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    Sunday, September 25, 2022

    Will a treasonous Trump wake up the Connecticut GOP?

    You have to wonder whether Connecticut Republicans will finally strap on some parachutes and jump from the Donald Trump plane, before it crashes here in November.

    After all, one engine is already out, and the cockpit dashboard is aglow with warning lights.

    I couldn’t help but wonder whether Connecticut Republican candidates were paying attention when former Trump Attorney General Bill Barr recently mused on Fox News that federal prosecutors appear to be close to having enough evidence to indict Trump for stealing secret documents and hiding them at his Florida country club.

    Barr has been remarkably candid with his assessment that Trump inexplicably and improperly took the classified documents to Florida and then “jerked around” the federal authorities who were trying to get them back.

    I put Barr in a small but growing group of former official Trumpers, from his Washington swamp, who now wants to distance and inoculate themselves from the unfolding disaster.

    After all, Barr was the Trump toadie most responsible for the heavy spin on the report of the investigation of ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia, a probe that may not have found direct evidence of collusion but didn’t refute it either.

    Never mind the inconclusive Russia investigation, I remain convinced of a troubling tie between Trump and Vladimir Putin.

    Remember Trump’s fawning at the press conference with Putin, in which he sided with the Russian leader over the American intelligence services? Remember when Trump called Putin a genius as the autocrat started an unprovoked war against Ukraine?

    Remember how Trump relentlessly disparaged our NATO allies, the ones we depend on right now to fend off Putin’s aggression?

    Why did Trump take some of the nation’s mostly highly classified secrets? Why wouldn’t he give them back when asked? Why did he defy a subpoena for them?

    Why did the Department of Justice find empty classified folders in Trump’s club? Where have those documents gone?

    The empty folders and missing documents, the department now says, has brought new urgency to an ongoing assessment of how damaging Trump’s taking of so much classified material has been to our national security.

    I don’t think it takes a genius to see where all this may be leading.

    We are way beyond any notion of the secret documents, central to our national security, being in Trump’s possession because of carelessness. If the intention was to convey them to Putin, Trump’s favorite “genius” statesman, or another enemy, we are well on our way to identifying and charging our first treasonous president.

    Let’s not forget, too, the ongoing criminal investigations into the Jan. 6 insurrection led by Trump or the bilking of misled donors giving millions of dollars to Trump’s political action fund.

    Even Bill Barr has figured out how bad this is likely to get, and he’s running like hell.

    What will it take for Connecticut Republicans likewise to see the danger in staying with Trump?

    They seem to be unable to look beyond the slim number of Trumpers who gave the GOP nomination for a U.S. Senate seat to a Trump-endorsed candidate.

    Some brave souls in the Connecticut Republican party need to stand up and speak the truth about the threat Donald Trump poses to our national security and to democracy.

    It’s not enough for Connecticut Republicans to murmur quietly that they accept the fact that Trump lost in 2020.

    And don’t listen to those Republicans when they tell you that Trump doesn’t matter in Connecticut. He’s already made the Republican candidate to represent Connecticut in the U.S. Senate beholden to him.

    If GOP candidates here wait until the words Trump and treason start easily rolling together off Connecticut tongues, they’ve waited far too long.

    They should stop sacrificing their party to the small-number of lame Trumpists who are vastly outnumbered in the state by reasonable Democrats, Independents and frustrated, clear-thinking Republicans.

    Democrats could end up dancing for a long time in Connecticut on the wreckage of the Trump plane that the GOP seems destined to go down on in a spectacular November crash.

    D.collins@theday.com

    This is the opinion of David Collins

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