The word “suborn” means to incite or induce others through bribery or other illicit means to commit unlawful acts. According to a White House source who wishes to remain anonymous, it’s also Donald Trump’s idea of a “joke.” Trump is so desperate to fund 500 miles of his border wall before the 2020 election that he has suborned aides to fast-track billions of dollars’ worth of construction contracts, aggressively seize private lands and disregard environmental rules in order to get it done. Trump assures anxious subordinates who are understandably concerned about the legal ramifications that he will pardon anyone caught for wrongdoing. The source for this intelligence assures us Trump is “joking.”
Joking about what, exactly? Joking that he will make good on his promise to pardon them? Possibly. It’s doubtful that Donald Trump, who has shown consistent contempt for the rule of law throughout his nefarious criminal career, is joking about breaking the law. Why would he joke about something that he does all the time? Besides, Trump has no sense of humor. In any case, Donald Trump has never once helped his co-conspirators out with a pardon. And we can point to several who are already in jail, or headed there, on that account.
It’s entirely believable, and consistent with observed past actions, that Trump unquestionably is capable of instructing someone to do something illegal with the promise of pardoning them if they are caught. After all, he once told an angry mob at one of his Nuremberg-style rallies to rough up a protestor with the promise to pay the mob’s legal fees. Presumably he expected the mob would potentially be sued by the man they were attacking should they hurt him in any significant way. Perhaps Trump meant he would pay for their criminal representation should the mob wind up murdering the man. Whichever it was, his callous indifference to the welfare of the man ought to serve as fair warning that if you don’t support Donald Trump your life very well could be in peril, or even forfeit. That’s what totalitarian monsters like Trump do.
In the meantime, Trump’s indifference to and contempt of the sovereign rights of the individual to own and enjoy property under the protection of the Fourth Amendment is also in evidence. His instruction that his subordinates “take the land!” for his wall and ignore the channels and rules and niceties governing eminent domain are a feature of his impatience. Trump has spent most of his years in office screwing off, watching television, tweeting and playing golf. With the election swiftly coming up he’s going to need some evidence that he’s actually done some real work, in lieu of the bullshit he’s done under the idiot-label “executive time.” So he imagines that ordering his aides to ignore the rules and quickly erect five hundred miles of border wall will do the trick. It will make it look like he’s been “busy” all this time, and gives him something tangible to brag about, a thing that his contemptibly stupid base and his slackjawed, water-carriering sycophants at Fox News are more than moronic enough to swallow whole and untasted.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.