Today is an historic day.
In case you’re just joining us: today it was announced that a Grand Jury in the state of New York has voted to indict former reality TV star Donald Trump. This is the first of what promises to be a slew of criminal indictments for Trump: he’s currently under investigation for his treasonous actions on January Sixth, for tax fraud, for election tampering, and I can’t even remember what else.
No other ex-president in the history of our country has been indicted. Richard M. Nixon, criminal that he was, was never indicted. Andrew Johnson, who let the traitors responsible for a Civil War that slaughtered 620,000 Americans right back into Congress, wasn’t indicted. John Tyler who sided with the traitors was not indicted. Warren G. Harding was not indicted. Herbert Hoover was not indicted. That famous sleaze, Bill Clinton, has yet to be indicted. Only Trump has been indicted.
The indictment itself is still under seal at this time, so nobody knows exactly which charges are being pressed. But the charges stem from Trump’s alleged attempts to hide a sexual encounter with adult film star and director Stephanie Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels. Daniels has alleged that Trump, who called her “Honeybunch,” invited her to dinner in his hotel room in 2006. There, she says, she was asked to spank Trump with a copy of Forbes magazine, among other things. That in itself isn’t illegal. The illegality stems from Trump’s paying $130,000 in hush money so that the affair wouldn’t become news immediately after the infamous Access Hollywood tape, where Trump was secretly recorded boasting about sexually assaulting women by “grabbing them by the p*ssy,” was released to the public. The exact charges will presumably be made known eventually. Trump denies that all of this happened, of course, but his former lawyer Michael Cohen already spent some time in prison for campaign finance violations stemming from the encounter.
Personally, I’m in awe.
I became infamous, in certain internet circles, for being a fairly orthodox Catholic who denounced Trump back in 2016. I dug in my heels and insisted he wasn’t a champion of traditional values after his nomination. My family’s paid a price for that. Local Catholics here in Steubenville think there’s nothing less Catholic than being against a Republican presidential candidate. I was painted as a heretic. I’ve been harassed by Catholic internet trolls with pictures of Jesus and Mary in their profile photos ever since. They viewed Trump as their savior, someone who would return Christian family values to the White House. I pointed out that this was ludicrous, but they were certain. Trump, they insisted, was the champion of the pro-life movement, of the “traditional family,” of the Rule of Law. It was either Trump or that old sinner Hillary Clinton, a grandmother and a practicing Methodist who has been faithfully married to the same man, in spite of his philandering, since 1975. I despised them both, but that wasn’t enough. I was supposed to revere Trump. The rest is history.
After the absolute filth that’s been slung at me for the past seven years by the primmest and most prudish Traditional Catholics, there’s something so fitting about today’s indictment. It’s not for treason or insurrection, not for espionage, not even for tax evasion. The first indictment of Donald J. Trump is for a hush money payment to a porn star who spanked him.
This is what today’s Republican party is at its very heart: loathsome, boorish, narcissistic criminals manipulating conservative Christians by claiming to champion their interests.
I’m sure there will be serious political commentary in the coming months. But for now, I’m just going to raise a glass and have a good laugh.
Mary Pezzulo is the author of Meditations on the Way of the Cross, The Sorrows and Joys of Mary, and Stumbling into Grace: How We Meet God in Tiny Works of Mercy.