The ongoing Conway civil war is one of the stranger, more interesting quirks of the Trump era. While Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway continues to support the cruel imbecile she helped elect to the White House, her husband George Conway has gone scorched earth on Donald Trump. He has quickly become one of the most outspoken, blunt critics of our failing president.
Now, George Conway has taken his feud with the White House to a new level by co-writing a brutal editorial in The Washington Post in which he systematically dismantles Trump’s absurd claim that it wasn’t a felony for him to direct his then-attorney-now-enemy Michael Cohen to deliver hush money payments to cover up his extramarital affairs in advance of the 2016 election. The piece is appropriately titled “Trump’s claim that he didn’t violate campaign finance law is weak — and dangerous.”
In his editorial, Conway, himself an attorney, rebuffs Trump’s paltry defenses. He and his cowriters start with an important fact that is often lost in discussions about Trump’s criminality: the fact that he lied about these events repeatedly. That alone would be a huge problem for most presidents, but since Trump is known for his mendacity, it’s too often ignored to focus on whether or not there was a crime.
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“For quite some time, he flatly denied knowledge about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels. But now he seems to be acknowledging that he knew (since his personal company reimbursed Cohen for the payment, he ought to),” the editorial reads.
“Now Trump and his acolytes have turned to two other excuses: They point to an earlier case involving former senator John Edwards to argue that what Trump did wasn’t a crime; and they say, even if it was a crime, it wasn’t a biggie — there are lots of crimes, so what, who cares.”
From there, they get into the meat of the argument, which is that Trump’s claims and those of his allies backing him up are dangerous because they set a terrible precedent for how a president is expected to behave and propagate the nefarious idea that campaign finance violations aren’t “real” crimes when in actuality they are very serious matters.
In particular, Conway and his cowriters go after Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and the rest of the Republicans on Capitol Hill who freely acknowledge that Trump committed serious crimes but won’t lift a finger to stop him because he’s a Republican. Hatch, a longtime Trump enabler, recently said that he didn’t care if Trump broke the law because he believes he’s doing a good job as president.
“As individuals who have devoted their lives to nonpartisan enforcement of the law, we cannot think of a more dispiriting statement. Hatch is wrong about every aspect of this statement…We will rue the day a senator trotted out such callousness about federal felonies,” Conway and his team write.
“The whole idea of our criminal justice system is to enumerate those offenses that are so egregious that they demand serious jail time. Those felonies are the bread and butter of our criminal justice system. Of course, every criminal defendant seeks to minimize his crimes. But such defendants don’t have a cheering squad composed of United States senators,” the continue.
The writers aren’t done there, and go on to drive the point home by calling the “grievous minimization of serious campaign finance violations” by the Republican Party an effort that will “corrode our commitment to our age-old ideal of being a ‘government of laws, and not of men.'”
With more than just a hint of snark, Conway and his cowriters prod Hatch by saying that if he really believes that too many forms of activity have been criminalized, he has the power to amend the laws as a powerful U.S. senator but that “he shouldn’t denigrate the law in the process.”
Of course, Hatch has no real problem with the law, he just has a problem with it being applied to a president whom he supports. It’s a cowardly example of rank partisanship and hypocrisy, and Conway is right for going after him for it.
Click here to read the full editorial.