We are taught that a leopard doesn’t change its spots. Since most of us will never encounter a leopard, at least outside of a zoo, the real lesson is not literal. The adage teaches us (along with the one about old dogs and new tricks) that people pretty much act the same way in a variety of situations. That certainly applies to the “Former guy”.
Occasionally I refer to the immediate past president as Don Trump. That is not a familiarized version of his first name. It is a reference to the fact that he has been a crook all his life and envisions himself as an organized crime family Don.
Like the family business that he inherited before it, the Trump administration was best understood if you viewed it as an organized criminal enterprise. In his businesses Trump cheated a lot of people – customers and vendors alike – to enhance his bottom line. His foray into politics has been little more than a scam designed to enrich himself and a small inner circle.
While in both business and politics, Trump is far from the genius he portrays himself to be; he has some conception of how to preserve plausible deniability. (Remember that, at least politically, we learned that phrase in the Nixon administration). Among other things he speaks in “code” (I got that from Michael Cohen) and he doesn’t leave much of a paper trail.
Last week the news started to be reported that despite repeated instructions to the contrary Trump continued to destroy Oval Office papers that he was legally required to preserve. I’m not an attorney but it seems to me that after a while stupidity and/or ignorance gives way to intent. If I’m speeding and a police officer stops me and during the ensuing conversation, they ascertain that I didn’t know the speed limit the officer would be perfectly within their right to educate me and let me off with a warning. To me a warning from a police officer is a break. If subsequently they stop me for speeding on that same stretch of road, I deserve a ticket. Trump got his “break” and still kept committing the same infraction. Stupid, arrogant or deliberate? You tell me. In any event certainly an innocence/ignorance defense is long gone.
But it gets worse (and I lack a simile). Trump shredded many documents beyond the point where they could be taped back together. Monday’s morning news reports that instead of sending all his papers to the National Achieves as required by federal statute, he retained boxes of them and took them with him to Mar-a-Lago. Could it be that he actually believes he is still the president and is running a sort of White House in exile from Mar-a-Lago. Insanity is a defense in American law (and I have long suggested that Trump use it) but alone self-delusion is not.
Donald Trump is really a wannabe gangster. (The real mobsters have to be laughing at how inept he is.) So, what else do you expect?
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