The spate of resignations of powerful sexual harassers has intensified the weirdness surrounding the status of harasser-in-chief Donald Trump. One passage in a news story captures the oddness of Trump’s guilty-yet-unpunished status. Politico describes his daughter Ivanka as “an unquestioning aide to a president who’s been accused of groping women.”
It is true that Trump has been accused of groping women. But he’s also confessed to groping women. That confession was captured on audiotape, and it matched descriptions of his behavior supplied by 19 of his victims.
In plain English, a person in Trump’s circumstance would be described as having confessed to sexual assault. But such a description is at odds with the fact that Trump has kept his job and has treated his confession like an imaginary reconstruction of crimes that never occurred, akin to O.J. Simpson’s book project.