than God let him off the hook again. His reckoning may soon come from a number of other legal sources – with no political escape hatches.
While Democrats were presenting an airtight, compelling and emotional argument of the facts that surrounded the despicable January 6 terrorist attack on the capital, Republican lawmakers were reading books, doodling, playing with mobile devices, napping and generally ignoring the evidence.
At one point, a CNN reporter snapped a photo of at least 15 empty seats on the Republican side of the Senate. That means out of the 50 elected and sworn to uphold the Constitution, only 30 percent even bothered to show up.
Lawyers for the disgraced former president used only a fraction of time allotted to make closing arguments. There are two reasons for that. Number one, there is no defense for what 45 did to permanently stain the process of peaceful transition of government by urging violent lunatic minions to storm the bastion of democracy, leaving six Americans dead.
The second reason the arguments were short is because senators clearly made up their minds to acquit. They declared that from the start. Lindsey Graham and his band of misfits conspired on the eve of the vote with 45’s attorneys. They didn’t even bother to hide the obvious and immoral compromise. It was a total dereliction of duty.
But don’t get it twisted, acquittal does not mean “not guilty.”
This was just these feckless GOP lawmakers’ cowardly way of ignoring the most egregious transgression against the U.S. government by any elected official in history. It is a shameful badge of dishonor that they must wear throughout time.
While they are disgusting, Americans should be glad that we went through the process of this trial – at least trying to hold 45 accountable. There is little that can be done when people decide to totally shirk responsibility and respond to the indisputable truth saying: “My mind is made up…don’t confuse me with the facts.”
The sad reality is that this is NOT a nation of laws when it comes to justice infected by politics, wealth, and whiteness. But that might not be enough to save the disgraced president from legal challenges that lie ahead. No longer does he have the shield of the presidency to protect him. And despite temptation, he has no covering of a pardon.
The Teflon Don is on the verge of facing charges that might stick. There are at least two active inquiries into 45’s alleged illegal meddling in the Georgia elections, where he tried to force officials to “find” enough votes to make him victorious. And he is facing criminal investigation in Manhattan regarding financial dealings at the Trump Organization.
Agent Orange is also accused of blatantly trying to coerce elected officials in other states to overturn the results of the November presidential election where he lost to Joe Biden by seven million popular votes and 306 electoral votes. States weighing action include Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
The Donald could also return to Washington – not as the leader of the free world but as a defendant. District of Columbia federal prosecutors are in the midst of an investigation into the January 6 insurrection that left six dead. Karl Raccine, the D.C. attorney general, has left the door open to reviving the charges Congress ignored – “inciting a riot.”
In addition, Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed a suit accusing 45 and Rudy Guiliani, his former legal mouthpiece, with joining far-right extremist groups to block Congress from certifying 2020 election results in violation of the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ office is conducting a civil investigation into whether the Trump Organization inflated the value of assets in order to secure favorable loans and insurance coverage. Though civil at the moment, investigators warn that these could later turn into criminal charges.
In another case, former magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll and former “Apprentice” reality show guest Summer Zervos – who accused 45 of rape and sexual assault, respectively – are separately pursuing defamation of character charges against Trump who they say maligned their reputations in statements denying the charges.
There are many more cases and rumors of cases awaiting the nation’s first ever twice impeached Commander in Chief. Knowing the fighter that he is, no one expects his detractors to have a slam dunk with him in court. After all, he duped sympathetic followers into donating over $200 million in his waning months in office. So he MAY have enough to cover his spiraling legal fees.
So as we bid farewell to that rogue administration, we go full circle and reiterate the warning that he might want to postpone any victory lap over the Senate acquittal for inciting a riot. The last chapter of that story hasn’t been written.