Part of former President Trump’s charm is that his assault on the presidency and our collective sense of decency was so massive that each weekly or daily offense was buried in a mountain of malfeasance. Each was lost in his falsely equivalent, disinformational responses to all criticisms, all reporting of his shenanigans by legitimate conservative, nonpartisan, and liberal news sources. There was so much damaging behavior, most of us can’t remember it all — which was the intention, his modus operandi. But here I give you Trump’s corruption explained.
Generally, reasonable people don’t associate the word competent with Donald Trump. But he was (is) competent at hiding and muddying the truth from the masses, those who are busy with life and don’t check out every mendacious statement or assault on government.
Most American citizens in that elusive political middle know in their hearts that President Trump was corrupt and incompetent, but they’re unable to spell out the specifics. They’re unable to explain to friends and family members the basic evidence to back up declarations of Trumpian corruption and incompetency.
I’m here to help. My book Trumpism: Why Traditional Republicans Should Withdraw Support [2017-2021: A Primer] does exactly that. It systematically lays out seven primary classes of presidential depravity. It draws upon research and reporting from many news sources — of all (and no) political persuasions — and documents each class with copious quotations and citations. Many of the sources are well known but too few people access them.
If you lean Republican but consider yourself open-minded, there are legitimate information sources for you. If you don’t like The Washington Post, scan the conservative National Review. If you don’t like The New York Times, peruse The Washington Times. Or the also-conservative Bulwark, Washington Free Beacon, or Wall Street Journal. Is Fox News your only or primary source? You’ll find that Fox News stands as an outcast even among other (respectable) conservative media.
Here are the seven primary categories of Donald’s wrongdoing. Impress your friends, co-workers, and fellow 12-step group members. Later in this book, I expound upon and document each category. But here in the Introduction, I offer a succinct list, a CliffsNotes-style version of the high points.
1) Insurrection of January 6
The evidence that President Trump prompted his followers to commit a violent deadly disruption of Congress in an attempt to overturn his 2020 reelection loss is insurmountable. All one has to do is open his or her mind to it. One of the most detailed bodies of evidence lies in the transcripts of Donald’s second Senate impeachment trial. In fact, Congress continued the impeachment process even after Trump was out of office to create a legal record of this evidence.
He was tried in the Senate, where seven Republicans sided with all 50 Democrats to find him guilty, a significantly bipartisan vote. Though 57 is not 67 (the supermajority required to convict), a clear majority found him responsible. Most pundits believe the number of Republicans voting against Mr. Trump would have been much higher had the vote been secret. Have you watched any video highlights of the trial? Have you read about it at all?
2) Witting or Unwitting Russian Asset
It’s well known that President Trump consistently kowtowed to Vladimir Putin, president of our long-time adversary Russia. Donald deferred to him on the world stage at the Helsinki summit, publicly lapping up Putin’s denials of election interference over the unanimous consensus of his own U.S. intelligence agencies. Donald excused Russia’s illegal aggression against its neighbors and repeated Putin’s propaganda points whenever he had the chance. Our president defended Russian President Putin regularly in the media.
Mr. Trump repeatedly bashed and disrupted NATO, questioned its existence, and had specific plans to pull the U.S. out in his second term — which is exactly what Putin wanted. Donald kept secret virtually all his private communications with Putin during his presidency. The list goes on. Four-star generals concluded that Trump was a serious threat to U.S. national security. All you have to do is be willing to read about it.
3) Psychological Torture of 5,400 Innocent Migrant Children
Mr. Trump’s policy of indefinite separation of migrant children from their parents or other family members is documented. The non-profit, nonpartisan Physicians for Human Rights determined this trauma to be torture. It went on for many months with children and parents not knowing if they ever would see each other again. After public exposure and shaming (even from most of his supporters) caused Donald to stop the program and reunite families, hundreds of children remain separated through Trump administration incompetence — officials didn’t keep track of everyone’s whereabouts. And all the children experienced lifelong-lasting trauma.
The atrocities against babies, toddlers, and other minors caged under subhuman conditions are documented. As many nonpartisan and other pundits noted, the cruelty was the point. You only need to check the Google.
4) COVID-19 Pandemic
President Trump oversaw 400,000 U.S. COVID-19 deaths on his watch, a conservatively estimated half of which were needless. Donald made a conscious choice to play down, ignore, and politicize the pandemic because he believed leading on the issue would hurt his economy, cost him reelection, and remove his presidential immunity from the many financial and legal investigations and prosecutions nipping at his heels. Documentation of Trump’s responsibility for at least 200,000 deaths comes from Columbia University, University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, National Center for Disease Preparedness – Earth Institute, and former members of Trump’s own White House Coronavirus Task Force.
The New England Journal of Medicine weighed in on a presidential election for the first time in its 208-year history. In a unanimous statement from its 35 editors, the iconic medical research journal called for the Trump administration to be removed from power for its malfeasance. The detailed evidence is there for the reading.
5) Colluding With Russia to Cheat in the 2016 Presidential Election – Then Covering It Up
Contrary to popular belief, special counsel Robert Mueller did not determine there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election cycle. The Mueller report specifically did not draw a conclusion on collusion, instead saying only that the campaign’s activities fell short of legally indictable conspiracy. Later, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee’s ranking member and associates determined that the Trump campaign’s dealings, communications, and cooperation with the Russians were the very definition of collusion. Though for some ungodly reason, that collusion was not illegal.
