I’m not one to judge body parts. Purportedly, however, Donald Trump has small extremities.
Now, picture a clock: the Donald Trump Corruption Clock. The white-gloved hands – one bigger, one just small — always point away from himself.
Such busy hands. Tick-tock. Even the second hand comes into play. For in the Trump White House, corruption never sleeps.
The Trump Corruption Clock will be useful over the next months as the hands tick down all the ways the most corrupt president in American history continues to cheat fate and evade the law.
If Trump is not breaking the law himself, he’s devoting his efforts to his covey of law-breaking chums.
Most recently it was Roger Stone, the unrepentant Nixon Dirty Trickster who, like Trump, was tutored in crookedness at the knee of famed Joe McCarthy henchman Roy Cohn.
Oh-oh, Roger. Did we hear that you were facing a richly earned seven-to-nine in federal prison? Well not so fast, people. To the rescue comes the chief executive with what he does best, a tweet-pout.
Suddenly the Justice Department is backtracking, causing the Stone prosecution team to resign en masse.
I invite any Trump booster to rationalize this end-run on the court system and the independence of federal prosecutors. You can’t.
This president has abused his office repeatedly to go after political enemies. Now he uses it to bail out his buds.
This should not surprise anyone. Remember when Attorney General William Barr sought to undermine the work of Robert Mueller? That’s when it became apparent that Trump had set dynamite to the fire wall between justice and petty politics.
It was telling for Trump to depict Stone’s crimes like the latter had been caught dropping a candy wrapper in the park. Telling because those offenses are Trump’s as well.
Stone, prosecutors say, conducted a “brazen attack on the rule of law” and “consciously, repeatedly and flagrantly” obstructed a federal investigation.
Did someone hear an echo? Robert Mueller did.
By review, investigators zeroed in on Stone as a go-between for the Trump campaign for damaging emails that Wikileaks obtained from Russian hackers.
Does anyone think Stone wouldn’t share this information directly with Trump? I didn’t think so. After all, Trump openly pleaded, “Russia, if you’re listening,” about those emails.
Now behold Michael Flynn, the man who wasn’t even employed by you and me when he was negotiating with Russian emissaries about relieving the Kremlin of U.S. sanctions — the first quid pro quo from a criminal cadre about to take over our government.
Flynn, a hiccup served as Trump’s national security advisor, faces potential prison time for lying to federal prosecutors. Don’t blink. Barr has said the Justice Department will reconsider federal prosecutors’ case against him.
The bigger-picture matter — Flynn’s underlying offense against you and me — was that his actions in dealing with Russians before Trump took office were illegal under the Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from engaging in diplomacy.
Again, anyone think Trump didn’t know that Flynn was talking on behalf of and at the direction of the president-elect?
I always believed that the criminal justice system would have its way with Trump before the political system — impeachment — ever held him accountable.
It is a blistering mark on this presidency to have been indicted by Congress on charges Senate Republicans didn’t even bother to refute. However, what the criminal justice system has in store for Trump may be his career coda. Tick tock.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.