Chris Hedges: The Donald Trump Problem

Donald Trump is not being targeted for the misdemeanors and serious felonies he appears to have committed but for discrediting and undermining the entrenched power of the ruling duopoly.

Make Me Great Again – by Mr. Fish.

By Chris Hedges

Donald Trump — facing four government-run investigations, three criminal and one civil, targeting himself and his business — is not being targeted because of his crimes. Nearly every serious crime he is accused of carrying out has been committed by his political rivals.

He is being targeted because he is deemed dangerous for his willingness, at least rhetorically, to reject the Washington Consensus regarding neoliberal free-market and free-trade policies, as well as the idea that the U.S. should oversee a global empire. He has not only belittled the ruling ideology, but urged his supporters to attack the apparatus that maintains the duopoly by declaring the 2020 election illegitimate.

The Donald Trump problem is the same as the Richard Nixon problem. When Nixon was forced to resign under the threat of impeachment, it wasn’t for his involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity, nor was it for his illegal use of the C.I.A. and other federal agencies to spy upon, intimidate, harass and destroy radicals, dissidents and activists.

Nixon was brought down because he targeted other members of the ruling political and economic establishment. Once Nixon, like Trump, attacked the centers of power, the media was unleashed to expose abuses and illegalities it had previously minimized or ignored.

Members of Nixon’s re-election campaign illegally bugged the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office building. They were caught after they broke back into the offices to fix the listening devices. Nixon was implicated in both the pre-election illegality, including spying on political opponents, as well as attempting to use federal agencies to cover up the crime. His administration maintained an “enemies list” that included well known academics, actors, union leaders, journalists, businessmen and politicians.

One 1971 internal White House memo entitled, “Dealing with our Political Enemies” — drafted by White House Counsel John Dean, whose job it was to advise the president on the law — described a project designed to “use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.”

Nixon’s conduct, and that of his closest aides, was clearly illegal and deserving of prosecution. There were 36 guilty verdicts or guilty pleas associated with the Watergate scandal two years after the break-in. But it was not the crimes Nixon committed abroad or against dissidents that secured his political execution but the crimes he carried out against the Democratic Party and its allies, including in the establishment press.

“The political center was subjected to an attack with techniques that are usually reserved for those who depart from the norms of acceptable political belief,” Noam Chomsky wrote in The New York Review of Books in 1973, a year before Nixon’s resignation.

As Edward Herman and Chomsky point out in their book, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media:

The answer is clear and concise: powerful groups are capable of defending themselves, not surprisingly; and by media standards, it is a scandal when their position and rights are threatened. By contrast, as long as illegalities and violations of democratic substance are confined to marginal groups or dissident victims of U.S. military attack, or result in a diffused cost imposed on the general population, media opposition is muted and absent altogether. This is why Nixon could go so far, lulled into a false sense of security precisely because the watchdog only barked when he began to threaten the privileged.”

President Nixon with his edited transcripts of the White House Tapes subpoenaed by the Special Prosecutor, during his speech to the nation on Watergate, April 1974. (Nixon Library)

What led to the unraveling of Nixon’s government, and what lies at the core of the attacks against Trump, is the fact that, like Nixon, Trump’s targets included “the rich and respectable, spokesmen for official ideology, men who are expected to share power, to design social policy, and to mold popular opinion,” as Chomsky noted about Nixon at the time. “Such people are not fair game for persecution at the hands of the state.”

This is not to minimize Trump’s crimes. Trump — nearly even in the polls with President Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential race — appears to have committed several misdemeanors and serious felonies.

In November 2022, the Department of Justice appointed a special prosecutor to investigate Trump’s retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida and any potential criminal liability resulting from that act, as well as any unlawful interference with the transfer of power after the 2020 presidential election.

Separately, a district attorney in Georgia is working with a special purpose grand jury in relation to Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election result. A key piece of evidence is the notorious phone call between Trump and Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, in which the president kept insisting he needed more votes to be found. Charges in this case could include conspiracy to commit election fraud, racketeering and pressuring and/or threatening public officials.

The Manhattan district attorney has been investigating the $130,000 Trump used to pay off the porn star Stormy Daniels, with whom Trump allegedly had a sexual relationship. This payment was misreported in the Trump Organization’s records as a legal retainer in violatation of campaign finance laws.

