The con man’s con men get their payoff

Trump is just wrapping up a five-year con in which his mark was Republican voters and the Republican Party. And on the way out the door, he gave a final payout to the scammers who got in on his con.

A troupe of swindlers surrounded Trump from the moment he entered the presidential race. Some of them simply served Trump’s swindle. Others piggybacked their own con on top of Trump’s. Trump never minded these hangers-on getting their own beaks wet, as long as they never turned on him. If you paid that one price, loyalty to the most disloyal man in America, you could count on a payout in the end — as long as it didn’t cost Trump anything.

The 11th-hour pardons of Elliot Broidy and Steve Bannon are the latest payouts. Both men used Trump, exploiting the fact that millions believed in Trump and believed Trump could “Make America Great Again,” to line their own pockets. Broidy pleaded guilty to illegal foreign lobbying, and Bannon was awaiting trial on fraud charges. In both cases, the victims (proven or alleged) were the average American.