Imagine a country having a President whose fixer broke the law at his boss’ instruction, violating the rules governing the democratic process, whose campaign manager has been indicted for lying and several counts of bank and tax fraud, who stands accused of colluding with a hostile power to help him gain power, who is believed to have paid off several women to keep them quiet, and whose media cheerleaders are shameless.
Donald, where's yer hairspray?
You no longer have to imagine such a country, because that is the USA right now. The country which, so the Tory right fondly imagines, will make Brexit go wonderfully well by bestowing on us some kind of special trade deal - when it can’t bother keeping to the ones it has already made. The trail of criminality leads directly to Combover Crybaby Donald Trump. Yet his media pals are telling their audience to just look over there.
Sound familiar? That may be because Trump’s chief media cheerleader is Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), run by Rupert Murdoch. Like the Sun and Times here in the UK. What are they trying to cover up? That Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort has now been convicted on tax and bank fraud. He is likely to be handed a long custodial sentence. His former lawyer Michael Cohen had cut a plea bargain.
In Cohen’s case, the charges which he has admitted concern abuses of campaign finance rules, and paying “hush money” to women with whom Trump had affairs. He claims he was “directed” to make illegal payments by Trump. Cohen’s lawyer has commented “If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?” And there is worse for the Fox News favourite.
As the Guardian has reported, “The outcomes also raised grave questions about Trump’s judgment. Since his election, his national security adviser, personal lawyer, campaign chairman, deputy campaign manager and a foreign policy aide have all admitted or been convicted of crimes”. All of this is before the Russia probe brings its own charges.
On top of that is Trump’s petulant and puerile reaction to the news. “If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!”. That’s right, throw your fixer under the bus. There was more. A lot more.
“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. ‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ - make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man!” It isn’t over yet. He’s back in court in DC in two weeks’ time.
Have another go. “A large number of counts, ten, could not even be decided in the Paul Manafort case. Witch Hunt!” They could still be charged separately. And he’s back in court in DC … (see above). Then he blames his predecessor.
“Michael Cohen plead guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime. President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!” Going over the campaign finance limit and admitting it is not the same as ordering someone to make an illegal payment. Also, taking your taking points from this morning’s Fox and Friends may not be such a good idea. So what have his media fans been saying?
To no surprise, professional loudmouth Sean Hannity “dismissed the news on Tuesday, saying ‘it has nothing to do with Russia’. He went on to rhetorically ask special counsel Robert Mueller: ‘This is it? Did we need you 500 days for this?’”. When CNN, ABC and NBC were reporting Cohen was to plead guilty, Fox News had racist bigot Tomi Lahren telling viewers “Obama created Festivus to destroy Christmas” (Ms Lahren supports fracking and believes that climate change is a myth).
And strangely, Trump’s greatest UK champion, former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, has absented himself from Twitter for a whole week now; anyone might have got the impression that he knew something bad was coming down the track.
This is what happens when the right-wing political establishment allows itself to be held hostage by a cheap huckster, a fundamentally dishonest and dishonourable shyster unfit for public office. It is what happens when parts of the media collude with the charade. It is what we might see if our own right-wing establishment gets its way and secures the ascendancy of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson to the leadership of the Tory Party.
Sean Hannity - Trump cheerleader ...
The difference is that, under the USA’s constitutional checks and balances, Trump can, and now most likely will, be removed from office. The scandal will probably take Vice President Mike Pence with him. The scope for obstruction of justice charges is immense and may indeed take in those cheerleaders at Fox News.
... and his boss
Meanwhile, Michael Cohen says he won’t let Trump pardon him. But the point is moot. If that were to be attempted, not even the GOP would stand in the way of immediate impeachment. Now just think of how many pundits from within the London-centric media bubble have been prepared to go on the TV and defend Trump.
What is happening in the USA could happen here. Only we wouldn’t be able to get rid of whoever the right-wing establishment foist upon us. Thus the scandal that is modern Conservative politics in a nutshell. And they have the gall to whinge about Corbyn.
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