an autodidact meets a dilettante…

‘Rise above yourself and grasp the world’ Archimedes – attribution

Trump’s downfall: he won’t go quietly

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The attack on Andrew McCabe, including his precipitate firing, isn’t really a new low, but the fact that it was accompanied by so much Trumpeting invective, followed by the old – but less often seen recently – invective against Team Mueller, all stems IMHO from the subpoena on Trump’s businesses and their financing. This spells Trump’s doom, but it may take some time. Meanwhile Team Mueller is faced with a speedy assault, and a possible attempt to fire Mueller while whipping his scarily loyal base. The attempt by his lawyer, Dowd, surely at the Trump’s urging, to get Mueller to close proceedings, was predictably met with silence, and the promise of a (small) number of Republicans to protect Mueller. But Trump’s behaviour seems to be closing off all options. After his rantings, what can he do but fire his inquisitor, which I believe he has the power to do, though both Sessions and Rosenstein have expressed their support for Mueller. Congressional Republicans appear to be all at sea on the issue. They tried to introduce bipartisan legislation to protect the enquiry but it has gone nowhere. Trump will no doubt try to appeal directly to ‘the people’, his base, as he always has. That’s what his tweeting is all about.

The point is, Trump is no Nixon. He’s no ideologue, he’s pure demagogue. He doesn’t care about his cluelessness, he just wants to be in control, with the power of a Putin or ‘kill all drug dealers’ Duterte. As such, he’s hoping that the people he’s conned will back him against Mueller and co, with violence if necessary.

Trump won’t resign. Never. If they come for him, he’ll lock himself in the White House toilet, and they’ll have to knock the door down and taser him. So how will his dumping be dealt with? But before I explore that thorny issue, what if Trump somehow fires Mueller, which now seems highly likely?

First, there’s the question of how that process will work. I think it starts with Sessions, who has said not so long ago that he has full faith in Mueller. However, he could switch, and probably will. So then, with Mueller fired, what would congressional Republicans do? One pundit argues, from recent Republican responses, that they’ll do nothing. If that’s so, I don’t know what will happen. Others talk of a constitutional crisis, but I honestly don’t know what that entails.

I don’t know how Trump can get out of this. He might be thinking if he keeps slugging it out, demonising his pursuers, he might improve his popularity. Some polls are registering an improvement, though the one I regularly use hasn’t changed much at around 40%. There just seems no way his popularity will surge. And at some stage there will be a request that might turn into a subpoena, or an indictment of someone much closer to him than heretofore. As another pundit suggests, he might try to legally resist a subpoena, and this could drag along for months. Meanwhile the mid-terms are approaching, and however they go he’ll be faced with a far less supine congress by year’s end.

I don’t know much about impeachment, and I don’t particularly want to go there, because it’s a political process and I’m more interested in the law and criminality. I find it hard to believe Team Mueller won’t find any indictable offences when trawling through Trump’s finances. I do have concerns about what the Trump Organisation will hand over. It just seems to me unlikely that they’ll come clean about all their dealings. So money laundering and other financial crimes are likely. Obstruction too, with evidence from Comey, McCabe and others. The Wikileaks connection could be another factor, and Kushner’s dodgy business connections, and the horribly complicated Clinton emails controversy.

So again we’re left to wait for another dramatic move from Team Mueller. It’s hard not to be distracted by the Trump’s melodramatics though, as we try to work out how to hook the slippery old fish. Many pundits are saying he’s his own worst enemy, but is he? This is a guy who’s been involved in shady business dealing for decades, a guy who has fucked over many people, who has been high-handed and amoral throughout his life, and has gotten away with it. He has never really suffered any punishment. Will it be different this time? Nobody knows at this point. That’s the morbid fascination of it. I note that he’s looking to add more lawyers to his team as Mueller, Avenatti et al come after him. My guess is that he plans to surround himself with an ultra-thick layer of lawyers so that they’ll have to use a chainsaw to eventually get to him. It’s going to get grizzly.


Written by stewart henderson

March 22, 2018 at 6:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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