Finally, New York Attorney General Letitia James is bringing a civil lawsuit alleging the Trump Organization lied about its assets in order to secure bank loans. If the attorney general’s lawsuit is successful, Trump and other members of his family may be barred from doing business in New York, including buying property there for five years.

Trump’s alleged offenses should be investigated. Though, the cases involving Daniels and the retention of classified documents seem relatively minor and similar to those committed by Trump’s political opponents.

Last year, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the DNC agreed to pay a fine of $8,000 and $105,000 respectively, for mislabelling a $175,000 expenditure on opposition research, namely the long-discredited “Steele Dossier,” as “legal expenses.” The improper retention of classified documents has typically resulted in a slap on the wrist when other powerful politicians have been investigated. Clinton, for example, used private email servers instead of a government email account when she was secretary of state.

The F.B.I. concluded that she sent and received materials classified as top secret on her private server. Ultimately, F.B.I. director James Comey declined to prosecute her. Trump’s former vice president Mike Pence and Biden also had classified documents at their homes, though we are told this may have been “inadvertent.” The discovery of these classified documents, rather than triggering outrage in most of the media, initiated a conversation about “overclassification.”

Former C.I.A. director David Petraeus was given two years probation and a $100,000 fine after he admitted to providing highly classified “black books” that contained handwritten classified notes about official meetings, war strategy, intelligence capabilities and the names of covert officers to his lover, Paula Broadwell, who was also writing a fawning biography of Petraeus.

As was the case with Nixon, the most serious charges Trump may face involve his attack on the foundations of the two-party duopoly, especially undermining the peaceable transfer of power from one branch of the duopoly to the other. In Georgia, Trump could face very serious criminal charges with potentially lengthy sentences if convicted, likewise if the federal special prosecutor indicts Trump for unlawful interference in the 2020 election. We won’t know until any indictments are made public.

Yet, the most egregious of Trump’s actions while in office either received minimal media coverage, were downplayed or lauded as acts carried out in defense of democracy and the U.S.-led international order.

Qassem Soleimani. (Sayyed Shahab-o-din Vajedi/Wikimedia Commons)

Why hasn’t Trump been criminally investigated for the act of war he committed against Iran and Iraq when he assassinated Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani and nine other people with a drone strike in Baghdad airport? Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi condemned the strike and told his parliament that Trump lied in order to get Soleimani exposed in Iraq as part of peace talks between Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iraq’s parliament passed a resolution demanding that all foreign troops leave the country, which the U.S. government proceeded to reject.

Why not prosecute or impeach Trump for pressuring his secretary of state to lie and say that Iran wasn’t complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran nuclear deal? Trump ultimately fired him and resumed unilateral, devastating and illegal sanctions against Iran, in violation of international law and quite possibly domestic U.S. law.

Why wasn’t Trump impeached for his role in the ongoing attempts to engineer a coup and overthrow the democratically elected president of Venezuela? Trump declared a previously unknown right-wing politician — and would-be coup leader — Juan Guaido to be the true Venezuelan president and then illegally handed him control of the Latin American country’s U.S. bank accounts.

The illegal U.S. sanctions that have facilitated this coup attempt have blocked food, medicine and other goods from entering the country and prevented the government from exploiting and exporting its own oil, devastating the economy. Over 40,000 people died between 2017 and 2019 due to the sanctions, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research. That figure is certainly higher now.

Nixon, like Trump, was not impeached for his worst crimes. He was never charged for directing the C.I.A. to destroy the Chilean economy and back a far-right military coup that overthrew the democratically elected left-wing government of Salvador Allende.

Nixon wasn’t brought to justice for his illegal, secret mass bombing campaigns in Cambodia and Laos that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, and his government’s role in the slaughter of Vietnamese people, resulting in at least 3.8 million killed according to a joint report from Harvard University and the University of Washington and even higher casualties according to investigative journalist Nick Turse.

Nixon wasn’t held accountable for what then-President Lyndon Johnson privately blasted as “treason” when he discovered that the yet-to-be-elected Republican candidate for president, and his future National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, were deliberately and illegally sabotaging his peace negotiations in Vietnam, ultimately prolonging the war for another four years. 

Articles of impeachment against Nixon were passed by the House Judiciary Committee. Articles I and III focused on allegations related to Watergate and Nixon’s failure to deal properly with congressional investigations. Article II related to allegations of violations of citizens’ civil liberties and abuse of government power.

