Donald Trump made “You’re fired” his catchphrase as a reality TV star and must have been dying to use it throughout his impeachment ordeal.
He has emerged from it he believes vindicated and his approval ratings are going up. But he seems in no mood to be gracious in victory.
This week we have seen him use a prayer breakfast in Washington to crow about his Senate victory and heap scorn on his detractors.
He has launched long rambling denunciations of his tormentors and by the end of the week was beginning to take revenge on key figures in his impeachment.
Gordon Sondland donated a million dollars to the Trump campaign and was made ambassador to the European Union. His testimony, that everyone was in on the president’s alleged abuse of power, was a key moment.
But it made him a marked man. It was only a matter of time before he would be recalled. He now has plenty of time on his hands to ponder the wisdom of giving a million dollars to join Team Trump.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a decorated war veteran and national security official, had also borne witness against the president.
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Right-wing propaganda media have singled him out for criticism and unleashed a wave of innuendo around his Jewish and Ukrainian heritage.
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He suffered the ignominy of being marched out of the White House relieved of his duties and in a move better suited to the government of a banana republic his brother was also “fired” despite playing no role whatsoever in the impeachment hearings.
In a statement, Vindman’s lawyer said “the most powerful man in the world – buoyed by the silent, the pliable and the complicit – has decided to exact revenge”.
The president withheld evidence and witnesses from the impeachment process. His party did its utmost to minimise the time Congress would consider the charges against him.
But he has emerged unscathed, so far. His approval ratings are going up.
And he will not have been worried much this week by Democrats jostling for the chance to take him on in November.
Their first round of voting to winnow the field ended in farce in Iowa with counting malfunctions. Their debate in New Hampshire saw some spirited criticism of the president and a standing ovation in support of the now sacked Alexander Vindman.
But while they seem hobbled by this week’s false start, his star is rising if polls are correct and his coffers are filling, raising millions of dollars a day.