Trump unleashed what has become a million U.S. COVID deaths, a war in Ukraine, and an attempted coup against the United States, all while coarsening our politics and ratcheting up hate. And now racist, rightwing politicians who disdain democracy are imitating him all across the nation.
What is the impact of all this on America and Americans, and when will he be held to account? Five years ago, Donald Trump broke the law and outed an Israeli spy who’d embedded himself into ISIS.
Trump gave the code-word-classified-Top-Secret intelligence to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, when he and Russian Ambassador Kislyak had a “private” meeting with Trump in the Oval Office which was not on Trump’s calendar or announced to the U.S. press.
The Israeli spy had spent years burying himself deeply enough into ISIS that he was on the verge of disrupting a plot to attack a city in Russia-controlled Syria: instead he had to flee for his life because Trump burned him.
As ABC News reported at the time:
“The life of a spy placed by Israel inside ISIS is at risk tonight, according to current and former U.S. officials, after President Donald Trump reportedly disclosed classified information in a meeting with Russian officials…”
And Trump wasn’t even embarrassed or ashamed by his outing a top spy providing anti-Russian intel through Israel to the U.S., as ABC News noted:
“Trump said in a pair of tweets he had the ‘absolute right’ to share ‘facts’ with the Russians.”
Can you imagine how Republicans would react if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama had done the same? Would it be three years of hearings and DOJ prosecutions in front of a grand jury — or four? Would they be in jail today?
But Trump’s first loyalty was never to America: it was always to himself and his billionaire “good friend” Vladimir Putin, whose war against Ukraine Trump still refuses to condemn.
This month will also commemorate over a million Americans having died from COVID, a death rate unsurpassed anywhere else in the developed world. This, too, lies at the feet of Donald Trump.
For the first four months of 2020, Trump’s team was actually trying to do something about COVID, even though he’d stupidly closed the pandemic offices Obama had created within the White House and the NSC after the Ebola scare.
Medical doctors were on TV daily; the media was freaking out about refrigerated trucks carrying bodies away from New York hospitals, and doctors and nurses were our new national heroes.
By the second week of March, US deaths had risen from 4 to only 22, but that was enough to spur federal action. Trump’s official emergency declaration came on March 11th, and most of the country shut down or at least went partway toward that outcome that week.
They even had a plan for the Post Office to distribute 650 million masks — 5 to every American household — to stop the pandemic.
But then came April 7th, just three weeks later, when the New York Times ran a front-page story with the headline: Black Americans Face Alarming Rates of Coronavirus Infection in Some States.
The opening paragraph laid it out:
“The coronavirus is infecting and killing Black people in the United States at disproportionately high rates, according to data released by several states and big cities, highlighting what public health researchers say are entrenched inequalities in resources, health and access to care.”
Other media ran similar headlines that day, and it led the news on cable and network television that night.
Most of the non-elderly people dying from COVID, it turned out, were Black or Hispanic, not white people.
White conservatives responded with a collective, “What the hell?!?”
From Tucker Carlson to Brit Hume to Rush Limbaugh and beyond, the entire rightwing movement turned on a dime that week.
The new official message was that it was now time to put COVID, lockdowns, and masks behind us and get the economy back to work in preparation for Trump’s re-election in the fall.
That April 7th, 2020 front page story — that COVID was mostly killing Black people — echoed across the white supremacist rightwing landscape like a Fourth of July fireworks display.
Trump decided it was time to let more Americans die, because the economy was sagging and that could hurt his reelection chances.
On April 12th, Trump retweeted a call to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci and declared, in another tweet, that he had the sole authority to open the US back up, and that he’d be announcing a specific plan to do just that “shortly.”
If most of the deaths — outside of the elderly and infirm — were Black, well, to hell with doing anything about it. It’s easier, after all, than trying to purge African Americans from the voting rolls.
That was the end of the Trump administration doing anything meaningful to try to protect Americans from a deadly virus for the rest of Trump’s last year in office. He cancelled the planned mask distribution by the Post Office and instead promoted quack cures on TV.
Trump put race and politics above lives, and now a million Americans are dead.
And like with the Israeli spy, Trump has never been held to account for setting up so many gullible Americans to die an agonizing, strangling death.
Trump conspired with armed white supremacist terrorists to block the peaceful transfer of power on January 6th and 20th, sending a murderous mob against our Capitol by lying to them that the election he’d lost by 7 million votes was “stolen” from him.
Now we are learning from NSC security expert for Russia and Ukraine Fiona Hill that Trump’s buddy Putin was rooting for him to succeed with the coup plan for January 6th so Putin could get on with taking out Ukraine right after the first of the year.
Trump wouldn’t have done a thing about a Russian massacre of Ukraine; after all, he’d already tried to extort Zelensky by withholding anti-tank missiles and was impeached (but not convicted) for it.
He made no secret that he generally hated all things Ukraine. As well as doing pretty much everything Putin told him to do, including trying to damage both NATO and the European Union. Lacking a friendly president but pleased that Trump had weakened Ukraine for him, Putin decided to go ahead with his invasion anyway on February 24th, and the rest is history.
This short article just scratches the surface of the criminality of Donald Trump. In addition:
- He squeezed over a billion dollars out of the government and into his own pockets while in office, oversaw a corrupt PPP program where his buddies made off with billions, and again is threatening to end democracy in the United States.
- He conspired to steal an election and, when that didn’t work, launched a mob to murder Vice President Pence and stop Congress, resulting in multiple deaths, including several police officers.
- He stole top-secret documents, taking them to Florida where they could be seen by any old spy who wanted to drop by. And Republicans wanted to lock up Hillary because her personal email wasn’t secure?
- Significant questions linger about whether he blackmailed Anthony Kennedy to leave the Supreme Court; how much additional intelligence he handed over to Putin; and why he shut down the White House cybersecurity office, leaving the Russians to set up house in the computers of multiple federal agencies for over a year before Biden came into office.
- When he lost the election, he called the Secretary of State for Georgia and demanded that Raffensperger find an additional 11,000+ votes to reverse his loss, committing multiple explicit felonies.
- And while it is not something he could go to jail for, he should also be held to account in some way for encouraging an explosion of racial, religious, and gender-based hatred and violence that echoes to this day.
Trump’s actions during his four years in the presidency, his year of campaigning before that, and his behavior since have corrupted American politics, sown deep distrust in our electoral system, and pitted Americans against each other.
And because he has not been held to account, Trumpism has spread across the American landscape like a metastasizing cancer, with Republican politicians who aspire to corrupt strongman status emulating him in every state.
It has been an absolute sabotage of our nation and our national interests, crippling us in multiple ways — much to the delight of Putin and dictators around the world.
All of which begs the question: What is it going to take for the Biden Department of Justice to prosecute this criminal?