Remember, the individuals that Trump was likely to have trusted to keep his secrets are not only his sycophants, they are also people who are vulnerable to political and criminal liability of their own. If they admit to having had a role in extortion and a cover-up, they get themselves in trouble. Dropping a dime on Trump is dropping a dime on themselves.

And even in the unlikely event that one of the Trump insiders did turn on him, Trump would destroy him: He’s a liar. Or maybe he thought that’s what I wanted, but it wasn’t. It. Wasn’t. Me.

Congressional Republicans wouldn’t believe Trump—but they’d pretend they did. And they’d have his back out of fear that he’d turn on them, too.

Which boils down to Trump’s ultimate defense: Everybody under the bus.

It would go something like this:

Gosh, I never knew all these people were doing terrible things in my name. Giuliani, Sondland, Taylor, Morrison, Vindman, Eisenberg, and Hill all did terrible things, or knew that others were doing terrible things. Nobody told me about it. Lock them up, but I had absolutely nothing to do with it. If I did anything wrong (which I didn’t), it was that I was too trusting.