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Donald Trump and Mike Pence outside the Oval Office


Scene 1: The White House. Oval Office. January 19, 2021. 10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is meeting alone with Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump: You heard Mike Flynn? "Massive landslide."

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: Bigger than the last one.

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: You take out the swing states and I won. But I won the swing states. Statistically impossible to lose. Tremendous cheating. Stolen, rigged, total fraud. All over by 10 o'clock, massive lead. Then the phony ballots. Illegal mail-ins. Fox News calls Arizona. Stab in the back.

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: The Venezuelans, yeah, the Venezuelans. Fixed the voting machines. Flipped the votes. Giant hoax. Hundreds and hundreds of affidavits. Rudy proved it. What was with that cheap hair job? He should have asked me. I would have recommended my guy. Always perfect. Rudy asked me for a pardon, should have asked about the hair.

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: You have to look presidential. I'm more presidential than anyone except maybe Abraham Lincoln with the hat. You think I'm going to wear a hat like that? Or a beard? If Rudy had a beard what do you think, good, bad?

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: Nobody's been treated worse than Lincoln except me. Nobody since Lincoln did more for black people than me.

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: My hand is tired from signing pardons. Every single one of those clients of Alan Dershowitz. Quote "defrauding investors" unquote. Quote "massive government corruption" unquote. Fake and fake. Pardoned!

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: Dershowitz used to have a big Mexican moustache when he was with OJ. I forget, does Dershowitz have a beard now?

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: Maybe not.

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: When you're a president you can pardon anyone. I don't even wait. Roger Stone—loyal, scum, but loyal. Good dresser. He shut up. Mike Flynn—good guy. He shut up. A soldier. Manafort—hardly knew him. He shut up. That Elliott Broidy—putz. A pardon wouldn't shut him up, immunity deal. Michael Cohen even put down my fake name as his fake name on his abortion payoff. Nothing for that traitor Cohen.

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: Firing squad.

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: You have to take care of your family. Family values, right, Mike?

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: Hannity said pardon every one of them and myself. Don, Jr. If a pardon is what you say it is, I love it. Ivanka. Could have been my VP. Smart, beautiful, everybody loves her. But stuck with you, Mike.

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: Jared, too. Package deal. And Melania! Angry woman from the inauguration committee blabbing to a grand jury. Some friend, broke the non-disclosure agreement. Said Melania called Ivanka "Princess." Did you know I called my yacht "Princess?"

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: The lawyers said I couldn't pardon myself during the impeachment. The president… (reading from a piece of paper he's picked up from his desk, words written in bold Sharpie) "…shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: Did you know Gerald Ford pardoned Tokyo Rose? Talk about shooting someone on Fifth Avenue. Pearl Harbor. Old man Bush, the first one, he pardoned six officials convicted in the Iran-contra scandal. You know who told him he could do that? His attorney general. That's right, William Barr. And they call him my Roy Cohn. But did he ever indict Obama, Hillary and Biden? Spied on me. Biggest conspiracy in history. Guilty, guilty and guilty. Now Barr says he hasn't seen any fraud. He says there's no evidence. In a million years never thought he'd be a sellout to the Deep State. Elliott Abrams, running Iran for me. What goes around comes around. Remind me to talk to Abrams about those Venezuelan voting machines. What do you think I should give Tokyo Rose? Maybe ambassador to Japan. Is she alive? And they say I can't pardon myself. As has been stated by numerous top legal scholars, the best, I have the absolute right to pardon myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? Nixon was a schmuck not to burn the tapes.

Pence: Yes, sir.

(Enter Melania, cell phone in one hand, a piece of paper in the other. She is wearing her jacket: "I Don't Really Care Do U.")

Melania: At least I don't have do another inauguration. And no more Christmas. (Hands Trump the paper. Exits.)

Trump: A pardon's free, not like a prenup.

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: (Reads from the piece of paper.) Section 3, 25th Amendment. "Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President." Even though Ivanka should be the next president, maybe should have been vice president, it's going to be you. Not Biden. You're number 46. I'm going to make you president. Sort of like Queen for a Day, remember that show?

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: I've got the papers right here. (He opens a folder on his desk.) I sign the one about unable to discharge and you sign the pardon for me. Do us a favor, though. Then in a New York minute I'm back as president. I'm able to discharge again.

Pence: Mr. President…

Trump: When you sign I'll call you Mr. President, then you can call me Mr. President back again. We never need to leave the Oval Office. But you'll always be number 46 in the history books. Maybe not a library.

Pence: Mr. President, I've discussed this with Mother.

Trump: How is your wife?

Pence: Mother says it's not the best idea.

Trump: So, you're listening to Mother instead of the father of your country?

Pence: Yes, sir.

Trump: Treat me like a dog!

Scene 2: The White House. January 20, 2021. 11:59 a.m.

Trump is alone in the Oval Office, talking on the telephone.

Trump: Thanks, Alan! (Hangs up the telephone, signs a piece of paper. Speaks aloud to himself.) Dershowitz says Roy had only two books in his law office, neither of them law books, a checkbook and a Rolodex. Roy said Dershowitz was a kibitzer. I got him pro bono. The best. Pardoned myself! Got to call Hannity. Should have done this to begin with. Melania warned me that Pence would double-cross me. But she said he'd take it and let me hang out to dry. He could have been president, but he blew it. Mother!

He hears distant noises, the approaching sound of running, then barking, louder and louder. Major and Champion, Joe Biden's German shepherds, bark and growl and scratch at the door.

Trump: (Shouts) McEntee! McEnany!

12:01 p.m.

A Secret Service agent enters through the French doors leading to the Rose Garden. The whir of a waiting helicopter is heard.

Secret Service Agent: Mr. Trump…

Trump: Don't ever talk to the President of the United States that way.

[End]

Sidney Blumenthal, former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, has published three books of a projected five-volume political life of Abraham Lincoln: A Self-Made Man, Wrestling With His Angel and All the Powers of Earth. His play, This Town, about a scandalous White House dog, was produced in 1995 by LA TheatreWorks.

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