The more we learn about what Donald Trump and his co-conspirators did, tried to do, and/or thought about doing after it became clear Joseph Biden would be the 46th President, the more we scratch our heads about how anyone can see them as anything but the most vile criminal conspiracy.
The latest example of the lengths the Trumpers were willing to go was to, according to the Washington Post, “seize and analyze ‘NSA unprocessed raw signals data’ to show that foreign actors had infiltrated the 2020 election system.
This, we can guess, would have given Trump the authorization to have one of the executive agencies – Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Defense Department, and maybe Ag or HUD – to go out and seize voting machines to prove the election had been stolen.
The election was not stolen. And, in spite of the efforts of those rioters participating in the January 6 insurrection, the election has stayed not stolen.
To be fair, there is not yet any evidence that Trump himself was involved in this NSA plot against democracy, but it is telling the lengths that those around him – or pretenders to the Trump inner circle – were willing to go to overturn the election.
This all goes back to Trump’s inability to accept defeat. In a 2015 column in the National Review, Rich Lowery pronounced Trump “the most fabulous whiner in all of American politics.”
In reporting this, the Business Insider quoted Trump as saying:
“I think [Lowery is] probably right. I am the most fabulous whiner. I do whine because I want to win. And I’m not happy if I’m not winning. And I am a whiner. And I’m a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win.”
When you’re trying to get an easement for your golf course in Miami and you whine to the planning and zoning commission until they grant it, that’s one thing.
When you are the President of the United States and you whine to the Justice Department and the Pentagon about seizing voting machines, that’s a lot more than a curb cut.
There is considerable hand wringing over the fact that no one in the Trump orbit has been subject to a grand jury, much less indicted, much less convicted over this plot to wreck our democratic system.
I am more sanguine. It was reported earlier this week that papers – official, Presidential type papers – that Trump had torn up into tiny pieces have been reconstituted and taped back together have found their way to the National Archives.
Even a man who has made a great show of shunning modern technology like texting and email will have left a confetti trail in his wake. Those scraps may well bring him down.
At a rally in Texas, Trump indicated he might pardon the January 6thrioters. That led me to think that, it is one thing to be known as a loser for the rest of his life. It is something else to be known as Inmate Number 60339 (or whatever) in the Federal prison system.
If Trump were to be reelected, he would at least attempt to pardon himself.
Article II, Section 3 reads:[The President] shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
There appears to be nothing that speaks to whether a President can pardon himself. Before Trump, we didn’t need to discuss it.
A Federal Appeals Court Judge wrote:
“There is next to nothing from the constitutional convention, state ratification debates or 229 years of Supreme Court decisions that sheds light on whether this language empowers a president to pardon himself for federal crimes.”
That’s perfect for Donald Trump. He would just pardon himself and whine his way into retirement.
See you next week.