President Donald Trump has been called a lot of unflattering things by his critics. This time around, one such critic went as far as comparing him to American Revolutionary War general Benedict Arnold and suggesting that Arnold, whose name has become synonymous through the years with treason, "[looks] like a patriot" compared to the president.
In an op-ed published Saturday on Spectator USA, Jacob Heilbrunn started by referencing a tweet Trump posted earlier in the day, where he proudly proclaimed that there has been no evidence of collusion confirmed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's alleged role in influencing the results of the 2016 presidential elections. Heilbrunn suggested that the tweet actually made Trump appear "unintentionally self-deprecatory" and, for once, "far too modest" about his alleged ability to collude.
"He and his fellow colluders were colluding so much that they have already helped rack up no less than 192 criminal charges," wrote Heilbrunn.
"So perhaps Individual-1 should take a step back for a moment from frenetic tweeting to admire his greatest handiwork before it collapses entirely."As noted by Fortune, "Individual-1" was the name used to identify Trump in a sentencing memo against his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, as well as in a number other federal filings related to the Mueller investigation.
Heilbrunn then recapped a few recent revelations from the special counsel probe, starting with the hush money Donald Trump allegedly ordered Cohen to pay in order for a number of women, including adult film star Stormy Daniels, to keep quiet about their purported affairs with the president. In relation to this, Heilbrunn mentioned American Media Inc. chairman David Pecker, whose role in the silencing of Daniels and other women might become clearer as the probe continues.
Citing an in-depth report from the Wall Street Journal, NBC News wrote last month that Pecker, whose company publishes the National Enquirer, allegedly aided Trump's presidential campaign by using his gossip tabloid to pay off women who could potentially open up about previous sexual relations with the president.Aside from the hush money schemes, Heilbrunn referenced the talks Cohen reportedly had with Russian President Vladimir Putin's press spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, regarding a possible Trump Tower in Moscow, as well as the purported meeting between Trump and Putin he tried to arrange during the 2016 campaign period. Likewise, the "multiple discernible lies" former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort supposedly told prosecutors regarding his connections to Russian intelligence officials were also brought up in the Spectator USA op-ed.
"That 'discernible' should be a red flag for Trump, as it indicates that Mueller was able to discern with ease when Manafort was offering up bogus information."Summing up all that he had mentioned regarding the Mueller investigation's findings, Heilbrunn concluded his piece for Spectator USA by suggesting Donald Trump and his allies were working closely with Russia "even as they were hacking the Democrat National Committee," and that the president was "only too happy" to be in cahoots with the Kremlin around that time.
"By the time [the special counsel investigation] is over, Trump may make Benedict Arnold look like a patriot," Heilbrunn predicted.
Jacob Heilbrunn was not the only person in recent days to suggest that Trump could be more treasonous than Arnold ever was. In an interview with Salon published Thursday, author and criminal defense attorney Seth Abramson explained that his new book, Proof of Collusion: How Donald Trump Betrayed America, details how the president might soon become the "new paradigm for treachery and traitorous conduct" against the U.S. He also suggested Trump's "scale of treachery" in general "goes well beyond the scope" of Arnold's actions during the Revolutionary War.