My July 4th was partially spoiled when I encountered a boat displaying three Trump-inspired flags. One read “Joe and the Ho Gotta Go.” The second was a U.S. flag that transitioned into a confederate battle flag. The third flag was more confusing. It was an American flag with black stripes and a black field for the stars. I am told the flag is meant to signal “Give no quarter,” meaning that the bearer will never surrender and will kill any enemies they encounter. It is based on a civil war flag conjured up by a confederate group when the war “turned south” for them.
The sight of the flags, these were in Caroline County, was nothing new. But they prompted me to wonder why Donald J. Trump or someone else associated with him has not done anything to condemn the flags. The answer, of course, is that Trump is fully comfortable calling the vice president of the U.S. a whore. It is who Trump is.
Over the holiday weekend, I also read about how Trump and his allies are attacking Cassidy Hutchinson. He called her “bad news,” “a total phony,” and “a leaker.” He suggested she sought to “go to Florida” with the Trump team but was turned down. In her anger, she turned on Trump, the defeated ex-president says.
The tone of the attacks is fully consistent with the Trump-inspired flags, which is to say juvenile, crude, and demeaning. It was no surprise to learn that an attempt was made to intimidate Ms. Hutchinson before her deposition. It was, however, a pleasant surprise to learn that the attempts failed. I wonder whether that failure prompted yet another plate-throwing incident?
On the encouraging side, the Trump attacks on the January 6 Committee have utterly failed. Even the “denial” of Trump’s temper tantrum in the presidential limo on January 6 has backfired. The agent who rebutted the story is known to lie. Let’s get that man in front of the January 6 Committee under oath!
While Hutchinson’s testimony has renewed calls for the prosecution of Trump, Meadows, Giuliani, and a host of others, I predict that we have not yet seen the Committee’s best work. July is not going to be a good month for Trump, even if he announces his candidacy for president.
The January 6 Committee will deliver at least two big bombshells in July. The first will be direct evidence of the extensive communication and coordination between the White House and the two militia groups that led the January 6 assault—the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. We may learn that Meadows talked to the Proud Boys during the assault and that certain House Republicans were acting as communications conduits between the militia members and the White House. You already know about Rudy Giuliani. Have you heard the names Scott Perry and Jim Jordan? Those are my two best guesses. (Other suspects, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, and Lauren Boebert may have been deemed too stupid for Trump or Meadows to trust.)
The second bombshell will be evidence of Trump’s complicity in funding the insurrection. I expect to see a financial trail connecting Donald Trump, Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and Mark Meadows to the money that enabled the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and others to get to Washington.
Of course, Trump will say all three acted on their own. If Trump does, and when the Trump associates, now with tire tracks on their backs, ponder the prospect of jail time becomes clearer, it is likely that at least one will flip. Remember how Mark Meadows was cooperating with the January 6 Committee until he wasn’t. He is the most likely “flipper.”
We may also hear from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who the Committee subpoenaed. If Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony was truthful, Cipollone both knew about Trump’s involvement with the January 6 insurrection and warned the president that it was illegal.
And what about John Eastman? Without Professor Eastman’s legal memo suggesting that the Vice President could unilaterally overturn the 2020 election by rejecting slates of electors and substituting others, there may have been no attack on the Capitol. Did Eastman believe his own theories? What prompted him to write the memo?
As the January 6 committee moves ever closer to the release of its full written report, Donald Trump’s future will become clearer. Rumors are circulating that he soon will announce his candidacy for president for 2024. If he announces (highly likely), it will be nothing more than an attempt to fend off prosecution. Trump will argue that Democrats are prosecuting him on political grounds. His hope will be to re-energize his base.
Somehow, as I celebrated July 4th, I started to think that won’t happen. Things are not looking good for Trump’s future. Given the strength of the evidence that is emerging about what Trump was up to after he lost the 2020 election, his campaign will be seen for what it is–another abuse of our political system to serve his own ends at the expense of the public good.
By fall, I expect Trump will resort to campaigning for president at rallies where “Joe and the Ho Gotta Go” signs and confederate flags will be in abundance. He will remind us of what a low life he is.
The threat of Trump continuing his assault on democracy should frighten all Americans. He reminds us that freedom is not free. Trump is un-American. Trump and his party gotta go, but they will not go unless and until he is held accountable for his actions associated with January 6, 2021.
J.E. Dean is a retired attorney and public affairs consultant writing on politics, government, birds, and other subjects.