Donald Trump is a master of projection, and his "Crooked Hillary" moniker is the perfect description of his own checkered career. With a fraud trial looming over Trump University, two more fronts have opened with respect to his closest associates, Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie.
On Friday morning, former high-level Chris Christie staffers Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni were convicted on all counts related to the Bridgegate scandal, and could face up to twenty years in prison. Witnesses in the trial directly implicated Christie in the scheme to punish a Democratic mayor by closing lanes to the George Washington Bridge.
Meanwhile, new reporting suggests that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani may have colluded with a Trump supporter to engineer the discredited "October Surprise" about Hillary Clinton's emails. On MSNBC Thursday night, investigative reporter Wayne Barrett pointed out that Giuliani could well be the source quoted in breathless reports on imminent FBI actions.
MSNBC's Joy Reid noted some bad blood that helps explain Giuliani's fervor:
Flashback 2: When Hillary Clinton (and even Peter King) shredded Rudy Giuliani for defaming a man shot dead by a cop https://t.co/MLSeVDT7gY
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) November 4, 2016
Giuliani and Christie have eagerly joined Trump's band of sleaze merchants, including Roger Stone and David Bossie, who operate by a principle best articulated by his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway:
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign manager on Friday suggested it doesn’t matter whether a Fox News report about an indictment of the Clinton Foundation is true. “The damage is done to Hillary Clinton,” Kellyanne Conway said on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour.”
Team Trump's desperate attempts to paint Hillary Clinton and her allies as unprincipled is the ultimate in projection and deflection. Despite mountains of innuendo and insinuation, there is simply no proof of wrongdoing on Clinton's part. Trump, on the other hand, has a shady history of cheating people out of money and running scam operations.
In June, a USA Today analysis found that Donald Trump and his businesses “have been involved in at least 3,500 legal actions in federal and state courts during the past three decades” — a number which is “unprecedented for a presidential nominee,” even one with a long business career. He currently faces multiple pending civil suits, at least one of which — a case in California regarding a class-action lawsuit alleging fraud against Trump University — is scheduled to go to trial only three weeks after the election. A request to delay the trial was denied.
There is a stench of corruption around Trump and his associates that grows by the day. Let's keep that stench away from the Oval Office.
(Peter Daou contributed to this article)