Back when Donald Trump was in office, and reference was made to “the Trump scandal,” the joke was that you’d have to ask which Trump scandal. After all, he was so broadly corrupt that at any given moment he had several scandals cascading on top of each other.
Since Trump has been out of power, his ability to create new scandals has significantly waned. So has the number of Trump scandals that the media has managed to dig up – at least until this past week. Now it’s all hitting the fan at once.
Maybe it’s been a chain reaction. Maybe it’s just happenstance. Maybe the people who were in position to leak such things finally got tired of the fact that he’s not in handcuffs yet. Or maybe people have begun piling on with these kinds of leaks because they know that Trump isn’t far off from indictment at this point anyway.
The reasons for the sudden pileup of increasingly ugly Trump scandals is unclear. But the net effect is much easier to parse. We now have confirmation from major news outlets that Trump spent years having the DOJ spy on the personal data of his adversaries and allies in government. And we know that after Trump lost the election, he illegally tried to pressure the Acting Attorney General into helping him try to overthrow the result.
The fact that the Acting AG refused to comply is fortunate, but irrelevant in the sense that Trump still committed a felony in the process of trying. And we still don’t know just how many public officials Trump was spying on, or what illegal things he might have done with the personal data once he acquired it. But given how quickly things are snowballing of late, more of that will seemingly come out soon as well.
This all comes within the context of last night’s news that the Manhattan District Attorney is in the “final stages” of criminally indicting Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, in a fairly clear attempt at pressuring him to immediately flip on the Trump family. It’s now more clear than ever that this grand jury process will result in the criminal indictment and arrest of Donald Trump. Don’t ask precisely when it’s coming. But there’s clearly a process in motion at this point.
And so, even as the clock now counts down on Donald Trump’s indictment and arrest on state charges, it keeps becoming more and more clear that there should also be a federal criminal case against Trump as well. If nothing else, these bombshells – which won’t sway his base but will crucially sway the opinion of the people in the middle – will help steer public sentiment in favor of his upcoming arrest in New York. Hopefully it’ll push the DOJ to bring federal charges as well. In the meantime, look for more ugly details of Trump’s criminal scandals to surface in short order. The floodgates are now wide open.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report