THE COHEN FILE--A lot of people may not know that Benedict Arnold, the most infamous of colonial traitors, a prominent revolutionary war general who endeavored to sell the surrender of the fort at West Point for a price, had published a series of open letters to the "Inhabitants of the Colonies" justifying himself. Here are some selected excerpts from those letters.
From Letter 1:
Don't believe a word you hear from all the fake town criers. I've never talked to a loyalist or a Tory, not even one time, even though my wife's father is one. These are all lies and more lies, told by people who will say anything to win. Disgusting and sad. Why, even now I am on my way to West Point to assume command there, and we will have so many brilliant victories you will get tired of winning.
From Letter 2:
OK, I admit that I met with Major Andre, representative of King George the 3rd, but nothing came of it. Yeah sure, I told them I wanted 20,000 pounds to disclose our troop movements and to dissipate our supply depots, which I in fact did. And to demonstrate my transparency, I've released the offer of collusion letters that were just about to be published anyway. But they didn't give me any money up front, so it's all just a little bowl of cold nothing porridge.
From Letter 3:
Hey, I'm sitting here fat and happy in Great Britain right now, at least I got 6,000 pounds out of all this, which I'm using to speculate in real estate … really. I just barely managed to slip through enemy lines before George Washington's forces could catch up to me, with orders to hang me on the spot. Can you believe that? What a witch hunt. They hanged Major Andre though, tough for him. Anyway, you'd all be better off if you were still subjects of the king. Anybody would have done what I did, everybody says so, and I have nothing but contempt for anyone who does not agree.
-- END SATIRE SECTION --
What is so striking about the current circumstance, is that a substantial number of formerly unquestioning conservatives, the latest being Charles Krauthammer, are finally saying "Enough is enough, I just can't swallow this anymore," just to try to salvage a shred of their self-respect. All along he's been saying there's no "there" there. Now apparently “there” has arrived, and there is now "here."
This is just with what we already know of the stunning revelations of plots to collude with the Russians, with more waves of breaking scandal every day, after they say time and again that we've been told everything. Even as we speak, there are reports of additional yet unidentified participants in the Trump Tower meeting, with Trump himself no more than a floor away at that very moment.
People like Sean Hannity and the closing circle of snarky diehards about him will continue to insult our intelligence, and eagerly buy into whatever is the latest shifting alibi. But Robert Mueller and the now 30 top prosecutors he has on the case will not, and he will start dropping shoes when he has laid all the groundwork and is ready to start convicting people, which he will.
And if anyone thinks Trump can pardon his way out of any of this - think again.
Let's say he pardons Flynn or Manafort. Let's say they believe they don't have to cooperate, though many believe they already are cooperating, because they think they can trust Trump to pardon them in the end regardless. They can STILL be prosecuted for perjury, for acts of perjury committed AFTER any previous pardon, if they tell any MORE lies to any investigator or in front a grand jury, where Mueller already knows the truth and can prove it.
We've already predicted that Trump would not hesitate to try to pardon himself, he's that shameless. But he has not yet packed to Supreme Court enough to get away with that one.
Sure Trump knew nothing about the collusion meeting until the story hit the papers a couple days ago, despite the fact that his lawyers were scrambling for how they would respond weeks ago.
DESPITE the fact that Papa Trump was at least in the building himself at the time and DESPITE the fact that EVERYBODY else associated with the campaign ADMITS they were briefed on it in real time. DESPITE the fact that just before the meeting he was touting the big Hillary scoop which he was about to break – remember that one? Sure his tiny little hands aren't all over this. Sure.
Absurdity. You would have to believe that the Donald wouldn’t want to know what is underlings are up to with the Russians.
Or forefathers created a nation governed by laws not men and over time established institutions capable of surviving corrupt and incompetent public officials. That required honorable and virtuous leaders.
Increasingly many other former apologists and Republicans alike are showing self-respect and character that would make our Revolutionary Founders of ’76 proud. Of their own free will they are demonstrating that they aren't buying anymore into Trump's ongoing and endless cavalcade of lies and deceits. Join Them & Spread The Word.
And remember the answer is always VOTE.
(Michael N. Cohen is a former board member of the Reseda Neighborhood Council, founding member of the LADWP Neighborhood Council Oversight Committee, founding member of LA Clean Sweep and a contributor to CityWatch.)