Jerry Kremer

History will not save Donald Trump


I rarely make snap judgments, because I don’t think it’s fair to the party who is the subject of my attention. I have known Donald Trump personally, and on three occasions I was his counsel. Professional standards do not allow me to talk about the subject of our relationship, so I will refrain from saying anything about business. But watching Trump’s actions over the past few years has driven me to say that no president has ever soiled the dignity of the White House as has he.
I have no doubt that the former president will seek another term in the White House. His hunger for power has no limits, and he learned over the course of four years that a president can get away with just about anything. Almost every day of the week there is a story detailing how, in one way or another, he bent the rules to serve his agenda. A recent House committee report described how the Trump organization overcharged the country to house Secret Service personnel. That was just a $1.4 million drop in the bucket.
Any discussion of the Trump experience has to start with the Charlottesville, Virginia, demonstrations in August 2017. Hundreds of anti-Black and anti-Jewish ralliers paraded Ku Klux Klan-style on their way to a Unite the Right event. The following day, when a car drove into a crowd of counterprotesters, a woman was killed. Afterward, Trump stated that “there were very fine people on both sides.” That was his wink-wink to the neo-Nazi, neo-fascist, white supremacist nation.
Fast-forward to the weeks and months after the November 2020 election. Unable to accept his loss, Trump worked closely with lawyers and sycophants in an effort to prevent the results from being certified. No president in the history of this country has ever tried to stop an election from being certified with false delegate slates. At least members of the Trump legal team are facing the possibility of criminal charges recommended by a Fulton County, Georgia, grand jury.
Let’s move on to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. Numerous former Trump administration officials have testified under oath that Trump made no effort to stop the marauding crowd from smashing its way into the Capitol and desecrating its halls. Four people died during that riot, and five law enforcement officers died in its aftermath. Despite pleas by Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, among others, the president refused to call the National Guard to end the melee.

How about the sitting grand jury in Georgia? There are few people who haven’t heard the recording of Trump’s call to Georgia’s secretary of state, asking him to find “11,700 more votes,” which would have overturned President Biden’s win in Georgia. It is a fact that such calls are specific violations of the state’s election laws, which prohibit any attempts to undermine election results. No one knows what the grand jury will recommend, but there is little doubt that laws were broken.
The media have reported countless stories about the classified documents that found their way to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. These papers are the property of the people, and not one man. Florida attorneys representing the former president are facing professional misconduct charges because they chose to repeat the lies Trump has told. There is a chance that the case pending in U.S. District Court could result in Trump’s indictment, but no one knows if that will happen.
I have followed the actions of presidents dating back to Dwight Eisenhower. Not one of the men who succeeded him has ever had so many potential criminal charges hanging over his head. Richard Nixon was in deep trouble, but he had the wisdom to leave the political stage to avoid going to jail.
The fate of Donald Trump is yet to be decided. He may walk free as a bird, or he may face a historic date in a criminal court, but one thing is certain. There is no way to whitewash our history books, and in the end, they won’t overlook one man’s ugly history.

Jerry Kremer was a state assemblyman for 23 years, and chaired the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. He now heads Empire Government Strategies, a business development and legislative strategy firm. Comments about this column?