But they became moot once Nixon resigned, and in the end the disgraced former president didn’t face charges related to Watergate. A month after Nixon left office, President Gerald Ford pardoned him for “all offenses against the United States” that he “committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.” 

This pardon cemented into place the imperial presidency. It entrenched the modern notion of “elite immunity,” as the constitutional lawyer and journalist Glenn Greenwald notes. Neither Republicans nor Democrats want to set a precedent that might hamstring the unchecked and unaccountable power of a future president.

The most serious crimes are those that are normalized by the power elite, regardless of who initiated them. George W. Bush may have started the wars in the Middle East, but Barack Obama maintained and expanded them. Obama’s crowning achievement may have been the Iran nuclear deal, but Biden, his former vice president, hasn’t reversed Trump’s trashing of it, nor has he reversed the decision by Trump to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in violation of international law. 

Trump, like most of his opponents in the Republican and Democrat parties, serves the interests of the billionaire class. He, too, is hostile to the rights of workers. He, too, is an enemy of the press. He, too, backs the diversion of hundreds of billions of federal dollars to the war industry to maintain the empire. He, too, does not respect the rule of law.

He, too, is personally and politically corrupt. But he is also impulsive, bigoted, inept and ignorant. His baseless conspiracy theories, vulgarity and absurd antics are an embarrassment to the established power elite in the two ruling parties. He is difficult, unlike Biden, to control. He has to go, not because he is a criminal, but because he is not trusted by the ruling crime syndicate to manage the firm.

A NOTE FROM CHRIS HEDGES: There is now no way left for me to continue to write a weekly column for ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show without your help. The walls are closing in, with startling rapidity, on independent journalism, with the elites, including the Democratic Party elites, clamoring for more and more censorship. Bob Scheer, who runs ScheerPost on a shoestring budget, and I will not waver in our commitment to independent and honest journalism, and we will never put ScheerPost behind a paywall, charge a subscription for it, sell your data or accept advertising. Please, if you can, sign up at so I can continue to post my now weekly Monday column on ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show, The Chris Hedges Report.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

32 comments for “Chris Hedges: The Donald Trump Problem

  1. March 30, 2023 at 11:50

    “If paying a settlement to silence Stormy Daniels is a crime, then all out of court settlements are suspect.”

    That was not the crime. The crime was using campaign funds to make the payoff and reporting it to the FEC as a campaign legal expense.

  2. Vera Gottlieb
    March 30, 2023 at 09:33

    I kind of get the feeling that Trump has been stepping on toes which do NOT wish to be stepped on. Keep going, Trump…you might be on the right path to clean out the ‘swamp’.

  3. shmutzoid
    March 29, 2023 at 15:57

    No matter who is elected president, the expectations of the ruling elite are that he/she will be a reliable caretaker of US imperialism. This is the ongoing and over riding concern of US oligarchic rule.
    ………. Trump made our ruling elite nervous with occasional allusions to his prowess as a peacemaker in the world. …..;.bragging how in no time he could talk to Putin and there’d be peace. Or, his remark about “…..we (the US) are killers, too!” For the ruling elite, this is not the kind of talk expected from the figurehead of US imperialism and empire.

    Trump is a wanna-be dictator. A grifter. A narcissist. A crook. A racist. …….And, at the end of the day I don’t think he’s any less likely to unleash militarism whenever/wherever on behalf of empire than any other president.
    ……Yet, too many citizens, including some liberal elites, think of Trump as THE alternative to a war-mongering establishment which presides over the empire.
    …….. A favorite bromide of politicos – “my opponent is soft on crime” – is used to attack other candidates. The sham known as ‘Russia gate’ was the Dems campaign to paint Trump as ‘soft on Russia’.
    ……….. The sorry truth is that electoral politics offers NO solutions to the myriad problems stemming from global capitalism, both nationally and internationally.

  4. IJ Scambling
    March 29, 2023 at 11:39

    “He is difficult, unlike Biden, to control. He has to go, not because he is a criminal, but because he is not trusted by the ruling crime syndicate to manage the firm.”

    I’m having trouble with all the negativity on Hedges in the comments here unless they derive from disappointed Trump fans. Hedges’ focus is plain and obvious enough (see above quotation): Trump raises his wet thumb in the air and follows whichever way the wind is blowing.

