What Has Trump's Endless Prosecution Accomplished?
As more and more effort is spent trying to put Donald Trump behind bars, he keeps growing politically. Is it time to wonder if there's a connection?
Tonight was meant to be the grand primetime finale of the January 6th hearings, but those have been postponed. MSNBC’s Ali Vitali, when asked the reason, answered in classic fashion. “Look,” she said. “You have to infer that the reason for that is they’re getting new cooperation, not least of which from former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone…”
Do we? Have to infer that? From George Nader to Michael Cohen to Hope Hicks to Michael Flynn to Don McGahn to Alexander Vindman to Cassidy Hutchinson to a long, long list of others, we’ve been repeatedly told the key Bearer Of Secrets had turned states evidence, and the “John Dean moment” was here. Do you remember the New Yorker article from the summer of 2018, “Allen Weisselberg, the Man Who Knows Donald Trump’s Financial Secrets, Has Agreed to Become a Coöperating Witness”? The one containing the line, “Allen is the one guy who knows everything”?
No? Neither had I. But it happened, another moment crumpled up and thrown at the bottom of what in the rearview mirror now looks like an enormous mountain of lost opportunity, a Giza Necropolis of spent political capital. Getting Trump indicted has seemed just around the corner for six long years now, but the action of every final showdown always unfolded like a Kafka novel, where the punchline of the Land Surveyor’s valiant search for justice was that it never got him over even the first in the thousand lifetimes of obstacles he needed to best to reach the center of the Castle. This still feels like that. Is this really the end, or barely just starting?
I’d planned to live-blog the hearings this evening over an introduction of the six-year history of the “We’ve definitely got him now!” show. Hearings are off, but it’s all worth reviewing anyway, especially since other events are conspiring to answer the question of just what all these years of efforts have won Democrats politically, which seems to be, not much.
The Endless Prosecution not only failed to win Trump’s accusers the public’s loyalty, it apparently achieved the opposite, somehow swinging working-class and even nonwhite voters toward Republicans in what even Axios this week called a “seismic shift” in American politics.
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