For some still unfathomable reason, Donald Trump is viewed by his MAGA cult followers as a strong leader, despite his resume of weakness and cowardice. It’s a pattern of character flaws that is consistent from his youth when he evaded the Vietnam War with a phony diagnosis of bone spurs, to his incessant whining about having lost the 2020 election.
On Friday Trump exhibited his signature spinelessness once again. He filed a lawsuit in Florida to challenge the subpoena from the House January 6th Committee investigating the insurrection at the Capitol that he incited. The Committee seeks his testimony, as well as relevant documents and communications, that led to the deadly riots and his disgraceful response to them. Trump’s reaction to the subpoena was predictably hostile and devoid of legal basis.
The sort of confident, unafraid leader that Trump tries to portray himself as would be anxious to present his case before the American people. But unlike his nemesis, Hillary Clinton, who testified before a Republican congressional committee for eleven hours, answering every question, and not complaining once about being persecuted, or calling her interrogators infantile names, Trump is trying to chicken out by complaining falsely that “the Subpoena is invalid.” As reported by CNN…
“Trump is challenging both the legitimacy of the committee – which multiple courts have upheld – and is claiming he should be immune from testimony about the time he was president. […] ‘The Subpoena’s request for testimony and documents from President Trump is an unwarranted intrusion upon the institution of the Presidency because there are other sources of the requested information…’ his attorneys argue in the suit.”
Trump’s primary argument is utterly absurd and has no legal viability. Whether or not there are other sources of information doesn’t excuse him from the obligation to testify. He is the main antagonist in this melodrama and his account of events is unique and significant. And it is hardly an “intrusion upon the institution of the Presidency” to expect the former holder of that office to be transparent and honest with the public. Although any expectation of honesty from Trump would be terminally naïve.
If Trump’s lawsuit ever makes it to court, it is likely to be summarily dismissed. But that won’t result in Trump testifying. He has never had any intention of doing so. And he could engage in stalling tactics until the Committee’s work is complete and a final report is issued. Even if he showed up, he would probably plead the Fifth Amendment, just as he did more than 400 times in the civil suit in New York. Because that’s how courage is expressed in MAGA Land.
For at least two years Trump has whined that he hasn’t been able to tell his side of the story. But when he has an opportunity to do so, he wimps out. So he will only give his account on his floundering Twitter clone, Truth Social, or Trump-fluffing media such as Fox News, Newsmax, and OAN. What’s more, he demands that his former fellow White House occupiers refuse to speak under oath as well. And in the meantime he files a flurry of lawsuits intended to obstruct, delay, and disinform. And it’s that resolve to run away that explains why he’s hailed by his glassy-eyed disciples as a pillar of principle and a bastion of bravery. Isn’t it obvious?
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