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Opinion
Timothy L. O'Brien

Why So Many of Trump’s People Just Can’t Resist Him

The former president has a peculiar magnetism for grifters, who could return to the White House if he runs and wins again.

Three who resisted Trump: Steven Engel, Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue.

Three who resisted Trump: Steven Engel, Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue.

Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images North America

Each episode of the true-crime drama currently airing from Room 390 of the Cannon House Office Building in Washington has offered variations on a theme: Former President Donald Trump used the powers of his office, and blunt force, to foment a coup after losing the 2020 presidential election.

The plot twists have largely involved how individuals or institutions responded to Trump’s entreaties to commit crimes. The fifth day of testimony overseen by the bipartisan congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol focused on a trio of Justice Department lawyers who did the right thing when Trump cracked his whip — and one who didn’t.