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America’s shame — Donald Trump, the pope of trash politics

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Marianne Thamm has toiled as a journalist / writer / satirist / editor / columnist / author for over 30 years. She has published widely both locally and internationally. It was journalism that chose her and not the other way around. Marianne would have preferred plumbing or upholstering.

Courts have a habit of puncturing the delusions of powerful people who think themselves immune.

Like the pope of a criminal empire promising indulgences and pardons, former US president Donald Trump makes the early Catholic Church look tame.

For the past two weeks, Potus 45 has been sitting, sleeping, apparently plagued by flatulence, in a cold New York courtroom listening to what witnesses for the prosecution really think of him.

The shape and size of his “mushroom” penis have been spoken about. His body odour as well as his habitual deceit and deeply corrupt and corroded character – all has been laid bare with a legal scalpel.

In what has been termed the “hush money” trial, Trump faces felony charges, brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, that he paid off porn star Stormy Daniels (and others) to cover up an affair.

This was so that he could run with an unblemished record and make it to the White House as the best candidate the Republican Party had to offer.

Maga cheater

Trump had not only been cheating on his wife, Melania, who had just given birth to their son, Barron, but had been cheating on his cheats, so to speak.

In the trial, Trump faces charges that he falsified business records to hide a scheme, with lawyer Michael Cohen (and other coconspirators), to pay off women, including Daniels, who had had “sexual relations” with the Trumpster.

The US’s prime groper was also cheating on Melania with Playboy pinup Karen McDougal, the second of three “hush money” deals.

It’s getting tight under the bus

Like all power-hungry, money-loving sociopaths and habitual liars, Trump has thrown every single loyalist enabler under the bus.

Even his former vice-president, the gormless Mike Pence, cowers there alongside Trump’s venal former adviser, Steve Bannon, and so many others.

Bannon, the man credited with catapulting Trump to political power, has just lost his appeal against a conviction in a contempt matter and is due to begin his four-month prison sentence soon.

Bannon is also facing fraud charges related to Trump’s “We Build the Wall” online private fundraising campaign. This was promised as Trump’s “signature domestic project” but funds were allegedly diverted to the personal benefit of Brian Kolfage, who headed the scheme.

Already serving a four-month sentence is former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro, on two counts of contempt of Congress.

Cohen, Trump’s personal “pit bull” lawyer, a man once so far up Trump’s arse that he could sometimes ventriloquise for his host, also served jail time on charges of campaign finance violation, tax evasion and lying to Congress.

Now reformed, having seen the light and felt the touch of the rule of law, Cohen is the prosecution’s star witness. The trial has been devastating for Trump, who cannot play up in the courtroom for the cameras in this instance.

America’s Pope Leo

Cohen has set out how Trump promised “presidential pardons” for the criminals who colluded with him, before, during and after his disastrous term as Potus.

The court case has exposed a shadowy ring of criminals working in the background, including Rudolph Giuliani, the thoroughly discredited former mayor of New York and former US Attorney.

Ultimately, Trump, the courts contend, attempted to corrupt elections by hiding information from voters prior to his campaign.

Pope Leo X (1513–21) is known as one of the most decadent heads of the Catholic Church, selling “indulgences” to those rich enough so that they could skip the eternal fires of hell.

Pope Leo, whose real name was Giovanni di Lorenzo de’ Medici, was not a priest but the son of a dynastic family who was elected to head the church after the death of Julius II, the Warrior Pope.

He was the only pontiff and leader of the Papal State to sentence a cardinal to death on spurious charges and he kept an elephant enslaved as a pet, which died because he fed it gold mixed in with breakfast. It was Pope Leo’s reign which prompted Martin Luther to pen his 95 Theses in 1517 and led to the Protestant revolution.

Natural justice for Pope Leo was the “anal fistula” he suffered from, which, according to the experts, was a side-effect of an “anal abscess or an infected wound which drains pus from your anus”.

Right now the courtroom must feel for Trump like a metaphorical anal fistula.

Reality bites

The thing about courtrooms – for powerful people who believe they are a law unto themselves – is that it is here where reality bites.

And reality has finally bitten for Donald Trump in the chilly courtroom in New York where his own words, his own tweets, his own secret recordings, his own insults and brags are being used as evidence against him.

Potus 37, Richard Nixon, was advised by a “political hitman”, the diabolical Roy Cohn, who was a mentor to the young Trump and whose malevolence rubbed off. Nixon’s fixer Roger Stone, who has a portrait of Tricky Dick tattooed on his back and has been a longtime adviser to Trump, was arrested in February in a predawn raid on his Florida home.

Stone is alleged to have contacted key Trump campaign officials to leak information on his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Stone faces seven counts including making false statements, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

Nixon was taken down by a tape in the Watergate scandal. Trump, too, is being hoist with his own vocal petard. DM

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R35.

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