Donald Trump famously boasted that he “knows all the best people.” It turns out that that’s only true if what he meant by “best” was the foremost crooks, liars, and bootlickers. His administration has witnessed a parade of moral slackers and incompetents. He has fired more of his own appointees than any president in history. These are people that he lauded as “brilliant” until their termination, when he castigated them as “idiots.”
A troubling hallmark of the Trump White House has been its reliance on staffers that Trump plucked from Fox News. They include Larry Kudlow, K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, Richard Grennell, Jonathan Wachtel, Heather Nauert, and more. The truth is that Trump doesn’t really know anybody with any experience or record of accomplishment. He’s a former reality TV game show host who does nothing but golf, tweet, and watch Fox News.
So it comes as no surprise that as his impeachment looms before him, he resorts to the only source for personnel he’s familiar with to recruit his legal team. That team is already led by a frequent Fox News talking head, Jay Sekulow. And now Trump has announced that he’s filling up the roster with more of the same flunkies he’s seen over and over again on Fox.
The new members of Trump’s impeachment defense team are Ken Starr, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Ray, and Pam Bondi. All of them have been regular fixtures on Fox News as the network strives to host only those who will shamelessly suck up to the President by unflinchingly defending him and ruthlessly maligning his critics. And it’s from these televised auditions that Trump selects his closest associates and most trusted allies. This is a president who only values appearances. It is more important to him that his advocates perform well on television than that they exhibit intelligence, integrity, or fealty to facts. So let’s take a closer look at the stuffed suits Trump has hired to defend him:
…is best known as the independent counsel who couldn’t find any wrongdoing on the part of Bill Clinton, so he settled for a smarmy, albeit consensual, sex scandal as the basis for impeachment. Starr himself was later fired from his post as the president of Baylor University amid allegations of sexual misconduct on the football team. And another item on his resume is having worked for Trump pal and pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein.
…is remembered as a member of the O.J. Simpson defense team. Trump likely appreciates his ability to get acquittals for people who are obviously guilty. He also must appreciate Dershowitz’s slobbering displays of affection and total faith in Trump’s purity and innocence. Dershowitz also worked for Epstein. Is this a pattern forming?
…took over the independent counsel office when Ken Starr left. Other than his frequent Trump-fluffing appearances on Fox and Friends, he isn’t particularly well known for anything significant.
…is the former Attorney General for the state of Florida. She was caught in a campaign finance scandal wherein she accepted an illegal $25,000 donation from a Trump charity and then promptly dropped a case against his bogus Trump University that was later found to be guilty of fraud.
So the reality TV presidency is now being extended to the legal team that he’s relying on to absolve him of the high crimes and misdemeanors that led to his impeachment. It’s not much more than a cast of made-for-TV characters who will be preaching to the cameras and viewers at home, rather than to the assembled “jurors” in the Senate chamber. From Trump’s perspective this might seem like a smart move since the majority Republicans in the Senate have pretty much already declared their intentions to acquit him regardless of the evidence.
However, the American people are not going to be as forgiving as Trump’s GOP sycophants in Washington. They already believe that Trump is guilty, and a majority support his impeachment and removal from office. So it isn’t likely that Trump will find success in the melodramatic soap opera stunts deployed by this team of Fox News litigators. Team trump may have the system rigged for an acquittal, but the voters are going to hear all the evidence and make their own judgment come November.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.