Bill Barr? He gone.
Barr began the Year of Our Lord 2016 as a well respected member of the conservative legal establishment. He concludes 2020 with his reputation destroyed, destined to be remembered as the most dishonorable attorney general in a century. The fact that he tried to salvage his legacy in the closing weeks of his tenure looks less like a man standing up and more like Meat Loaf.
He would do anything for Trump. But he won’t do . . . that.
A wise man once prophesied that everything Trump touches dies. And while this turns out not to be as reliable as a law of thermodynamics, it works just fine as a general rule of thumb.
Every presidential administration chews up and spits out one or two people. There are always guys who enter an administration looking like normal, upstanding citizens and exit having been revealed as hucksters, frauds, or criminals. G. Gordon Liddy. Pat Buchanan. Cap Weinberger. John Poindexter. Sometimes the people who get rendered by a president are good guys who catch a bad break, like Mike Espy.
But the sheer number of people who had their lives and/or careers destroyed over four years of swimming in Donald Trump’s slipstream is kind of staggering.
So let’s take a walking tour through the human wreckage of the Trump years.
Because, with just a few important exceptions—most notably the Republican Senate majority—pretty much everyone Trump touched, died.
They Lost Everything
(1) Paul Manafort was an anonymous conservative consultant who had parlayed his years as a political operative into untold riches. Until he took a call from Donald Trump and agreed to become his campaign manager. That was June 20, 2016. Manafort was fired on August 17, 2016.
Because of the 58 days he spent working for Trump, Manafort wound up losing everything. He lost his license to practice law. He was arrested, tried, and sentenced to 47 months in jail. In separate charges, he pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and witness tampering, and for this was fined $22 million and had an additional 30 months tacked on to his sentence. Probably not worth it. (Unless the alternative was getting whacked by some Russian mobsters, I guess).
(2) Michael Cohen was Donald Trump’s personal fixer, a guy who skated on the line of the law. Had Trump not become president, Cohen would have lived his comfortable life indefinitely. Instead, he was arrested, charged, convicted, and disbarred. He’s currently serving a three year stretch in prison. read more…