With Every False Accusation Against Others, Trump Indicts Himself

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump

The lesson to be learned from the latest revelations about former President Donald Trump's misuse of highly sensitive classified documents concerns the character of the former president and his cronies: They constantly accuse their political adversaries of the crimes and misdemeanors they have committed — or will perpetrate — themselves.

And the more information that is uncovered, the less culpable Trump's targets appear to be - while his own guilt, and the guilt of his associates, is established ever more firmly.

Nobody who has read the lengthy Florida indictment of Trump, which alleges more than 30 violations of the Espionage Act, can doubt his narcissistic attitude toward the protection of national security secrets. Nor is there any question that he repeatedly lied and conspired to conceal his violations of the law.

But where his behavior once seemed mysterious, we now can see at least one clear motive behind his bizarre and dangerous conduct: the desire for revenge against everyone who had sought to uncover the truth about Russia's illegal support for his 2016 campaign. The "Crossfire Hurricane" folder that disappeared from the White House during the final days of his administration has never been located, which has raised grave alarm in the intelligence community over the potential exposure of sources and methods to our adversaries in the Kremlin.

It is no exaggeration to say that those concerns include the possibility that Trump himself might expose those sources to his friends in the Putin regime. His loyalty to the West is questionable and his debt to the Russian dictator is undeniable.

Yet as the underlying events of Crossfire Hurricane unfolded, Trump and his campaign were shrieking incessantly about Hillary Clinton's emails — urging federal authorities to "lock her up" for these supposed offenses against national security. The facts that have emerged since then have proved that the number of classified documents jeopardized by her actions amounted to exactly zero.

The same pattern of false accusation and true culpability applies to the Clinton and Trump foundations. In 2015, the far-right "strategist" and publisher Steve Bannon, who then became Trump's campaign manager, launched a multimillion-dollar smear campaign against the Clinton Foundation that succeeded beyond his wildest dreams — including a ludicrously false accusation featured as an "investigation" on the front page of The New York Times. The real achievements of the Clinton Foundation in saving many millions of lives and stemming the AIDS epidemic were submerged beneath a sewage outflow of phony conspiracy claims.

Largely ignored amid Bannon's publicity jihad against the Clinton Foundation were the grotesque abuses of the Trump Foundation, which accomplished no good works and more closely resembled a racketeering conspiracy than a nonprofit charity. Trump's self-serving manipulation of nonprofit tax laws was both comical and shocking. And then a few years later, Bannon himself established an abusive nonprofit — "We Build the Wall" — from which he and his criminal confederates admittedly stole millions donated by naive conservatives. He's an unrepentant crook and may yet go to prison, despite the pardon bestowed on him by Trump.

Making a hollow accusation to conceal suspicious behavior (or actual crimes) remains the modus operandi not only of Trump and Bannon, whose corruption is well established, but of the Republican Party leadership they have suborned. That is why congressional Republicans have mounted a fake impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, despite the complete absence of any evidence that he profited from his son's foreign business dealings — or that those dealings had any effect on public policy while Biden served in the White House.

There is nothing to those charges, as the Republican investigators have inadvertently proved with their bumbling displays of malice. But several indiscreet politicians have disclosed the Biden impeachment's real purpose: to distract voters from the pending indictments against Trump — not to mention the massive profiteering by Trump, his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner during their years in the White House.

Every accusation they utter is an indictment of their own misconduct.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

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