    His STYLE is probably the most odorous thing about him for the elite. Whether or not he grabbed pussy whenever he felt like it doesn’t matter because it’s plausible that he did, or would, and we can’t have that in proper circles of management. Otherwise, he was as much an asshole as any of them in recent decades.

  5. LeoSun
    March 29, 2023 at 10:03

    No doubt about it, “EVERYBODY feels the wind blow. It’s like a window in our heart.”

    “Make Me Great Again” – by Mr. Fish, is trumpeting the wholly TRUTH! It’s Spot F/On!!! Totally, Trump!!! Well done, Mr. Fish!!!

    NOW DO, JOEY “ROTTING BEFORE OUR EYES” BIDEN!!! JOEY’S CAPtion reads: “Keep America Dumb!”

    What “We, the People” know, is, WE HAVE BEEN BEYOND F/FLEECED!!!

    What “We, the People” knew is that America’s WORST, DJTrump & Biden-Harris, was the ticket!!! Consequently, giving all the f/oxygen needed to power the Science Fiction Flick, The OLD Grim Reaper, BIDEN; &,the Crypt Keeper, HARRIS vs. DJTRUMP. The Orange Man crushed it; BUT, the Political Corpse & That Little Girl “GOT” Crowned; &, The Nation, got F____ED!!! It’s straight-up f/MADness (Mutually Assured Destruction).

    What’s f/CRIMINAL, BIDEN-HARRIS continue posing as POTUS masquerading as Human. Everywhere JOEY goes, he GOTS his Cue Cards, “YOU take YOUR seat” as well as “SAY ‘HELLO” “SAY BYE, SAY, “God Bless America; AND, TRY NOT TO look like the lost CommanDEER-in-the-Headlights, medicated, eyes totally glazed over w/dumb; &, dazed!!! AND, STOP! Searching the room for children. The other CAPtion that defines BIDEN-HARRIS: SICKO!!!

    The Sex. The Lies. The Scandalous ELECTIONS in The Divided $tates of Corporate America rock EVIL!!! It’s F.U.B.A.R. The whole f/ball of goop. Freedom. Liberty. Democracy is DEAD.

    “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody!”

  6. William H Warrick III MD
    March 28, 2023 at 20:33

    President Trump is not the problem, you’re the problem.

  7. Thomas Johnson
    March 28, 2023 at 14:10

    The FBI led the investigation (all the while praising the media) and downfall of Nixon. When J.E.Hoover died, the leverage on Presidents was weakened. The FBI learned its tools from the Mafia and now our Justice department uses them all. Shakespeare wrote ” kill all the lawyers” (I think). I love your stories Mr Hedges, but this one is too deep for an article. Do it in a book.
    Thank You for all you do !!

  8. Carlos
    March 28, 2023 at 09:24

    Some of the negative comments are hilariously not based on any facts. People usually complain based on how things make them feel, not because of something that’s based on truth. Some people love Trump no matter what reality shows. Same goes for some of the Biden lovers. I recently heard someone say the truth is subjective these days. It could have been Chris. Can’t remember. Most Americans just can’t seem remove themselves away from the right vs left dichotomy. It’s been decades of brainwashing from the establishment entities that control what people consume in the media. They are unable to look at reality objectively. I think this article was a great read. Great job Chris!

  9. Tony
    March 28, 2023 at 06:50

    I broadly agree with the comments about Trump.

    “But they became moot once Nixon resigned, and in the end the disgraced former president didn’t face charges related to Watergate. A month after Nixon left office, President Gerald Ford pardoned him for “all offenses against the United States” that he “committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.”

    The nature of Ford’s pardon of Nixon seems highly irregular. Why grant a pardon to someone who has not even been convicted of a crime?

    The new president’s advisors were very hostile to this and urged him not to pardon him. He certainly paid a heavy price for doing so. It may have cost him the 1976 election which was very close.

    If Nixon had been prosecuted then it is possible that awkward questions might have emerged about the true nature of his ousting. Witnesses at a trial speak under oath.

    It should also be borne in mind that William Sullivan of the FBI had informed Nixon that Ford, when he served on the Warren Commission, had altered the JFK autopsy report. Ford’s role in falsifying the report did not come out until 1997.

