A lifelong Democrat, Evans was first elected to the D.C. Council 28 years ago.
Trump registered as a Republican in 1987, switched to independent in 1999, tried to run as the Reform candidate in 2000, turned Democrat in 2001, changed back to Republican in 2009, chose no affiliation in 2011 and returned to the GOP in 2012.
Despite their partisan differences, Evans and Trump are soulmates when it comes to performance. Both have earned the label “corrupt” after getting nailed for abusing the powers of public office for personal benefit.
Early next year, Evans and Trump will be called to account.
Evans faces a January vote on expulsion by his council colleagues. They have correctly condemned him for breaking ethics rules by taking official action on behalf of private clients who paid him thousands of dollars. He put himself first while paying lip service to the public’s interest.
Trump faces a trial in the Senate following his impeachment by the House of Representatives for using the powers of his office to solicit interference of a foreign government in the 2020 presidential election and then obstructing a congressional investigation. When and how the trial will take place are caught up in a dispute that only politically polarized Washington can produce.
Evans and Trump have adopted a copycat defense. To wit: All their official conduct was appropriate, no laws have been broken, the public’s interest was the only motive, and there was no knowing or intentional violation of any prescribed rules of behavior.
But they diverge in their views of how they ended up on the public docket.
Evans’s lawyers maintain that the charges against him are “nowhere near as serious” as critics claim and that a council-ordered investigative report was leaked “with malice and with the intent to poison the well of public opinion” to force him to quit.
Trump challenges the motives of his accusers, contending that they are conducting a “witch hunt” in an effort to overturn the 2016 election results.
And now Evans and Trump face distinctly different outcomes.
Unless his council colleagues have a miraculous change of heart, Evans will be expelled. His troubles may not end there: Evans’s clients and D.C. officials have received federal grand jury subpoenas for documents related to him. His Georgetown home was raided by federal agents last June. Is a Justice Department shoe waiting to drop on his head?
In contrast, the DOJ is the least of Trump’s worries since Attorney General William P. Barr’s department serves as both Trump’s chief prosecutor and his public defender.
And unlike the upcoming D.C. Council vote on Evans, a Senate Republican majority stands in the way of Trump’s removal from office.
It matters not that Trump used his presidency for corrupt purposes or that he arrogated to himself rights that belong to Congress. Most Senate Republicans are expected to duck their constitutional duty and deny the required two-thirds majority needed to expel.
Unfortunately, both of these two discredited public office holders are too in love with themselves to appreciate how far they have fallen.
Ahead of the council’s expulsion vote, a Post poll shows that 64 percent of D.C. residents want Evans to resign. His favorable ratings have plunged to 4 percent.
Trump’s numbers show a different kind of public disapproval. His favorable job rating has been stuck in the low-to-mid-40s during his entire presidency.
In the week the House approved two articles of impeachment against Trump, 48 percent of Americans supported his impeachment and removal from office.
The sun is about to set on Evans’s political career. He’s yet to reveal his next steps. Trump, on the other hand, believes the impeachment and expected Senate acquittal assure his reelection.
A master at self-deception, Trump conveniently forgets that in the 2016 election, and even with Russia’s help, it was all he could do to cross the finish line — in second place. While he received 63 million votes or 46 percent of the ballots, he was bested by Hillary Clinton, who captured 48 percent or 66 million of the popular votes. Fifty-four percent of the presidential ballots cast were for someone other than Trump.
There’s scant evidence that the narcissistic bully in the White House who tells lies without shame, picks on women, demeans minorities and is thoroughly lacking in human decency has done anything in the past three years that changed the minds of voters who thought so little of him three years ago.
Jack Evans and Donald Trump — partners in crime — have crossed the line with much of the public, both local and national. One way or another, this odd and corrupt couple may find out just how disgusted those voters are.
Read more from Colbert I. King’s archive.