President Donald Trump’s pointless delay in signing the latest COVID-19 economic stimulus package signals a long final three weeks of his presidency, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward Larson, political scientist Austin Sarat, and former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut argued in a USA Today editorial published on Monday.
“When history looks back for a signature week of the Trump presidency, Christmas 2020 may win the prize,” the authors wrote. “There was a pattern, and likely foreshadowing of a chaotic month to come: Political disorder, norm demolition and unrelenting indifference to others from a truth-negating president.”
The three scholars listed five presidential actions that they predict are harbingers of a crazy January, as Trump scorches as much of the Earth as he can before his term expires.
First, Larson, Sarat, and Aftergut wondered if Trump’s dream of erecting a Trump Tower Moscow will be rekindled after he leaves office. Trump’s dissent over Russia’s role in the massive cyber hack of government and corporate computer networks further demonstrates his loyalty to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who holds the cards in approving such a project.
Trump’s sketchy Oval Office meetings with “Kraken” lawyer Sidney Powell and former National security adviser Michael Flynn, a traitor whom Trump pardoned in November, suggest that the president may have his eyes set on attempting to retain power by declaring martial law or other nefarious means.
Further, the president’s threat to blow up crucial coronavirus relief was likely his way of sticking it to the Republican Party, particularly GOP Senators, whom he blames for his election loss to President-Elect Joe Biden. Though Trump signed the bill at the last minute, his dallying demonstrated a “personal pique and pleasure watching those he felt had crossed him —along with suffering citizens — hang in the wind,” the op-ed states.
The same logic can be applied to Trump’s December 23 veto of the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act. Attorney George Conway, one of the founders of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, remarked that Trump “just wants to break stuff on the way out.”
Finally, the authors added, the swathe of undeserved presidential pardons and commutations issued by Trump, including:
Jared Kushner’s convicted father, who — to blackmail his sister and her husband before their planned testimony against him — hired a prostitute to seduce the husband, then sent the sex video-tape to the sister;
The Blackwater mercenaries who machine-gunned 17 Iraqi innocent civilians, including a 9-year-old boy in the back seat of his father’s car;
Roger Stone, who lied to Congress to cover up his 2016 campaign role as go-between for Trump and Wikileaks;
Former Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter and his wife, Margaret, following their 2019 convictions for spending campaign funds on family vacations and bar tabs.
The editorial concluded with a prediction: “in the days before Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, expect arson from America’s nihilist-in-chief, thrilled to be watching the flames.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.