Remember Serpico? The 1973 hit movie by director Sidney Lumet, starring Al Pacino. You don’t? It was before your time?
Hey, it was only 45 years ago. Still can’t place it? Well, the hell with you then. (Kidding, kidding.)
Serpico popped into my mind tonight (June 28) while I was watching the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC. She was reporting on new information that showed a number of high-level business people from Russia attended Donald Trump’s presidential inaugural celebration, including oligarchs connected with Paul Manafort. For five months, he played a key role in Trump’s 2016 campaign, including three months as chairman, and there is evidence he also took part in the process of transitioning to president. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged Manafort with crimes which may involve Russia’s interference in the election, and the trial begins in one month.
Investigating reporters and Mueller have uncovered an abundance of evidence pointing to the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia in his election. Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin repeatedly, even though Russia is an adversary of the United States and Putin is an autocrat whose strongman rule makes a sham of the elections that have granted him power. He is an imperialist who invaded Ukraine and annexed its territory of Crimea, and supported the butcher of Syria, President Bashar al-Assad. Putin’s regime has poisoned political opponents.
Republicans in Congress know all of this, yet are doing their best to subvert the collusion investigation. It is patently obvious that they care more about retaining power than they do about doing what’s right for the country. Let’s not mince words: They are traitors, as is Trump.
In Serpico, based on a true story, the eponymous undercover New York City detective is thwarted in his attempts to bring corrupt individuals to justice by fellow police officers who are taking bribes. Serpico’s superiors disregard his accusations, so he goes public with his information and an investigation is begun. This places Serpico in danger, and he is shot during an arrest attempt when his partners fail to assist him.
Trump has been looking for ways to stop the investigation of himself, firing the FBI director and disparaging the entire FBI organization, trying to paint members as politically biased, even though the people in charge are Republicans. Speculation has been rampant about whether he will fire Mueller. And he has been aided and abetted by the Republican Congress, which today attempted to undermine Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in what Mara Gay, a member of the New York Times editorial board, opined was a strategy to justify his firing and the undermining of the investigation. What we have, she said, is a “moral crisis.”
The Democrats are outnumbered, and thus powerless to intervene. What is at stake here is nothing less than our democracy.
Forty to 45 percent of the American people approve of Trump, the traitor. What does that make them?
This country is in deep trouble. It’s getting downright scary.