Abcarian: Trump worried about his legacy? Shouldn’t have tried to overthrow this election

Hope Hicks, once an influential adviser to former President Trump, told the House Jan. 6 committee that she was concerned her boss’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election would damage his legacy.

In testimony made public for the first time Monday, she said Trump told her something along the lines of, “No one will care about my legacy if I lose.” So it won’t matter. The only thing that matters is victory.”

He’s right about one thing; win counts. But he’s wrong about the legacy. Though he lost—crucially—he leaves behind a legacy unlike any other American president.

Spotted portrait illustration of Robin Abcarian

opinion columnist

Robin Abcarian

It’s a steaming legacy in a paper bag to be lit on the country’s front porch. We will never forget the smell.

Trump will forever be remembered as the only president in history to orchestrate a plan to overturn the results of a free and fair election. The state official pleaded with them to fraudulently alter legitimate votes and threatened criminal prosecution if they failed to do so.

Who dubbed his vice president “chick” for refusing to go along with his corrupt plan.

Its legal foot soldiers, including John Eastman, attempted to destroy the Constitution and others, such as Rudy Giulianislimed hard-working campaign workers and compared them to drug addicts.

His followers followed his summons to the Capitol on 6/1/2021 and allowed themselves to be driven into violent insanity in the service of a man who had lied to them about why they were there in the first place.

Trump urged them to “fight like hell” for his wrong cause, and they did, attacking cops with their fists, flagpoles, and bear spray, among other things. Five deaths were linked to the attack, not counting the handful of law enforcement officers who died by suicide in the months that followed. Countless others were injured and traumatized.

Trump’s legacy?

He will be remembered as the first President in history to be the subject of criminal referrals by Congress to the Justice Department. The first president to be impeached twice. And maybe, just maybe, the first president to be charged with federal crimes.

On Monday, the House Jan. The sixth committee completed 18 months of work, presented a summary of its findings, and then voted unanimously to ask the Justice Department to indict the ex-president on four federal crimes: insurgency, obstruction of an official process, conspiracy on defrauding the United States and conspiring to lie to the federal government by helping to create lists of fake voters.

Nearly 1,000 people were charged with crimes related to the 1st 6 Uprising; at least 465 have pleaded guilty. A handful have been tried or willed, including Stewart Rhodes, founder of the far-right Oath Keepers, who was found guilty by a jury of seditious conspiracy last month. Federal criminal proceedings began on Monday in the case of four members of another far-right group, the Proud Boys, who are also charged with seditious conspiracy. It is high time the person who orchestrated the attempt to overturn the election was held accountable.

“Ours is not a justice system where foot soldiers go to jail and the masterminds and ringleaders get a free pass,” said committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Maryland Democrat.

Trump shouldn’t get a free pass.

To the popular argument that impeachment against a former president would unsettle the country, I would argue that Trump’s plans to overturn the 2020 election that culminated in a failed insurgency were far more troubling, and we’ve had that so far survived.

I was stunned the other day when I heard Washington Post political reporter Bob Woodward, who has written or co-written three books about Trump, say on CNN that the media didn’t properly scrutinize Trump when he first appeared in 2016 for the… ran for president.

My god, I thought. Are you kidding?

Stories abounded throughout this cycle about Trump’s dishonesty and incompetence in business, his own dealings, his family’s legacy of racial discrimination when it came to housing, his bogus donations to charity, his decades-long history of alleged sexual harassment and abuse. And there were numerous episodes that should have knocked him out of the competition, from the insults he hurled at John McCain, his boasts about grabbing women by the genitals, to his racist attack on the Indiana-born judge who presided in the Trump University fraud trial. The only thing we didn’t know about him at that point was whether or not he cheated on his taxes.

But sensible Republicans held their noses and voted for him to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House. MAGA Republicans hailed his xenophobia, racism and dalliance with dictators like Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Nothing seemed to affect his popularity significantly until he started campaigning for losers. The November midterms were political obliteration for Trump; Voters across the country turned down most of the candidates running on his big lie. As he told Hicks, all that matters is winning.

Rupert Murdoch, whose Fox News, New York Post and Wall Street Journal were all shameless Trump cheerleaders, is said to have told the former president he would not support another run.

A day after the midterms, the Post, Florida Gov. Ron DeSanti’s “DeFuture”.

On Tuesday, a Journal editorial announced that “Republican voters finally seem ready to bang the gong on the Trump show.”

And in the New York Times, Republican strategist Scott Reed rang the bell for Trump. “The task,” he said, “has begun.”

From your lips to God’s ear, Mr. Reed.


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