Migraines Mount for the Former President

When the cookie crumbles it really crumbles, and since his somnolescent announcement that he sought to reclaim the presidency other than by an insurrection, former President Donald Trump has looked like one crumbling cookie. Just before Thanksgiving Trump hosted antisemite extraordinaire Kanye West, now Ye, for dinner. Wouldn’t you know it?

Who else should join the party at the table of the former president of the United States but Ye’s good buddy Nick Fuentes, not only an antisemite but an avowed white supremacist? It was just sheer good luck that Hermann Goering and Bull Connor had previous commitments.

Trump saw nothing wrong with hosting two of the most repugnant individuals in America not presently in solitary confinement, which surprised nobody. But it must have stung when some of his most prominent acolytes actually permitted themselves a few public murmurings of disapproval, as though this were somehow a deviation from the Prince of Mar-a-Lago’s character. Trump does seem to be trolling the bottom of America’s barrel with even more abandon than usual, and in West and Fuentes he has certainly found it.

Last week saw a series of unfavorable legal developments for Trump who, as he put it in Don Corleone-inspired fashion about former Ambassador Maria Yovanovitch, is going to go through some things. The Supreme Court, dominated by conservative justices on whom Trump thought he could rely, cleared the way for the IRS to turn his tax returns over to the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee. The returns have now been delivered, meaning that financial information that Trump has tried every trick in the book to keep hidden may see the dreaded light of day.

Next came the conviction of five leaders of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, on charges of seditious conspiracy and obstruction of the counting of electoral votes. This was a setback for MAGA diehards who maintain with a straight face that an attempted coup d’etat was a barely boisterous tourist visit, rather like a middle-school trip to Disney World. The conviction demonstrated that the Justice Department isn’t firing blanks. Since the physical attack at the Capitol end of Pennsylvania Avenue was likely not spontaneously conceived, those involved in summoning the mob to Washington by promising them a “wild” time now have yet more reason to purchase headache medicine.

Last Thursday brought the evisceration of Team Trump’s effort to throw sand in the gears of the investigation of The Donald’s apparent pilfering of over 300 classified documents, a little frolic that may cost him an indictment under the Espionage Act and for obstruction of justice. Trump’s lawyers had found a Florida judge appointed by their client to the federal bench not merely willing to help her benefactor but seemingly eager to do so. She had obliged by erecting roadblocks for prosecutors. Three Republican appellate judges issued a decision not only dismantling the roadblocks but dismissing Trump’s lawsuit altogether.

The Jan. 6 Committee is about to release a massive report detailing reams of evidence of the former president’s wrongdoing, also known to his supporters as “fake news.” This ought to keep journalists busy for weeks and keep Republican members of Congress hustling through the Capitol to avoid journalists’ questions. The Justice Department’s multi-track criminal investigation into Trump continues to advance. The team of lawyers and investigators examining whether Trump should be indicted for obstructing Congress on Jan. 6 has forced the grand jury testimony of Trump confidant Kash Patel and former White House lawyers Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin, presumably about Trump’s various instructions and demands about staying in office after being voted out of it.

Meanwhile, a Georgia grand jury is wrapping up a criminal probe into whether Trump committed election fraud, and Trump awaits a verdict in a criminal case against his company. ‘Tis not the season to be jolly for The Former Guy. It’s more like a whole lot of chickens coming home to roost.

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