You know, watching His Lowness desperately trying to keep the SS Trumptanic from sliding under the surface reminds me of a cartoon I used to watch when I was a kid. The character is standing in front of a dam, and POP! goes a stone, water shooting out. He sticks a finger in the hole, and POP! goes another stone. The next thing you know, the poor slob has all his fingers, his toes, and his nose in holes, trying to stem the oncoming flood. That’s Trump.
But there was a stone that flew out of the dam last week, and Trumpelthinskin is fresh outta digits. And this hole has the potential to bring the whole dam crashing down around his fluffy little orange head. And you most likely completely missed it in the deluge of higher profile stories of more sensational sins.
Remember these two names going down the road, Summer Zervos and Mariann Wang. Summer Zervos was a contestant on The Apprentice, and one of the downsides of that gig is that it meant that you had to spend time around Trump himself. Zervos was one of the surge of women who all came out in a rush to accuse Trump of sexually assaulting her when she was a contestant. And of course, dipshit that he is, The Orange Julius derisively branded her, like all of the other accusers, a filthy liar. Which was music to the ears of Gloria Allred, Zervos’ original attorney, who immediately filed a defamation suit against Trump. I have no doubt that this is why Don of Orange was so careful to make no such public statements about Stormy Daniels.
Trump has been on his hind legs trying to get Zervos’ suit tossed from court. As with all things Trump, he couldn’t care less about the accusations, to his mind, that just adds a splash of panache to his reputation. What Trump is terrified of is the discovery that would come in the lawsuit, including having to sit for a deposition. When the lower court judge ruled that the case could go forward, and discovery commence, Trump immediately appealed the ruling.
Well, guess what? Last week, the appellate court judge in New York wiped his ass with Trump’s appeal. The court ruled that the case could indeed go forward, and that discovery could commence. And, sadly for Der Gropinfuror, the Supreme Court has already ruled on this issue. They ruled that Bill Clinton, as President,had to sit for a deposition in the Paula Jones civil case, which eventually made his impeachment trial possible. But, believe it or not, having to sit for a deposition opposite of Mariann Wang, whom personally I would not want asking me if I stole that candy bar when I was 7, is the least of Trump’s worries.
Mariann Wang knows where The Tiny Thumbs Diktator’s true culpability lies, and it isn’t in any of the stupid, rambling, incoherent, lying shit that he says while under oath in a deposition. Wang is demanding access to the unedited video archive of the complete footage of tape from the season that Zervos was a contestant on The Apprentice. Not just the episodes, but the uncut footage that didn’t appear on the program, and the outtakes. Any footage in which Trump either speaks to, or about Zervos, Allred wants to see, and possibly introduce into evidence. And, considering the fact that she is limiting the scope of discovery only to portions that deal specifically with Summer Zervos, she will likely get what she asks for.
The critical difference here is that this is not a criminal trial, it is a civil trial. For all we know, Mueller may have already indicted Kushner or Donnie Redux, but the indictments are “under seal,” so they’re secret, and we don’t know about them. The judge is extremely unlikely to place evidence collected in a civil trial under seal, and a trial will not be held in secret, any incriminating footage she finds will likely become public record.
Look at the damage that the Access Hollywood tape did. It literally helped to fuel world record protest crowds on January 21st, 2017. And that was just one tape, which Trump could unconvincingly fob off as “locker room talk.” Knowing Trump’s affinity for imperious, sexist braggadocio, how many instances do you think that there may be of Trump, either speaking derisively, or in an overtly personally insulting or sexist nature to Zervos, or even worse, bragging about his attempted conquest of her, or her physical attributes when she wasn’t present? Does anybody here really doubt that Trump at least attempted to sexually assault Summer Zervos? And if he did, does anybody here honestly doubt that he could resist bragging about it, or at least alluding to it in what he thought was an unguarded moment, safe from prying ears? Lawrence O’Donnell said in his handoff from Rachel Maddow when she touched on this, that when he was in LA, it was common knowledge in town of what a treasure trove of embarrassing conduct those archives contained about Trump.
This has the potential of going far beyond the size and scope of any monetary damage payments Trump may have to make. Pretty much the entire GOP congressional delegation was able to excuse Trump’s churlish behavior on the Access Hollywood tape by buying into Trump’s lame ass excuse, it was “locker room talk.” Definitely bad behavior, but no real damage done. But what happens when multiple audio and video tapes start surfacing, with the same disgusting, vile rhetoric and bragging. At what point does the needle move from “locker room talk” to a graphic admission that your President is an admitted sexual predator? Knowing that discovery is almost certainly going to proceed, do you think that maybe Republican incumbents, even in state offices, are already starting to dread turning on their televisions in late September of October, unsure of what video or sound bite might scream out over the airwaves at them?
The current wisdom has always been that the GOP would continue to support Trump up until the point that it became politically perilous for them to do so. But, what if it wasn’t Robert Mueller, and the Trump-Russia investigation that finally made Trump politically toxic to the GOP? What if it turns out to be Summer Zervos, and Mariann Wang who can accomplish what Robert Mueller cannot, to make Trump so radioactive that supporting him becomes an act of political suicide? Watch for this story, it is going to explode, and hopefully sooner than later.
*Correction* It was brought to my attention by multiple comments in a cross post of this article on the Daily Kos that, unbeknownst to me, Gloria Allred had withdrawn as Summer Zervos’ lead counsel. A little research showed that Mariann Wang is now her primary counsel, and I have updated the article with the corrected information.