Now that Donald Trump is a private citizen, numerous insiders are predicting he’ll likely wind up in jail. The list includes his niece Mary Trump, a clinical psychologist and best-selling author; Michael Cohen, currently a podcast host and Trump’s personal attorney for 10 years; and Anthony Scaramucci, founder of Sky Bridge Capital and Trump’s Communication Director, albeit for 11 days or, as he puts it, 15,840 minutes.
However, all suggest Trump might escape conviction for his most serious crimes. Trump’s predicament has been compared to mob boss, Al (Scarface) Capone, who was never successfully prosecuted for murder, or his vast Chicago crime syndicate but was “pinched” for tax evasion. (As it happens, Monday marked the 74th anniversary of his death from syphilis.)
Capone’s sentence was a slap on the wrist compared to the death penalty most Americans felt he deserved for his horrendous and corrupt record. (Which, coincidentally is how I’ve described Trump’s failed presidency.)
Actually Trump and Capone have a lot in common. In their youth, each physically attacked a teacher, and in their old age each loved living in Florida. In their prime, both amassed great fortunes. Capone’s was estimated at $100 million, or $1.5 billion in today’s value. However, due to his dementia it disappeared when Capone literally couldn’t remember where he hid it. (And I get mad at myself when I can’t find my keys.)
Capone’s missing fortune hearkens us back to Geraldo Rivera’s April 21, 1986 boring syndicated TV extravaganza dynamiting open Capone’s barren vault, unless you count empty beer bottles. (That also marks the date when Geraldo went from a one-time award-winning investigative journalist to a full-time TV clown.)
As for Trump’s fortune, many experts predict with years of civil and criminal court proceedings facing him and the accompanying legal bills, his wealth may also disappear. And at least two people are convinced Trump, like Scarface did, has syphilis.
One is my neighbor, Robin, who has been insisting that for years. The other is Dr. Steven Beutler, in Redlands, who has been practicing medicine for over three decades, specializing in infectious diseases and who voiced his controversial opinion in “The New Republic” in February 2017.
Dr. Beutler made the case that Trump suffers from “neurosyphilis,” which he says exhibits its first symptoms “in the form of psychiatric issues and personality changes.” (Whereas I say Trump has always been an a**hole.)
Beutler cited Trump’s own statements (including on the Howard Stern radio show) that he was sexually promiscuous in the 1980s, a period when syphilis cases were skyrocketing. Dr. Beutler noted symptoms include irritability, loss of ability to concentrate, delusional thinking, and grandiosity. (In defense of Trump, I think he’s just a mentally ill sociopath with a narcissistic disorder.)
Speaking of narcissistic sociopaths, that brings us to Russia’s apparently forever President, Vladimir Putin, aka “Trump’s puppet master.” I’ll never forget in December 2015, Trump calling into MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” TV show as giddy as a high school cheerleader after a date with the star quarterback. Elatedly, Trump bragged Putin had referred to him as “brilliant.” (In reality, Putin had described Trump as a “shiny object that grabs attention.”)
Joe Scarborough interjected, “Donald, you do know that Putin kills political opponents and journalists.” Poor Donnie was so dejected it was as if his father discovered his box of switch blade knives hidden under his bed which precipitated his being immediately shipped to military school. Fake patriot Trump snapped back at Joe, “Yeah, well we kill plenty of people, too.”
Who knows what blackmail Putin has had on Trump all these years, or how much Trump can pocket selling our state secrets to Vlad. On the very unlikely chance Trump were convicted in the Senate trial (“Impeachment: The Sequel”) he would lose his Secret Service, his pension, and the ability to ever run for federal office again. But sequels are rarely as good as the original, in this case, a witness-less sham.
Barring a conviction, it appears Trump will still receive intelligence briefings, which he never bothered to read in the first place but now could monetize. (Unless his possible syphilis acts up and he forgets where he put them.)
Trying to end on a positive note, of the three character-challenged men, who’s the least evil? Putin poisons people at will and has personally robbed Russia of $200 billion. Trump put kids in cages, 600 of whom will probably never see their parents again; incited a deadly white supremacist insurrection attack on the Capitol that hadn’t been invaded since 1812; and, given his inexcusable mishandling of the pandemic is likely responsible for at least 350,000 of the 420,000 U.S. Covid deaths.
So, I gotta vote for Scarface. As a person who misplaces his keys, I evidently empathize with a guy who misplaced millions of dollars.
FYI, movies about Capone include: “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,” 1957, Jason Robards; “Al Capone,” 1959, Rod Steiger; “Capone,” 1975, Ben Gazzara; “The Untouchables,” 1987, Robert De Niro; “Mobsters,” 1991, Titus Welliver; and “Capone,” 2020, Tom Hardy.
FYI #2, Jack is at firstname.lastname@example.org.