At any other time it would have made headlines — the former Donald Trump advisor Peter Navarro being found guilty of contempt before Congress. This time, not so much. Instead of headlines about a White House official breaking law, the reaction to Navarro’s guilty verdict was “Ho hum.” Navarro, a former Trump ally, has been charged with committing a crime.
Navarro’s not the first former Trump aide who has run into trouble with the laws. He is just the latest of dozens who have lost their career, reputation or freedom for making the fatal error of cozying up with Donald Trump.
The first was Trump’s 2016 campaign director Paul Manafort. He served 23 months of his 120-month sentence for tax fraud, bank fraud, and illegal lobbying. Rick Gates, Manafort’s deputy, was also convicted and spent 45 days behind bars. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, was sentenced to three years of prison in 2018 for a “smorgasbord” of crimes. One judge described it as a “veritable crime buffet,” which included arranging hush money payments by Donald Trump to the two women with whom Trump allegedly had affairs. Steve Bannon, the chief political advisor to President Trump, was also convicted for contempt of Congress. He received a four-month prison sentence. He is still free, while an appeal is pending. Allen Weisselberg was not so lucky. He spent four months on Rikers Island after being convicted of his role in the decades-long tax fraud committed by the Trump Business operation. Rudy Giuliani has probably fallen the most in public esteem from his association to Donald Trump. A recent CNN poll shows that Giuliani has seen his popularity plummet from 76 per cent in the days following Sept. 11 when he was hailed as “America’s mayor” to just 16 per cent today. In Donald Trump’s indictment of January 6, he is named as an unindicted conspirator. In Georgia, he was charged for his involvement in the same conspiracy. He was found guilty of defaming Georgia election workers. He’s been banned from practicing law in New York and Washington, D.C. for his role in claiming that there was fraud in the 2020 election. Thank you, Donald. The list is endless. Add former White House chief-of-staff Mark Meadows indicted for Georgia election fraud, along with former Trump lawyers John Eastman and Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis and Kenneth Chesebro, Robert Cheeley, and former Trump campaign official Mike Roman, and Justice Department employee Jeffrey Clark. Walt Nauta, Carlos De Oliveira and other Trump aides were also indicted in the Mar-a-Lago case of presidential documents. The Trump crime wave started much earlier than when he was in the White House. Along with Paul Manafort and Rick Gates as well as Michael Cohen, Steve Bannon and Steve Bannon who were already charged, there are also Elliott Broidy for illegal lobbying, Michael Flynn for lying about his contacts with Russia to the FBI, George Nader for sex crime with minors, George Papadopoulos for lying with the FBI, and Roger Stone for lying with Congress. Flynn Stone and Papadopoulos received pardons from Trump.
As many people have discovered the hard way, being close to Donald Trump can lead to you getting burned. Not just the individual, but also the entire nation. America has embraced Trump since 2016. It is now trying to save its soul. This is a warning for 2024.
Bill Press is the host of the “The Bill Press Pod” and the author “From the Left : A Life in the Crossfire”.
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