This morning, at 10:42 a.m., Donald John Trump spelled out his "clearest" thinking to date on why U.S. presidents should rule by divine right; their actions not to be questioned, and Screenshot 2024-04-20 at 1.39.11 PMspecifically, their criminal actions never to be prosecuted.   

If a President does not have Immunity, the Opposing Party, during his/her term in Office, can extort and blackmail the President by saying that, “if you don’t give us everything we want, we will Indict you for things you did while in Office,” even if everything done was totally Legal and Appropriate. That would be the end of the Presidency, and our Country, as we know it, and is just one of the many Traps there would be for a President without Presidential Immunity. Obama, Bush, and soon, Crooked Joe Biden, would all be in BIG TROUBLE. If a President doesn’t have IMMUNITY, he/she will be nothing more than a “Ceremonial” President, rarely having the courage to do what has to be done for our Country. This is not what the Founders had in mind!

Trump leaves unexplained why a federal grand jury would indict anyone, let alone a former president of the United States, for "things done" that were "totally legal." That aside, his mind rests more expressively in the fields with which he's most familiar: criminal activities, in this case extortion and blackmail. These he explains clearly, probably because as president he attempted to extort Ukraine's chief executive.

I'll make the huge assumption that neither is blackmail beneath the dignity of an extortionist. But need I merely assume this? Trump threatens the ruination of politicians' careers if they fail to fork over endorsements, so we can check that box, too.  

As for "the Opposing Party," unless Congress becomes as corrupt as the most diabolically scheming royal courts of the Middle Ages, it's inconceivable that leaders of the opposition would march into the Oval Office and say "if you don’t give us everything we want, we will Indict you for things you did while in Office." (They also wouldn't verbally capitalize "indict.") But this is the sort of cartoonish, Dick Tracy and Batman world that Trump lives in — somehow he's always the hero, and anyone who doubts it is the villain. 

But Trump is at his projecting best when he imagines that lawmakers in both parties are every bit as reprehensible as he is. We may find it cartoonish that a gangster squad of senators and representatives would extort a president on penalty of indictment if he or she refuses to "give them everything they want" — even his language is on a comic-book level — but to Trump this seems perfectly plausible. For it's precisely how he would "legislate" as a member of Congress.

And that last line, "This is not what the Founders had in mind!" Oh my. I'll force brevity on myself, since a plenary inquiry into Trump & the Founders (that: hard to write) would require volumes.

First, any president worthy of the title would always do "what has to be done" for the nation, notwithstanding (inconceivable) threats from some Simpsonite bunch of Messrs. Burns-cum-senators. And second, you, Mr. Trump, are exactly what "the Founders had in mind" when they constructed a system of checks and balances and specified that your ilk, via impeachment and conviction, should be thrown out of office and on your ass.