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  • Former President Donald Trump. Photo: shganti777/Bigstock, via Washington Blade

Homophobic Ex-President Donald Trump Deserves Everything the Law Can Throw at Him

By |2023-04-04T14:50:07-04:00April 4th, 2023|National, News|

Peter Rosenstein | Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association

Donald Trump will have the distinction of going down in history as the first former president to be indicted. As I write this, the actual charges have not been disclosed, but it is rumored there will be more than two dozen counts.

In recent history, Richard Nixon resigned before charges were brought against him, and then Gerald Ford pardoned him. Bill Clinton testified for four hours in front of a grand jury and Kenneth Starr’s report led to his impeachment. But he was never charged or indicted. He did cut a deal on his last day in office agreeing to a fine and having his law license in Arkansas suspended for five years, in return for not seeing any charges or indictment after he left office in the Monica Lewinsky case.

The Trump case is on a level of its own because Trump’s crimes are on a level not seen before. For 50 years he has been a criminal and skirted the law, like a mafia don, from the time he and his father signed a consent decree based on their racist practices in renting apartments, up through his acts as president and beyond. Those include trying to coerce officials in Georgia to steal the election, and instigating and planning the Jan. 6 riots. After leaving office he apparently intentionally took top-secret documents to Mar-a-Lago and refused to return them even when requested and subpoenaed by the National Archives and the Justice Department. Those acts are currently being investigated by grand juries at the state and federal level.

We know Trump is a racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, misogynistic, pig. Unfortunately, those things on their own aren’t criminal. It is only when acted upon they can be. Over the years Trump has acted on many of them and until now gotten away with it. With the March 30 indictment by a grand jury in New York, and his upcoming rape trial, he is finally beginning to be called to account for his criminal actions.

What is clear is Trump wants to be president again to avoid prosecution. He announced his reelection plans hoping as a candidate, he would be safe from prosecution. Yet each day his lawyers are losing case after case trying to keep those close to him from having to testify to various grand juries, figures like Mike Pence and Mark Meadows who know enough to bring him down.

The former Republican Party, now the Party of Trump, is coming to his defense. We have heard the Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy attack the legal system in support of Trump. Raw Story reported, “McCarthy in a statement he posted on Twitter alleged that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg “has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our presidential election.” McCarthy promised to hold Bragg “and his unprecedented abuse of power to account.”

We hear one after another Republican office holder do the same, all clearly fearful of the 30% of the Republican Party who follow Trump blindly, like a cult leader. Those Trumpers put party office holders’ elections in jeopardy. We have seen what Trump can do to those who stand up to him. Of the 10 who voted to impeach him, only two remain in the House.

Let’s hope Donald Trump will look back on Thursday, March 30, 2023, as the first day he found out what his future will look like. Maybe free government housing, this time in a jail cell. The announcement of his indictment by the New York grand jury being only the beginning.

I am convinced Donald Trump never wanted to be president. He ran to increase the value of his brand. But clearly, once he was the candidate, paying off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, seemed imperative to him. What he fears most is being branded a loser. He also understood, as president he could not be held accountable for his crimes. During his term, while many of his crimes were coming back to haunt him, he couldn’t be touched. He was being sued for rape by E. Jean Carroll and he and his company were being investigated for all kinds of financial crimes. Then he lost his reelection campaign and realized he could face reality and was willing to try to hang on to the presidency at all costs, even if it meant taking down the country. All to avoid responsibility for his crimes. Then he compounded his crimes exponentially, trying to stay in power.

Clearly Trump felt announcing a new campaign would protect him. He announced his candidacy for reelection thinking that would allow him to continue to avoid prosecution. He makes the claim, and has Trumpers in Congress and around the country parrot it for him, “since he is a candidate, the law can’t go after him.” Thankfully he is wrong. Judges are telling all those around him they can no longer hide and forcing them to testify to various grand juries looking to indict him. Those indictments will, I hope, follow the one in New York.

Donald Trump sounds more and more like a charlatan. He is selling snake oil and he is the snake. He is a congenital liar. I first met Donald Trump back in my New York political years. He was a suave young man taken with himself. His mentors were his father, and one of the biggest closeted gays in New York, Roy Cohn, a total sleaze. Donald learned well at his knee. He learned to lie about everything. He lied about never taking money from the government after getting a 40-year tax abatement, from the city, the first ever granted to a commercial property, for the Grand Hyatt. It was a great hotel. I often stayed there and even brought back the first guy I ever picked up at a bar to my room (I’m still friends with him nearly 40 years later).

Trump deserves everything the law can throw at him. His legacy is allowing homophobes, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and others of that ilk to spout their hate in the public square. His followers are legalizing hate against the LGBTQ+ community, with a particular focus on the transgender community, and women, in state legislatures across the nation. His right-wing justices, including his appointees to the Supreme Court, are taking away the rights of women to control their own healthcare and body. His political party, the Party of Trump, is systematically destroying our democracy, betraying what our country has always stood for.

The question remains, once he is indicted by more than one grand jury, will the remnants of the old Republican Party stick with him? We will find out how many Republicans still have a sense of decency or have they all succumbed to Trump? Some may want to take courage by looking at my friend Marvin Roffman to see it is possible to win against Trump. But only if you are willing to stand up to the despot.

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