    As for William Sullivan, he was killed in a 1977 hunting ‘accident.’ Got mistaken for a deer! An easy mistake to make. This was shortly before he was due to appear before the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He had once predicted he would be assassinated in a conversation with journalist Robert Novak.

    • Yo T
      March 28, 2023 at 10:48

      Agreed and more:

      A person who has not been convicted cannot be pardoned. Anything else is a logical fallacy. “In the interest of expediency” is not a valid apology either. Nor is “for the benefit of the country.” The Executive cannot exercise its pardon check on the Judicial if the Judicial has not convicted.

      The essence of Ford’s action was to prevent the Executive from investigating and prosecuting. He then co-opted an actual constitutional principle using the same word; “pardon.” This was proselytizing later with “the war on drugs” and again with “the war on terror.” War is conflict between two nations and not on materials or psychological assault. It’s simply a form of gaslighting the less inquisitive.

      It’s worth mentioning Bork’s refusal to withdraw from his nomination to the Supreme Court. Seeing it through was the morally correct action. Again, expediency is not a valid excuse to quit.

      Just like the policy of not prosecuting a sitting president is now accepted basically as law. The House is now talking about passing a law that says a President cannot be prosecuted even after he leaves office. It’s not unreasonable to predict that would soon enough extend to the Legislative and Judicial.

      I mean, who needs a pardon when we can pass a law to clarify our need for expediency.

  10. Fatoomsh
    March 28, 2023 at 03:15

    I don’t find this to be one of Hedges best articles. And I don’t say that lightly. It reeks of one eyed hypocrisy.
    Not to say he not be guilty of crimes, but this seems to be an attempt to lump felonies and misdemeanors in as one pile of felonies only, and ignores the exact same crimes being committed on a regular basis by multiple sitting and ex congress members, and even a president or two. I await Hedges delves into the very much more obvious felonies of the Biden family……waiting…….

  11. Mikael Andersson
    March 27, 2023 at 18:40

    DJ Trump’s personality and his corrupt, impulsive, bigoted, inept and ignorant nature are issues for the USA. The issue for the planet is nuclear war. As a non-citizen of the USA I wish only one thing from Trump – That I have a planet I can inhabit. As I don’t have a space ship it has to be Earth.

    • Bushrod Lake
      March 28, 2023 at 10:22

      Right. We have an oasis in space and these oligarchs are endangering us and getting us killed. The “ineptitude, vulgarity, and impulsiveness” of our leaders are on a par with Nero and Caligula leading the Roman Empire into disintegration. Then Ceasar took over; the big man solution.
      But with nuclear weapons in the hands of these greedy dopes, our prospects are even worse.
      So our only solution is to stop weapons production, cut the military budget down to what the rest of the world spends, and find non-violent ways to resolve our problems and human flaws. Or we can just go fuck ourselves.

      • Piotr Berman
        March 29, 2023 at 09:12

        Actually, Nero and Caligula lived in the golden period of Rome. The fall period had less flamboyant emperors, pius Christians.

    • Gary Sitter
      March 28, 2023 at 11:09

      Only God can and will determine whether your request or wish comes true. Do not place your trust in any man or group of men, this was, is and will always be a fallen world.
      God Bless

  12. Paul
    March 27, 2023 at 18:38

    One of Trump`s strangest attributes is the ability to claim a sweeping change in US beaurocracy; I believe this is one of the reasons he succeeded in 2016. Of course, nothing came of it. It is interesting to see him double-down on this very same policy for his second run at the presidency; will it prove triumphant in 2024?

    As usual, a brilliantly-written piece, Chris. I hope your work continues to be published.

  13. Mark H. Palermo
    March 27, 2023 at 18:35

    Hedges must have a lot of friends on the inside, or he wouldn’t be dropping self-ID sympathizer phrases like “baseless conspiracy theories”.

    It hard to be given distasteful options and told to choose the lesser evil, but that’s no reason not to try.

  14. KiwiAntz62
    March 27, 2023 at 17:35

    Trump or Biden, that’s America’s two choices for President Emperor? Two Octogenarians, one a Narcissistic Clown called Trump whose full of BS & grandiose pronouncements that never come to pass & the other a Senescent, dementia addled, angry Warmongering Grandpa called Biden! Why would anyone bother to vote for these two Old fools, it’s like voting for a wrinkly old version of the numbskulls from the Movie Dumb & Dumber?

