Perverting the course of justice: in England and Wales it can mean life in prison.

Paula Duncan, a juror on the Manafort trial, was one of those who voted to convict Trump’s former campaign manager.

She is also a Trump supporter.

She deserves some credit for being able to see a crime for what it was, but her assertion that she will vote for Trump again underscores the blind veneration his followers profess. It’s disheartening to witness in a land that professes to be nation of laws, but not as soul-numbing as a statement from the Commander-in-Chief praising a convicted criminal for not cooperating with the justice system.

It appears that Trump admires loyalty in everyone but himself. A lifetime of slithery conduct has so blurred the lines for him, that he can now recognize only the perfidy of others; never his own. It’s a mental and moral frailty, and though literature is filled with remorse and repentance and even salvation, such a future does not await Donald Trump.

For instance, America’s great “novel of sin and guilt,” Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, ends with confession and redemption from the adulterous minister and a lifetime of charity from his partner, all at great cost. Only the vengeful Chillingworth cannot rise above himself, cannot undarken his soul. Ultimately he makes a monetary sacrifice: he is capable of nothing less ignoble. It’s difficult to imagine Donald Trump’s life turning out out much differently, buying his way to salvation and strewing broken victims behind.

Our juror, Paula Duncan, doesn’t realize that, and she’s not alone. The Republicans in Congress seem loath to contradict the predator in their midst. Every day they cower a bit deeper; every day “no comment” or something  akin to that re-establishes itself as the Republican mantra.

In truth, I don’t care if Trump pardons Manafort or if Michael Cohen never serves any time. It would be worth it to me if, in the final analysis, the name Trump was never again associated with the presidency, the nation’s capital, the United States, or earth.

And for Paula Duncan and those like her, one question: if the Republican party put forth for the 2020 presidential campaign a man of impeccable morality whose platform and philosophy matched those of Trump, would you vote for him instead of the man whose recently announced goal is to pervert the course of justice?

Let’s call the question rhetorical. I think we know the answer.

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