By Jason Taylor
Congressional Republicans in 1974 were able to drop their support for Nixon once the Smoking Gun tape became public. But even with a full battery of smoking guns in 2018, Congressional Republicans won’t be able to drop their support of Trump, because they are deathly afraid of his fans. Defy him and you defy them, neither of whom is used to hearing the word “no” and will punish any Republican who dares say the word.
Trump wasn’t kidding when he said he could get away with shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue. And now with a whole party stuck defending him, he will get away with Constitutional crimes unless the voters tell him no in a way he can’t ignore.
Even a casual observer can see that Trump cannot contain himself as a bold-faced liar. But this report adds to the mix the fact that Trump demands action (ordering the firing of Mueller) that he lacks the guts to do personally. He has led a privileged life of getting surrogates to handle unpleasant deeds and he thought that way of doing things would make a smooth transition into the presidency. The perfect storm has been realized. We have a president who has no sense of decency or integrity and one who cannot bear the thought that he is unable to run roughshod over a person granted the authority to investigate his criminal activities.
Once Mueller interrogates him, Trump will either lie (his most comfortable behavior) or tell the truth that he fired Comey (a direct connection to obstruction) or play the amnesia card, answering each Mueller question with a pat I don’t remember. Whatever option Trump picks, an interview with Mueller will be nothing short of disastrous and should signal the end of the Trump era.
The demonization of Mr. Mueller by Trump supporters including members of Congress would be humorous if it wasn’t so dangerous to the future of the Country. Mr. Mueller, a lifelong Republican with an impeccable reputation, was praised to the skies by the Republicans in Congress upon his appointment. When it was discovered that two agents who were lovers had been having electronic communications disparaging Trump, Mueller immediately removed them from the case. Nevertheless, Trump-supporting members of Congress have continued to criticize the attorneys and agents Mueller has brought in.
The part that is frustrating and incomprehensible to me is that Mueller’s critics are saying (without a scintilla of proof) that Mueller is prejudiced. That he is out to get Trump and seem to be implying Mueller is going to manufacture evidence. Ask Mr. Flynn if he pled guilty to a crime he didn’t commit based on fake evidence.
Regardless of his ‘motivation’, Mr. Mueller can only bring charges that he has evidence to support. If he were to falsify evidence, it would be Mr. Mueller who would end up in prison and broke. The one good thing now is that Trump can fire Mueller if he wants. But, he can’t destroy the evidence collected. Nor can he erase the memories of the Agents who have seen the evidence. One way or another, the results of this investigation will become known.
The tangled web that the president has woven has enmeshed both his attorney general, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, whose dishonesty at his confirmation hearings was the tumbler that unlocked the key to all this mess. Add to that the abrupt, charged dismissal of FBI Director James Comey for refusing to pledge his allegiance to the president rather than to the Constitution and to the law and the candidate/president’s own questionable behavior since 2016. And Michael Flynn, the disgraced general, is another albatross around the neck of the Trump presidency.
If Americans truly care about their country, they should be both outraged and angered at what appears to be the most blatant example of a president’s attempts to either abuse the law or to circumvent it by employing a power that he does not have. Legal scholars may debate that final issue but when a president does not wish his conduct, and that of his officers, to be scrutinized, something indeed is very rotten in Denmark.
It’s a travesty that Republicans are going along with Trump in all his wretchedness. A travesty for our country’s democratic traditions, political culture (what’s left of it), and general moral and ethical fiber.
This is a shining example, of a White House, who has absolutely no respect for the rule of law, or the people who dedicate their lives to uphold it. Trump is indeed an arrogant, self-absorbed, megalomaniac, who has gone too far, for too long. To play political chess with the honorable men of the FBI, CIA and the other fifteen Federal Law Enforcement agencies is literal Russian Roulette for anyone, even the president.
A man his age, regardless of his inexperience in politics, should know better. Those on Fox News, and those in Trump’s “base” are all complicit, in cheering on the chastising and scrutiny, of those brave men and women, that protect the very freedoms, that allow them the right to spout off, in the first place.
Furthermore, Trump’s behavior, as well as Fox News, have also undermined those who serve to protect us, both here and abroad, leaving all Americans vulnerable, by his rhetoric, denial of the facts, to our enemies, who are laughing at us, all the way to the bank.
If there is a lesson to be learned, from this time in American history, is that too much power, greed, and indifference to the lives of ordinary Americans, is an abomination against everyone in our republic. The genius of our founding fathers was that they understood this, and this is why the United States has always been seen by the world, as James Comey said, “That shining city on the hill.” It’s a dirty shame that Trump, Fox News, and Trump’s “base,” are so poorly misinformed.
When your inner circle are the major sources of leaks to the Press, it’s a bold signal that the rats are about to abandon ship. Most of them have already talked to the Special Counsel. Anyone of them with an ounce of common sense sees the writing on the wall. They’re on their own. They know Trump will jettison them in a minute should their sacrifice as a scapegoat preserve his presidency. But it won’t. This is not the same case which brought down Nixon. Nixon was smart for one thing, and he was surrounded by a group of zealots who many of them were willing to go to jail for. Not so with Trump. His staff are well aware their boss is a jerk, a juvenile who occupies the most powerful job in the world. They know that any culpability on their part could come with dire consequences.
And so we have the leakiest ship of state in modern history. No one wants to be the last one on board when the SS Trump goes down. It’s everyone for themselves. You’d have to be as clueless as Trump is to think otherwise.
Some Republicans in Congress are starting to ask, publicly, why Trump is constantly trying to halt the investigation if he really has nothing to hide. Of course, to Trump and to most Republicans, money is more important than little things like national security, treason, or government ethics, and it’s been obvious that Trump is anxious about something in his financial history–why is he still concealing his tax returns? The Republicans and Trump’s “base” are tying themselves into pretzels in their efforts to defend and explain Trump’s actions. I don’t know whether we can get to the point of impeachment with the current cover-up Congress, but the structure seems to be ready for business.