Following the fourth action-and truth-packed House January 6 Committee hearing Tuesday, as the depraved perfidy and moral toilet of former President Trump has now come out so plainly and systematically for all to see, the wisest summary insight about it all to date (No. 5 is today) has come from veteran journalist and MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle. On two points.
Barnicle made two profound points on “Morning Joe” Wednesday that put the whole shebang into two knowable, true and focused concepts. The first is that what is being documented through the committee’s arduous work is tantamount to that of a crime syndicate that is still at large. The second is that what has been the key to saving our still-imperiled democracy is not politics, but is character, the character of the players who would not be corrupted by Trump and his criminal enterprise.
Character, as the seasoned veteran Barnicle (born during World War II in an era when character carried a lot more weight than since, before the onset of Baby Boomers) noted, is something that can’t be bought. One either has it or does not. It is separate from ideology, which is why political views have had nothing to do with those who’ve been demonstrating such profound qualities of integrity and courage in these hearings, persons ranging from the vice president to the most proud and patriotic “ordinary” poll workers have demonstrated.
As Barnicle commented, there is no way to measure right now the extent of the damage that the Trump crime syndicate has inflicted, operating as it did from the pinnacle of worldly power and influence as it was allowed to do for so long. It is hard to believe that the nation has been living under the horrible burden of this criminal element for seven years now, since that fateful day in June 2015 when Trump rode down that escalator at one of his New York properties to announce he was running for president.
The Trump crime syndicate is essentially the same operation he had been running for years in Manhattan prior to his presidency, involving his scam so-called “university,” other rip-off products, construction contracts he had no intention of honoring, and more. It and other mob operations were a model that led to a whole new array of laws that were passed in 1970 under the general rubric of “RICO” (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act aimed at bringing down the organized crime mob elements.
If ever there was a crook who did not have character, who viewed character merely as an impediment standing in his way, it was Donald Trump. Indeed, it was his notorious lack of any integrity or character that led Moscow to the conclusion, after a Trump visit there in the mid-1980s when he was undoubtedly compromised with blackmail material, that he would be their perfect tool to run for president in the U.S., news that was publicly reported in 1987. This is reported in my short collection of essays, “The January 6 Capitol Sacking: Putin’s Role,” available on Amazon.
It would be useful to learn who at NBC, following that report, set it up for Trump to be handed a critical spotlight as a star of “The Apprentice” to help his rise to national recognition shortly after that. All of Trump’s behavior around the 2020 election, much less before, including his actions afterward that involved countless threats and bullying tactics to get people to put their lives at risk for his sake, has had all the hallmarks of a mob operation.
It would be nice to know for sure that RICO is the approach the Justice Department is taking in lining up the criminal indictments that are being prepared, leading up to and including, of course, Trump, himself, the kingpin. The time is short for those whose activities dovetailed or advanced the Trump agenda to very loudly disassociate. The three news organizations caught in the web of this treachery, Fox, OAN and Newsmax, are having their tepid legal defenses ripped away. Many others are facing the harsh justice that accompanies charges of treason and sedition.
Now, after the fourth of these remarkable January 6 Committee hearings, public polling is showing that a wide majority of Amercians, 58 percent, agree that if anyone committed a crime, Trump included, they should be punished to the full extent of the law.