Trump’s Stranglehold on the Republicans is a National Security Problem – even after he leaves office

Presidents although they have enormous power have limits as to what they can do and cannot do. The constitution empowers the three branches of government −the legislative, the executive, and the judicial−to provide checks and balances on the functions of government. For example, although a president can declare war on a foreign state approval must be obtained from the Congress.

All presidents when they are sworn into the office of the presidency take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. Some have violated their oath, but not as flagrantly and frequently as Donald Trump. Trump’s unprecedented behavior as a president, runs the gamut of malfeasances some egregious enough to have gotten any other president impeached and removed from office. Despite these malfeasances, he was not held accountable. For example, when he was impeached by the House, the Senate failed to remove him from office.

It is mindboggling that the Republicans in congress have resolutely defended and supported Trump given his many malfeasances.

It is somewhat of an understatement to say that the Republicans in Congress have failed to perform their constitutional duties to rein in Trump. Had they done this, Trump would not have foisted his irresponsible behavior on America with such reckless abandon and impunity. This behavior included the total disregard for the protocols of his office, the Constitution, and the institutions that have upheld democracy from the time the founding fathers established the union.

Scandals like the Ukraine quid pro quo, detaining undocumented immigrant children at the border in cages, his failure to comply with subpoenas from Congress during the Russian interference investigations, and the Russian bounty scandal plagued his presidency.

Other failures of Trump include the mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic that to date has killed over 250,000 Americans; undermining and compromising institutions like the media, the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the intelligence agencies; and making comments or tweets that do not unify the nation. He has also alienated world leaders – some who were traditional strategic allies – and embraced dictators like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un and Recep Erdogan, only served to weaken America’s global leadership.

It is mindboggling that the Republicans in congress have resolutely defended and supported Trump given his many malfeasances. Certainly, it couldn’t be just to get their agenda through or to maintain and retain the power of their party. Yes, the Republicans have engaged in voter suppression schemes for quite a while and even before Trump became president, but these do not explain the blind loyalty that they have for him.  

Three Republicans who have done this are Senators Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. What is puzzling about their support for Trump is that they were all insulted by Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. He called Lindsey Graham “Little Lindsey,” Ted Cruz “Lying Ted,” and Marco Rubio “Little Marco.”  And there is Mitch McConnell the Senate Majority Leader who seems to go in hiding when a Trump scandal breaks. He worked diligently to push through Trump’s controversial agenda like he did in getting Judge Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to the Supreme Court just weeks before the 2020 presidential election.

Before you think that the idea of Trump having secrets on Republicans is far-fetched, I will give you two reasons for this.

For Senators Graham and Cruz’s, it is as if Trump can do no wrong. Why did these men become lapdogs for Trump, especially Cruz since Trump smeared his father and his wife? Trump alleged that Ted Cruz’s father was with John F. Kennedy’s alleged assassin (Lee Harvey Oswald) shortly before he murdered the president, parroting a National Enquirer story claiming that Rafael Cruz was pictured with Oswald handing out pro-Fidel Castro pamphlets in New Orleans in 1963. Where did Trump get this idea from? Note my previous reference to the David Pecker. Trump also threatened to expose Cruz’s wife during the 2016 presidential campaign as shown below in this tweet.

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When the Ukraine quid pro quo scandal got Trump impeached in the House, the Republicans on the House Committees that held hearings demonstrated a vociferous defense of Trump. Rep. Doug Collins, Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows (now White House Chief of Staff), John Ratcliffe (now Director of National Intelligence), and Devin Nunes (former Chair of the House Intelligence Committee) being the attack dogs for Trump. And when the Senate took up the impeachment trial, the behavior of the Republican senators was a total defense of Trump. The truth or civility were casualties in these strongly partisan procedures.

So, what is it about Congressional Republicans defending Trump even when national security is being compromised or the behavior violates the constitution or even the law?  A reasonable conclusion is that Trump perhaps holds secrets of a salacious nature or scandals that could ruin the political career or private life of these Republicans. Did Trump’s knowledge about these things prompted his famous campaign slogan, “Drain the swamp?”

Before you think that the idea of Trump having secrets on Republicans is far-fetched, I will give you two reasons for this. First, in 2016 Trump said, “I can destroy the career of Republicans who rail against me.” Second, remember David Pecker, the former head of American media Inc., – the parent company for National Enquirer? These two things provide insight that may help to understand why the Republicans are so loyal to Trump and defend or ignore his malfeasances.

If Trump has secrets on Republican members of congress, then the only way he could get such information is from David Pecker. Knowing Trump’s demand for blind loyalty and his vindictiveness, it is not hard to understand that he could use this information to get people to do his bidding or to neutralize them.

David Pecker a New Yorker like Trump has been a long-time acquaintance of the president and his former “Fixer” Michael Cohen. In his book, Disloyal, Cohen described Pecker as follows, “David Pecker wasn’t just a friend and supporter of Trump, he was a sycophant and supplicant and propogandist.” He is known to have a safe that was said to be a great source of power for him. Pecker was alleged to do a Catch and Kill story and Stormy Daniels relationship with Trump. The story never became a problem for Trump then as it was safely sequestered in Pecker’s safe until the 2020 presidential campaign.