    • JonnyJames
      March 28, 2023 at 11:04

      Exactly. That’s the freak show that they call a meaningful “choice”. The fancy word is kakistocratic oligarchy. Since there is no democracy, no republic and the rule of law is rendered a joke – no sense in worrying about the meaningless details.

    • oubok
      March 28, 2023 at 17:11

      And both are in pay of the same puppeteers. Were it not for the media created spectacle no one would be able to say which is Republican and which Democrat.

  15. Drew Hunkins
    March 27, 2023 at 16:31

    There is a line of thought that Nixon was removed because he was normalizing US relations with the Soviet Union and China. This was seen as taking away the needed enemies for the military/security complex’s budget and power. Not sure I buy this view entirely but it’s not implausible.

    • Tony
      March 28, 2023 at 06:45

      You are absolutely correct.
      That is exactly what happened.
      He was removed in a CIA-Pentagon coup for the reasons you have given and for other reasons.

  16. Drew Hunkins
    March 27, 2023 at 16:28

    It’s real simple: even Trump’s essentially faux populism scares the bejesus out of many members of our ruling class. His not infrequent rhetoric upbraiding the deep state terrifies them. So does his restrictionist views on immigration.

    The key isn’t whether Trump means these things (in some cases he does, in many cases he doesn’t), the key is the perception a large group of our elites have of Trump and how this could potentially galvanize tens of millions of his followers and even other folks who aren’t hardcore Trump fans but have an affinity for some of his more populist talk.

  17. Reynold Reimer
    March 27, 2023 at 16:13

    Here in Canada our national broadcaster frequently talks about the downing of Ukraine Airlines flight 752 minutes after takeoff from Tehran. Our government web site says ” Fifty-five Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents were among the 176 people killed in this national tragedy” The CBC frequently talks about “searching for answers”. They’re parroting the government web site, which says, “Canada’s priority is to seek answers and pursue justice by holding Iran accountable and pursuing reparations, while continuing to provide the families and loved ones of the victims with the support they need.” (hxxps:// )

    My wife and I have been dismayed by constant repetition of the ‘searching for answers’ phrase, by which they mean they want an Iranian to blame. Neither the CBC or the government mention that the saga began with the murder of General Soleimani on the orders of Trump.

    The flight 752 story is but one indication of how our country is a vassal state. When Washington decided, without asking Venezuelans, that Juan Guaido should be president of Venezuela our ruling party fell into line like the lackeys they are.

  18. Linda Lewis
    March 27, 2023 at 16:11

    Excellent points about Nixon, and it’s shameful that others continue to characterize the “Watergate” investigation as merely an investigation of political shenanigans. But, there’s more to the story than even Chris Hedges points out here. Nixon was receiving massive, illegal corporate donations that were revealed because some of the money was used to pay the Watergate burglars. And, of course, that led people to “follow the money.”

    NPR pointed this out on a July 1, 2022, show:

    “WERTHEIMER: What started out as a burglary, as the investigations broadened, it became the biggest campaign finance scandal of the century.

    ARONCZYK: The secret donor list – it was part of why Nixon was ultimately pressured to resign. But quite possibly the longer-term impact was the wonkier impact. This disclosure so outraged the country that it launched a whole new era of campaign finance reform, starting with prosecutions of people on that secret list.

    WERTHEIMER: That document was used by the Watergate special prosecutor to identify and get criminal convictions of 20 corporations…”

    Revealing a massive scheme of corrupt influence conducted in secret, and exposing big donors to criminal prosecution, was the ULTIMATE betrayal, in the establishment’s view, and likely the real motivation for Republicans to pressure Nixon to resign. His resignation shut down the Congressional investigation and, with it, the possibility of more revelations. Nixon lost the presidency and his political career was toast. It was far less than he deserved, but far more than other presidents with blood on their hands would receive.

  19. Daniel Dujardin
    March 27, 2023 at 15:46

    I agree with most of this, but I think Mr. Hedges analysis of felonies and misdemeanors is legally speculative, to say the least.
    If there has been any statutory violation, it should not take more than a few days to figure that out. The fact that they are still “investigating” speaks volumes.
    Lost in all of this is a simple fact: there is NO way to overturn election results.
    Likewise, delaying the rubber stamp of “certification”, cannot change the election results.

