I haven’t written about the former president in a few months. Frankly, it’s just not all that interesting any more. I have found it is more interesting to write about people who still think he is interesting. I expect there will be more than enough written about those people and the sociological phenomenon they have become, but they really should get used to the fact that life goes on without him.
Getting straight to the point, Donald Trump will never be president again. None of his family will ever become president. And finally, no one from his cabinet or inner circle will ever become president either.
There. Now that we have that out of the way, I will provide the latest reasons why.
The Associated Press reported on Thursday that “Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump and his two eldest children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., to comply with subpoenas issued in December by New York Attorney General Letitia James.” The subpoenas require the three Trumps to appear for depositions within twenty-one days, in a civil proceeding James is pursuing regarding the Trump Organization’s business practices.
It is no secret that one of the features of the former president’s real estate business is to inflate the value of his properties when seeking advantageous financing from lending institutions, and to undervalue the same properties for purposes of taxation. The “copious evidence” the New York Attorney General has of “financial fraud” is the basis of the subpoenas, and the reason Judge Engoron had little difficulty ruling to enforce them. The evidence is certainly not breaking news. What is different this time is that the family will have to choose between telling the inconvenient truth about what is common knowledge, or “pleading the fifth,” a tactic that Trump himself has described as something only guilty people do. It’s truly a lose-lose situation, and the chances of Thursday’s ruling in New York state court being overturned on appeal are slim.
Late last month, the AP reported, “The Superior Court of Fulton County in Georgia has granted a request by the local district attorney to impanel a special grand jury for the DA’s investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election in the state.” Fulton County DA Fani Willis commented last week on her investigation by saying, “This is a criminal investigation. We’re not here playing a game. I plan to use the power of the law. We are all citizens.”
Both of these investigations appear to be ominous for the former president. The courts in New York and Georgia do not appear to care about any potential and absurd privilege or immunity claims, like the ones the Trump team have made en masse to the January 6 Select Committee in congress. Also, unlike the congressional investigation, the midterm elections are irrelevant in both of these states. These investigations are not vulnerable to any political change before they are completed.
Are these the reasons Trump won’t ever be president again? They are not the primary reasons, yet, but they are prominently on the list.
More importantly, they are great reasons for his followers and for the remaining members of the Republican Party to finally get to the first day of the rest of their political lives. The party lacked the courage to part ways on their own last year when they had the opportunity to convict Trump at his second impeachment trial. He was clearly guilty, and that conviction would have resulted in his elimination from running again. That golden opportunity to separate and move on would have made life so much easier for the GOP, but they couldn’t muster up the courage needed in the moment.
The New York AG and the Fulton County DA don’t lack that courage, thank goodness.
The Trump experience obliterated so much, it is hard to put it in perspective and keep it there. Many of the casualties are things that are more aptly categorized as protocols or traditions. Things like participating in the transition of power–a precious American feature that he snubbed on the way in and destroyed on the way out–are mostly not illegal. But they are precious just the same.
But that’s just pesky presidential stuff.
Whatever happened to the concept of the consciousness of guilt? In the last six years, Trump has faced numerous investigations of varying size and scope. From the Mueller investigation to Atlanta, and from Stormy Daniels to New York, he has uniformly behaved like a guilty person.
It hasn’t ever been a witch hunt. The witch has always been in plain sight.