The consensus in Washington is that while Donald Trump survived the second impeachment of his one term as president, his troubles will get worse for him as a private citizen facing multiple inquiries by state and federal prosecutors and a plethora of agencies waiting to cut him down to size.
Even the poster child of political hypocrisy, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, followed up his vote to acquit Trump with a blistering statement from the floor:
Former President Trump’s actions [that] preceded the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty. Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.
McConnell suggests criminal prosecution of Trump is a likely possibility, which of course, raises the question of why he helped let such a criminal element get away?
“It is the height of hypocrisy,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post. McConnell “called time, and he’s the one who ran out the clock.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi didn’t mince words:
It is so pathetic that Senator McConnell kept the Senate shut down so that the Senate could not receive the Article of Impeachment and has used that as his excuse for not voting to convict Donald Trump.
Forget McConnell. Others are sharpening their knives to slice up Trump.
McConnell knows that Trump’s grip on the Republican base — its activist core, which is disproportionately important in candidate-selection primaries — remains unshaken. But not unshakable. Trump might soon have a bruising rendezvous with the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. (While explaining his opposition to the Senate’s convicting Trump, McConnell pointedly noted that “impeachment was never meant to be the final forum for American justice,” and that “we have a criminal justice system” and “we have civil litigation.”) Trump’s potential problems, legal and financial, might shrink his stature in the eyes of his still-mesmerized supporters. McConnell knows, however, that the heavy lifting involved in shrinking Trump’s influence must be done by politics.
Prosecutors in Fulton County, GA, have opened an investigation of Trump’s illegal “attempts to influence” the state’s administration in the 2020 election. The investigation focuses on Trump trying to force Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find the votes” to overturn the will of voters who gave Joe Biden the win.
Illegal contacts by Trump of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and others are part of that investigation.
New York’s attorney general and Manhattan’s district attorney want Trump for tax fraud and outright criminal financial fraud. Courts have given them access to the tax filings that Trump protected while as president.
The Internal Revenue Service is questioning a tax deduction that will cost the self-proclaimed “greatest businessman ever” more than $70 million plus fines that could push the amount to over $100 million.
His creditors, armed with documentation that shows Trump inflated assets to qualify for loans he could not qualify honestly, are expected to demand up to a billion dollars or more in accelerated payments, or they will start seizing the assets he prizes so much as phony proof of a wealth he never possessed.
Republicans, Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas observed, “let Trump off on a technicality.”
But the technicality that protected him as president no longer exists and the sharks are circling.
Let the feeding frenzy begin.
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