    Does it make sense that Trump could be charged with attempting to do the impossible?
    The so called “notorious” phone call about “finding votes” is not a crime eiher.
    It is also not a crime to not trust that all the votes have been properly counted.
    If paying a settlement to silence Stormy Daniels is a crime, then all out of court settlements are suspect.
    What is and what is not a “campaign contiribution” has been quite well defined in the law. Look it up before jumping to dubious conclusions.

  20. phil schelin
    March 27, 2023 at 15:37

    With due respect for C. Hedges, defending DJ Trump , totally ignores the ignorance and cruelty of this human being.
    Yes he coulda been great, but his human flaws always override his intentions.

  21. vinnieoh
    March 27, 2023 at 14:05

    Well yeah, and so here we are, again, as always.

    There is a scene in the classic “Paths of Glory” where the three unfortunate French soldiers randomly selected to be prosecuted for cowardice to cover up the failure of the French high command are discussing the various methods of being killed in battle during the trench warfare of that conflict. The debate centered around which was slowest and most painful, or quickest and unfailing.

    That’s us prols as we go to the pols to conjure the mirage of representative democracy.

  22. JonnyJames
    March 27, 2023 at 13:29

    Thanks Chris, the facts speak for themselves and you pointed them out.

    Yet, the wishful thinkers, believers in fairy-tales, the naive, the gullible STILL believe Donald Drumpf’s BS and ignore the facts. The US is a nation of brainwashed suckers, and US culture teaches us: “never give a sucker an even break”. The same goes for the D faction and Biden of course.

    Trump’s lies and war rhetoric against China was apparently shoved down the memory hole. His pathetic grovelling to his paymaster oligarch Adelson and his prostrations to Israel were all forgotten. But Trump is a man of peace who threatens the “Deep State” eh? Gimme a freakin break already.

    If you still believe the blah blah, then go ahead and “vote” for him. I’m going to write-in candidates, as I have done for many years. I refuse to vote for an amoral kakistocrat, no matter D or R.

    (But I still think we should boycott the general elections, and protest the sham instead)

  23. Packard
    March 27, 2023 at 13:23

    Trump is known by the enemies* he keeps. So, who do you trust today?


    • michael888
      March 27, 2023 at 16:59

      Trump was elected as a BIG FU! to the Establishment. He ended up with the dregs of DC, such as Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, as his underlings because no one in the Swamp dared to risk their careers working with him. His administration was essentially overthrown by Russiagate and the refusal of Hillary and the Establishment to accept the 2016 Election. Trump is a boar with the attention span of a gnat, but unlike Biden (or Hillary) he is not dangerous, as he never had, and never will be allowed, access to the levers of power. Ineffective, incompetent, grandiose, Trump’s biggest sin is that he is not part of the Establishment. Clearly the Federal government would have destroyed itself rather than allow Trump an honest election. The hiding of the Hunter Biden hard-drive by the FBI and State Media, with clear evidence of the Big Guy’s corruption might have turned the Election (ask Glenn Greenwald!), but the US has become a place where inconvenient facts are hidden or erased. And if (when) they finally eliminate Trump, who will be the next Putin Puppet bogeyman to turn on and scapegoat next?
      A more important example is the US Covid response, which contradicted most well established public health policies and made the Establishment (and big political donors) much richer, rather than doing the best for the Public Health of Americans.

      • Jack Gordon
        March 28, 2023 at 11:27

        I agree with your comments here. I voted for Trump but was bitterly disappointed by his numerous appointments of warmongers and neocon lunatics. After a while, the barrage of excuses for doing so wore very thin. As I read Hedges’ essay, it occurred to me that the obvious sins and omissions of Trump pale by comparison with what others sitting in the Oval Office have done and continue to do. Trump murdered an Iranian officer but Biden, Bush (the cretin from Crawford), Obama, and Clinton (the one who cannot define “is” correctly), Nixon, and others were mass murderers. How many people did Bush (the cretin) kill in Iraq alone on the basis of what he knew or should have known was a bald-faced lie? How many Ukrainians are dying every day because the demented Biden torpedoed peace negotiations in March of 2022? In a word, I think Hedges’ essay was somewhat unbalanced in its treatment of American political criminals.

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