Insights into Pecker providing Trump with help in his presidential bid is provided in the book The Fixers, by Joe Palazzolo and Michael Rothfeld. Here are some excerpts from the book:

PECKER AND COHEN HAD COLLABORATED ON AN AD HOC BASIS IN 2011, THE LAST TIME TRUMP MADE A SHOW OF CONTEMPLATING A PRESIDENTIAL RUN. WITH COHEN’S ENCOURAGEMENT, THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER HAD BREATHLESSLY PROMOTED TRUMP’S EXPLORATORY BID, WHILE THE GLOBE HAD PROPELLED THE BIRTHER CONSPIRACY THEORY THAT TRUMP USED TO ATTACK PRESIDENT BARRACK OBAMA AND RAISE HIS OWN POLITICAL PROFILE.

WHAT CAN PECKER DO TO HELP THE CAMPAIGN? TRUMP WANTED TO KNOW AS THEY [TRUMP, PECKER, AND COHEN] SAT IN HIS OFFICE. PECKER HAD SOME IDEAS. HE COULD USE THE ENQUIRER TO SLIME TRUMP’S POLITICAL OPPONENTS, BOTH REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT, HE SAID.

PECKER ALREADY HAD A TEMPLATE TO FOLLOW. IN 2003, THE ENQUIRER HAD VACUUMED UP DAMAGING INFORMATION ABOUT THE SEXUAL PROCLIVITIES OF ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER.

PECKER’S OFFER TO TRUMP WASN’T BASED ON IDLE SPECULATION. ON THE EVE OF HIS 2011 PRESIDENTIAL FLIRTATION, AND ADULT MOVIE STAR NAMED STORMY DANIELS AND HER MANAGER HAD SHOPPED HER STORY OF A ONE-NIGHT STAND WITH TRUMP TO CELEBRITY PUBLICATIONS.

AT THEIR MEETING, TRUMP WELCOMED PECKER’S WILLINGNESS TO ASSIST. WORK WITH MICHAEL, HE SAID. WHEN AN ISSUE CAME UP PECKER WOULD CALL COHEN, WHO WOULD DUTIFULLY INFORM TRUMP.

You don’t have to be a Sherlock Holmes to conclude that if there is damaging information about politicians in Congress, David Pecker is most likely to have that information. In an article titled, ‘What other dirt is in David Peckers safe?” Charles Pierce the author asked, “What if there was stuff about, say, his primary opponents that could have been damaging if slipped sub rosa into the national dialogue?” Stuff for example about Mitch McConnell, Graham, Cruz, and others that Pecker passed onto Trump. This article plus the above excerpts should convince anyone that Pecker has damaging information about not only Republicans but also Democrats in Congress.  

And those like Graham, McConnell, and Cruz who stayed were willing to play Trump’s loyalty game.  

Further speculative evidence that Trump does indeed have damaging information on members of Congress are established from the following two odd behavior of Congressional some Republicans.

The unprecedented number of resignations − Since Trump took office, a number of Republicans have resigned. Speaker Paul Ryan, Trey Gowdy, Jason Chaffetz, Bob Corker, and Jeff Flake all resigned. Most of these men were relatively young and so it is odd when young politicians with key positions walk away from politics like that. Could it be that Trump had secrets on them too and they did not want to risk damaging their reputation by being loyal to Trump and help cover up his malfeasances.

Both Gowdy and Chaffetz retired from Congress as Chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee. The job of this committee is to provide oversight into government functions. Their Committee would be involved with a lot of investigations into Trump malfeasances (i.e., if they were being objective and honest in doing their congressional duties). They probably knew it would be challenging and risky to defend Trump and his administration from all the charges levied against them.

It is reasonable to ask why some Republicans that Trump have a secret on (an assumption) would walk away from Congress and others stay. Those who left Congress prematurely presumably did so because they thought that defending or supporting Trump’s malfeasances was jeopardize their reputation and political career. And those like Graham, McConnell, and Cruz who stayed were willing to play Trump’s loyalty game.  

The Republicans still defending a belligerent lame duck president – It is 12 days since Joe Biden has been declared the president elect. Yet Trump has not conceded, but instead promoting the propaganda that the election was a fraud and filing lawsuits to overturn the results in some states. He has even invited Republican representatives from Michigan to the White House to get them to support his baseless claims about the election in that state.

Trump’s failure to concede is yet another example of his lack of respect for the constitution, America’s democracy, and the rule of law. What is even more astounding and disturbing is that Republicans in Congress are doing of are all of the following: remained silent, defended Trump’s bizarre claims about election fraud, not condemn Trump for his reckless behavior, and take direct action to prevent some votes from being counted (like Sen. Lindsey Graham is alleged to try in Georgia).

The Republican’s apparent complicity and silence with Trump post election behavior is bizarre and seems odd, especially since Trump is on his way out. Is this proof that Trump really has damaging information about some of these Republicans especially, those in leadership positions? If this is the case then it explains their bizarre complicity that has enabled him during his entire presidency. And even after Trump has vacated the White House, he could still control them – this would not be good for America. Maybe it’s time to subpoena Pecker to appear before Congress and reveal what salacious scandals are archived in his safe.