Let’s see here, Donald Trump now has 91 criminal charges in four jurisdictions, and the associated trials are pending on various dates. And that’s not even mentioning his various civil matters. Hmmm, how the heck do you keep them all straight? Or as someone once put it, when anyone mentions a criminal trial of Donald Trump, the first thing you have to ask is,”Which one?”
Well I think I can help you keep them straight here. With the dizzying number of criminal indictments and charges in four jurisdictions, I’ve found a mnemonic that is very helpful to me. You’re welcome to use it if you also find it helpful.
Just to revisit. First there’s the matter of the stolen classified documents. Then there’s the January 6 matter, where Trump provoked an insurrection and gave aid and comfort to the insurrectionists. Next there’s the matter of election interference in Georgia, where Trump tried to pressure Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensburger into “finding” 11,780 Trump votes. And finally there’s the matter of the $130,000 Stormy Daniels election interference hush money. Right?
Well the memory aid I use to keep them all straight is the acronym DIGS. That is, Documents, Insurrection, Georgia and Stormy. As in, “Donald Trump DIGS his own grave.” I hope you find that as helpful as I have.
But in reflecting further on Trump’s legal woes, it occurs to me that most of his troubles began in the final few days of his term of office. To be sure, “S,” the Stormy Daniels scandal, happened way back before the 2016 election. But all the others occurred within the last month of his administration. “G” for Georgia happened on January 2, 2021. “I” for Insurrection happened on January 6 with just two weeks left, and “D” for Documents happened as he was packing up and leaving.
In other words, if Trump had behaved himself in January he’d probably be home free today. The Stormy Daniels thing quite probably would have been forgotten. You might even say that, of all the stupid months in Donald Trump’s life, January of 2021 was by far his stupidest.
Trump was driven by his spectacularly stupid ego. Because his ego is so stupid and so formidable it might be argued that no power on earth could have stopped him from committing his January crimes. But the January 2021 crimes happened because he lost the 2020 election, so it goes without saying that those crimes would have never happened had he won.
And he could have won. Easily. All he needed to do was use the unique powers of the presidency during the Covid crisis in a competent and rational way. After all, he admitted to Bob Woodward that Covid was far worse than he’d publicly declared. Imagine if he had publicly behaved that way.
Trump didn’t actually lose the 2020 election by seven million votes. Thanks to the bizarre and archaic machinations of the Electoral College, he really only lost by a few thousand votes, votes that were randomly disturbed across six or seven key states. He could have easily picked up those votes in those states if he hadn’t screwed up Covid so spectacularly.
So you might say that Covid was a gift from the universe for Donald Trump, and the “stable genius” was stupid, far too stupid, to see it for what it was. Forget about Person, Woman, Man, Camera and TV, the real-life cognitive test he blew, the one that mattered more than anything else, was Covid. And because he blew Covid, we got Documents, Insurrection and Georgia. Can you DIG it?
So let’s have no more talk about how smart Trump is. He screws up every opportunity he’s presented with. He screwed up every opportunity that life, in its occasionally abundant and infuriatingly random way, has ever handed him.
In the final analysis, no one has ever seen anything like it before. Donald Trump DIGS graves like nobody else, and he’s going to keep doing it until that blessed day when he finally DIGS his own grave — and lies in it. And nobody lies like Donald Trump. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.