Ever since the House Jan. 6 committee voted unanimously to subpoena the main man behind the mayhem, Donald J. Trump, on Oct. 13, the media has been playing an endless game of “will he or won’t he” appear.
After all, handing Donald Trump a subpoena, as the committee did on Friday, is like giving a dude on a three-day meth bender a Russian roulette revolver—except with six bullets in the cylinder instead of one. We know what’s going to happen; he just has to be goaded into playing the (self-incriminating) game,
Trump’s lawyers and advisers—who would probably prefer he be confined at all times to a big, soundproof acrylic hamster ball to prevent his speaking (or groping) out of turn—are thinking along the same lines. They’re reportedly freaking out about his apparent desire to respond to the House Jan. 6 committee’s subpoena by actually testifying.
In fact, one Trump adviser’s reaction to the prospect of Trump appearing before the committee on live television was particularly blunt.
“Absolutely fucking not,” one of Trump’s advisers on legal matters tells Rolling Stone, succinctly summarizing the advice they gave Trump regarding Capitol Hill testimony — televised or otherwise.
Several of Trump’s attorneys and political counselors have directly told the ex-president this month that any testimony under oath before that panel would be an awful idea for him, according to this source and two other people with knowledge of the matter. The advisers cautioned Trump that committee members would mine his testimony for potential perjury charges, particularly given Trump’s penchant for lying.
Hasn’t everyone always dreamed of being a top adviser to a guy with a demonstrated “penchant for lying?” I know I have. Their mothers must be so proud.
Of course, this isn’t the first time reports have surfaced indicating that Trump wants to testify—presumably live in front of a national audience—for the Jan. 6 committee. A recent story from The Guardian made the same assertion. Unfortunately, no one knows what’s really in Trump’s head, other than three pounds of nougat and the closing credits theme from Baywatch.
But according to Rolling Stone, Trump really is sincere about wanting to testify. Sadly, his handlers have intervened on his behalf.
“It is my hope that we talked him out of it,” one source told Rolling Stone. “The [former] president seemed receptive to our arguments against [it], but with Donald Trump, it can be hard to tell [sometimes] what has actually sunk in or stuck.”
That’s certainly true. About the only surefire way to hold his attention would be to write his name in giant block letters atop an erotic cake made of cream cheese frosting and meatloaf—but the window for giving him advice would be just the three seconds between his getting a whiff of beef and pouncing like a rutting howler monkey.
Rolling Stone also spoke with attorney Ty Cobb, who represented Trump during the Mueller investigation. In other words, he’s someone well familiar with Trump’s “penchant for lying.”
According to Cobb, Trump’s current lawyers absolutely need to save him from himself.
“I don’t think any lawyer who truly has Trump’s best interests, and is not merely following Trump’s orders, at heart could—in his or her right mind—advise him to testify before the Jan. 6 committee,” said Ty Cobb. “It is clear that testifying would be a bad idea, as highlighted by the fact that his initial reaction to the subpoena included a multi-page screed where he repeated the completely discredited theories of the Big Lie. … I would like to believe his lawyers did not see that before it went out, but whether they did or didn’t, each scenario is scary.”
Each scenario is scary? Yeah, welcome to the harrowing post-Trump reality. I’ve certainly been mapping out awful Trump scenarios in my head for the past seven years. It’s exhausting.
Asked whether Trump would risk falling into a so-called “perjury trap” if he agreed to testify, Cobb was unequivocal: “That is absolutely true [… and] Trump is uniquely susceptible to that because he is so easily provoked.”
You don’t say.
Of course, assuming he didn’t shout “Fifth!” the entire time, Trump’s testimony would also likely be a gift to Democrats—and they appear to know it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared to bait the former president in a recent MSNBC interview, musing that “I don’t think he’s man enough to show up. I don’t think his lawyers will want him to show up because he has to testify under oath.”
From your lips to glob’s ears, Speaker Pelosi.
Come on, Donny. Step up and be a man. Your lawyers work for you! Don’t listen to their cowardly mewling. You’re an expert liar! Who cares if most of your lies can be debunked in eight seconds on Google? Your fans will still believe them. And who knows? Maybe Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney would, too.
There’s only one sure way to find out.
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Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.
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