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Former U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan on May 18, 2021.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan on May 18, 2021. (Photo: James Devaney/GC Images)

The Envy of Trump

According to reports, the change in leadership in Haiti was orchestrated by Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a Haitian-born citizen who had lived in Florida for more than 20 years.

Christopher Brauchli

"The idea was to prove at every foot of the way up that you were one of the elected and anointed ones who had the right stuff..."
—Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff (1979)

His anger has been fueled by the fact that what was accomplished in Haiti was accomplished by what might be described as a rag-tag group of people with no weapons other than guns, whereas the people the trump demanded support him and keep him in office included the vice president of the United States and members of Congress, who the trump believes, clearly had the power to block the certification of Electoral College votes for Joe Biden as president, thereby permitting the trump to retain lawful possession of the White House and its accompanying perks.

The fact that it ended badly for Christian Emmanuel Sanon, the man who organized it in Haiti, did not lessen the trump’s anger. What mattered was that Sanon’s goal of removing Jovenel Moïse as president of Haiti had been achieved and President Moïse is no longer in office. Vice President Mike Pence and the trump supporters in the United States Senate and House of Representatives, on the other hand, lacked the will and/or the skill to keep the trump in office and Joe Biden became, and remains, the president.

According to reports, the change in leadership in Haiti was orchestrated by Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a Haitian-born citizen who had lived in Florida for more than 20 years. He describes himself as a "medical doctor and Christian minister who is providing leadership for Haiti through a life of positive action and absolute integrity." Dr. Sanon had not started his effort to replace President Moise with the intent to resort to violence, any more than the trump initially intended to have to threaten to sponsor a coup d'etat in order to remain in office as we have now learned he contemplated.

The move to prevent Joe Biden from assuming office would, if the trump's wishes were honored, take place in a proceeding before the members of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives who were assembled in the House Chamber to certify the election results in a proceeding presided over by Vice President Pence.

The plan to remove President Jovenel Moïse began with a quiet meeting in an elegant meeting room overlooking the courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Participants at the meeting were told that Dr. Sanon's goal in assembling the group was to turn "Haiti into a free and open society." Dr. Sanon presented the participants with a redevelopment plan for Haiti. Among other things it included retaining a private security force that would protect Dr. Sanon until he became Haiti's new president. Following his installation he would, of course, have no further need for protection by an outside firm since state security forces would assume that function.

According to a spokesman for the firm that was retained by Sanon to provide him with protection, Sanon "expressed an intention to help bring about a peaceful change in the leadership of Haiti in order to improve the living conditions for Haitians." The spokesman said the company was providing private security for Sanon and other Haitian dignitaries. Like Sanon, the trump only wanted to remain in office in order to continue to improve the living conditions for all who lived in the United States.

As events unfolded the Haitian transition in July turned out not to be peaceful and President Moïse was assassinated. The good news, as far as Sanon was concerned, was that his goal of preventing President Moïse from remaining in office was successful. The bad news was that instead of moving into the presidential palace he is in jail in Haiti and may face charges of having arranged the assassination of the president.

As we now know, the trump was not only angered by the vice president's refusal to follow the trump's instructions as to how the proceedings on January 6 were to be conducted in order to prevent Joe Biden from becoming the president. Following that failure to follow instructions, as it were, we have now learned that just as removing President Moïse from office in Haiti became violent notwithstanding the original intent of those organizing his removal, the trump was also considering resorting to violence in order to achieve what his vice president had refused to effect.

According to a new book by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, Gen. Milley was fearful that the trump and his followers might attempt a coup or take other steps in order to stay in power. According to the book, Gen. Milley told his staff that "he believed Trump was stoking unrest, possibly in hopes of an excuse to invoke the insurrection Act and call out the military." As we now know, it didn't happen and the trump is now nothing more than another golfer on one of his many courses. And unlike Sanon, he's not in jail. At least not yet.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Christopher Brauchli

Christopher Brauchli

Christopher Brauchli is a Common Dreams columnist and lawyer known nationally for his work. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Colorado School of Law where he served on the Board of Editors of the Rocky Mountain Law Review. For political commentary see his web page at

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