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The Day After: 2020 Trump Post-Impeachment Acquittal

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The Day After: 2020 Trump Post-Impeachment Acquittal

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Nancy Townsley imagines what the atmosphere must have been like for Trump the day following his impeachment acquittal in 2020.

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 6, 2020 — It was like a giant mafia dinner party, a private affair with only the best people receiving invitations, dressed to the nines to witness his big celebration speech.

When the capo dei capi took the mic in the East Room of the White House, he began to call out by name all the family members who’d stuck by him, who’d had his back throughout the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ordeal, which was finally over, once and for all, because he had been completely exonerated.

He had survived the impeachment trial put on by the crazy, malevolent, witch hunt-obsessed People Of The Other Party (POOP), who hated him so much, for no good reason he could think of. He was only trying to Make America Great Again (Again) — what was wrong with that? Even The Washington Post said he’d won, he gloated as he waved the front page in front of their dewy, love-struck faces. Some appeared to have actual tears in their eyes.

“Ac-quit-tal,” he said, savoring the syllables, rolling them around in his mouth until they melted away, like a perfect affogato. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful word.”

Next came the accolades, in between the first and second courses, after the antipasto but before the lasagna, meat and cheese with extra marinara.

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“Yo, Jim! Where are ya, Jimmy? Oh, I see you over there at the bar! Can’t say enough about this guy. A genuine attack dog, the real deal. You really took it to those evil, corrupt people, my enemies for all time, who made me suffer through this rotten trial hoax, worse than battle on an actual dirty, bloody battlefield.

“And you looked so good doing it, Jim! Didn’t he, folks? [applause] You really know how to wear a business shirt, Jim, yes you do. Such a strapping young man. Thank you, thank you.

“And, oh! Elise, my dear — apologies to Melania, you know I love you — you’re brilliant, Elise, so very good at what you do. You showed ’em how it’s done, didn’t you, sweetheart? Loyal, just so loyal. I’ll always be your friend.”

The Boss gestured toward an older gentleman in the middle of the room — the underboss, maybe, no way to know — who pretended to retrieve a napkin under the table in a fruitless attempt to avoid detection.

The Boss gestured toward an older gentleman in the middle of the room — the underboss, maybe, no way to know — who pretended to retrieve a napkin under the table in a fruitless attempt to avoid detection.

“Mitch! Mitch, my boy, you were fantastic. There’s really no other word for it. Ever since I came down that golden escalator — smooth, so smooth — you’ve been amazing. You had Cryin’ Chuck’s number. That guy’s had it out for me in New York for 25 years, but he failed, he failed badly. And Nasty Nancy and Shifty Schiff. You wiped the floor with those bozos. You stood strong. And I won’t forget it, Mitch, you know I won’t.”

By then the tiramisu had appeared. The Godfather fell momentarily silent. He speared a mascarpone-laden ladyfinger with a sterling silver fork. He made yummy noises. Meringue stuck to his lips as he uttered his only words of regret, reserved for his family, who’d endured every effort, by dozens and dozens of “crooks” and “sleazebags,” to take him down.

“I’m sorry you had to go through that — you went through hell, you really did,” he said, blowing kisses into the front row. Ivanka, Don Jr., and Eric looked at their father adoringly. Jared stared down at his dessert plate. Melania’s face betrayed no emotion.

The Boss made a haunting prediction to the hushed room.

“We’ll be OK. You’ll see,” he said, wiping his bulbous lips with a linen napkin, embossed in gold thread with the presidential seal. “Come what may — even a violent insurrection, or me taking top secret documents to Mar-A-Lago — I’m not saying either of those things would ever, ever happen, because they’d be totally illegal — we’ll be the last ones standing. We always are.”


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Nancy Townsley

Nancy Townsley is a retired community newspaper journalist living in a floating home on the Multnomah Channel near Portland, Oregon. Her work has appeared in Brain, Child Magazine, NAILED Magazine, The Riveter Magazine, Elephant Journal, The Manifest-Station, and Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life (2012, Forest Avenue Press), as well as the essay collection 2020* The Year of the Asterisk (2021, University of Hell Press). She is working on a novel about a journalist-turned-activist in a time of devalued news.