The obstruction of justice, however, was illegal. Though he walked a fine line on conspiracy, Donald still had several reasons to block, impede, or eliminate the Mueller investigation: A) He wasn’t sure he was just shy of legal conspiracy — he feared the worst; B) He was afraid the investigation would veer into other areas of his criminality; C) He wanted to shield Putin from embarrassment to preserve his money-making opportunities in Russia, which all require Putin’s blessing; and D) He pathologically could not accept the idea that he needed (illegal) help to win the election.
Special counsel Robert Mueller laid out 10 areas of obstruction of justice, five of which universally were considered to be indictable and convictable. You don’t have to read the entire 400-and-some-page Mueller report to get the story. The 10-15 pages of the Introductions and Executive Summaries explain everything you need to know. Have you read them? They’re on my website: GraniteWord.com. Now you have no excuse.
6) Extorting an Allied Country
There is a White House telephone call transcript illustrating exactly how President Trump tried to extort Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, our ally, for nonexistent dirt on Joe Biden (Trump’s likely presidential opponent) by withholding desperately needed, congressionally authorized military aid to fight off Russia’s illegal aggression. There were multiple White House aides and other U.S. officials listening in on that call who have verified Trump’s traitorous criminality and reported it at the time. Just because Donald tells the world that he didn’t extort Ukraine, that up is down, doesn’t make it so. Congress impeached him for this. The evidence is there in the impeachment trial transcripts and video record — waiting to be read and watched.
7) Launching a Literal Coup Attempt to Retain Power Illegally
As the bipartisan January 6 Committee gathers and sorts witness testimony and thousands of documents, the story of former President Trump and his inner circle planning to overturn the election — above and beyond the January 6 violence on Capitol Hill — becomes more apparent every day. Donald Trump attempted to dismantle the foundation of American representative democracy. And this aspiring autocrat came dangerously close to succeeding. The record is clear. Ultraconservative January 6 Committee member Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is clear. Scores of other respectable GOP notables are clear. All you have to do is listen and read with an unbiased commitment to the truth.
Here Are the “Statements Against Interest” Evidence of Trump’s Unfitness for Office: Unprecedented Opposition From a President’s Own Party
There is a letter signed by over 1,000 former federal prosecutors of both parties stating President Trump’s conduct during the Mueller investigation would have warranted indictment and likely conviction on multiple felony charges for any person not granted presidential immunity by the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel policy. Many then-currently serving Trump administration prosecutors likely also would have signed the letter had they not feared for their jobs.
Anti-Trump Republican Luminaries
I list in my book over 50 national Republican icons and thinkers who believe Donald Trump is unfit for office and resisted his administration and reelection. These include the likes of President George W. Bush (R-Texas), Vice President Dick Cheney (R-Wyo.), and iconic conservative writers-commentators George Will and Bill Kristol. It’s unprecedented for this many leaders of a president’s own party to oppose him. The vast majority of those were not then-currently serving lawmakers. Those then-currently serving had determined that breaking with Trump would cost them their seats, for which they had (and have) decided to forfeit any remaining integrity.
The few exceptions were Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), and former Michigan GOP Rep. Justin Amash. The political bravery of these members of Congress is commendable. Amash chose not to seek reelection in 2020 knowing he faced likely defeat. Kinzinger has chosen not to run in 2022 for similar reasons. And Cheney’s reelection is in doubt. The lone sitting senator, Mitt Romney (R-Utah), has felt secure enough with his current home state to express consistent disapproval of President Trump, voting in both Senate impeachment trials to convict him.
Mr. Trump’s record of leadership has been criticized and excoriated by a dozen-plus current or retired three- and four-star generals including John R. Allen, Martin Dempsey, Joseph Dunford, Michael Hayden, John Kelly, Douglas Lute, James Mattis, Barry McCaffrey, Stanley McChrystal, H. R. McMaster, William McRaven, Mark Milley, Michael Mullen, David Petraeus, and Colin Powell. This list includes several former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairs and various Cabinet secretaries. Once again, the excoriations are documented.
Former Government Officials, Staff
Many former staff members of prominent Republican politicians have formally expressed their opposition to a second Trump administration in public letters and documents, including from the staffs of former President George W. Bush (R-Texas) (230-plus); other Republican presidential administrations (70-plus); the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) (100-plus); and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) (30-plus). Among other opponents are former Cabinet secretaries, generals, admirals, senior NCOs, ambassadors, and senior civilian national security leaders of both parties (500-plus), plus 400 average Republican and former Trump voters who declared their opposition in video statements.
I have distilled here the essential components of critical thinking. It’s not hard. It’s not complicated.
I) Information — Carefully consider the communicated information or question at hand, ensuring you understand it clearly. Assign no immediate favoritism toward information sources and no immediate judgment about accuracy or inaccuracy of the information.
B) Biases — Examine all biases you or the sources might have surrounding the communicated information or question at hand.
A) Assumptions — Examine all assumptions you or the sources might have surrounding the communicated information or question at hand.
T) Truth — Maintain a commitment to truth and honesty, and consider the level of this commitment for each communication or information source.
R) Response — Carefully draw a conclusion and formulate a response. And always remember that this might require modification based upon new analysis, new communication, or new information-source evaluation.
For people who are willing to commit to these basic principles of reasoning and deduction, the evidence is conclusive. Trump’s corruption is explained. For any one of the categories of malfeasance and turpitude I’ve described, Donald Trump is unfit for the Oval Office and likely guilty of criminal behavior. I give you seven.
I’ve laid out the unprecedented volume of opposition to a president from his own party.
I’ve clarified why no amount of support for pro-life, anti-gay-marriage judges or the mythical MAGA “economy” can justify massive needless post-born pandemic death, child torture, and the violent, methodical dismantling of American democracy.■