Trump the crime boss summons his mob to court

Looking reminiscent of John Gotti’s underboss, Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano, turning state’s evidence against “The Dapper Don” and taking down  boss of the Gambino crime family in New York City in 1992 is Donald Trump’s “fixer,” Michael Cohen, flipping on another so-called Teflon Don.

Hopefully, Cohen will be as successful in taking down the most powerful criminal to ever occupy the White House as Gravano was in taking down Gotti, the most powerful mafioso in U.S. history.    

All of this gangster-like exhibitionism foreshadows what things will look like should the first authoritarian armed with an oligarchy of power and a crew of minions retake the Oval Office in 2025.

Putting aside the differences in Gotti and Trump’s criminality, such as the former’s convictions for five murders, conspiracy to commit murder, illegal gambling, and loansharking or the latter’s indictments for espionage, a failed insurrection or coup d’état, and conspiracies to interfere in presidential elections, the two men have much more in common than the former president and President Richard Nixon ever did. I am referring to the fact that both Gotti back in his day and Trump today share in common the crimes of racketeering, obstruction of justice, tax evasion, and extortion. For comparative purposes, unlike Nixon who could honestly claim that he wasn’t a crook, neither Gotti nor Trump can claim they were not crooks.

At the same time, neither Gotti nor Nixon were ever as powerful as Trump. It is not even close. Trump wins by a landslide. And neither Gotti nor Nixon ever posed any threat to American democracy and the rule of law.

Nothing showcases this threat any more than when Trump’s crime family, including House Speaker Mike Johnson,R-LA, and other Republican congresspeople as well as GOP state attorneys generals, showed up both inside the Manhattan courtroom and outside the courthouse during Cohen’s testimony.

Inside the courtroom, Johnson and the other GOP hacks sat directly behind defendant Trump. The whole time they were staring down the former loyalist turned stoolpigeon as he testified. They were also sending “evil eyes” to the jurors as they were transfixed watching and listening to the back-and-forth between Cohen and the lawyers for the prosecution and the defense. 

Outside the courthouse, these high-ranking Republican officials and House Speaker Johnson were blasting the proceedings as a sham and attacking Judge Merchant’s daughter in violation of Trump’s gag order. Not only were they ignoring their own election interference and coverup of January 6, but they were also in addition to the Manhattan trial, casting aspersions on Trump’s three other criminal indictments. As Speaker Johnson stated, “These are politically motivated trials and they are a disgrace. It is election interference.” 

None of this would ever be something that the liar-in-chief could ever say in a court of law because the rule of thumb is that guilty people like Trump never take the stand in their own defense.

Moreover, Trump’s surrogates or sycophants alike have gone much further than any organized gang of mobsters would ever dare to go to intimidate witnesses and jurors or to interfere with the administration of justice on behalf of their racketeering boss. Primarily, because they would be locked up for doing so just as Trump would be locked up for contempt of court regarding his numerous violations of gag orders if he were any other crime boss.

Not only were Trump’s defenders demonstrating their loyalty and allegiance to the boss, some of them were also using the stage outside the courthouse to audition to become the presumed 2024 presidential nominee’s vice-presidential running mate. In any case, they were all looking, sounding, and appearing very gangster-like.

Although the meaning and the consequences of these actions are deadly serious, their televised performance was truly a public spectacle to laugh at as they were all making complete fools of themselves.

At the same time, their public display both inside and outside of the Manhattan courthouse announced and demonstrated for all the world that Trump and his political knaves have been running a protection racket against accountability, the rule of law, and the administration of justice for the past four years.

And most recently, with a little help from the Trumpian majority on the Supreme Court and a corrupt federal judge in Florida, they have been very successful at obstructing justice and protecting Boss Trump. 

Overall, these political performances and previous actions by Trump’s minions represent a full court press on our legal system and balance of powers. While attempting to obstruct and weaponize justice in every way possible from their seats, especially in the House, they are also doing their best to delegitimize the criminalization of Boss Trump. In doing so, they have been mirroring both the behavior of Trump while he was POTUS and of his corruptible Attorney General Bill Barr.

All of this gangster-like exhibitionism foreshadows what things will look like should the first authoritarian armed with an oligarchy of power and a crew of minions retake the Oval Office in 2025.

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