Yesterday morning when the news came across that the FBI had raided the office of Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, I applauded. Score one. But then, the thought came to mind that this would likely make Trump all the more determined to shut down the Mueller investigation. I pushed that thought back into the recesses of my mind, for I had other work in front of me with a (temporarily) greater sense of urgency, for I was drafting my Open Letter to Congress.
Meanwhile, Trump’s little twittering fingers were on the move …
“It’s a disgraceful situation. It’s a total witch hunt. When I saw this, when I heard about it, that is a whole new level of unfairness.”
“These people [Mueller’s team] have the biggest conflicts of interest I have ever seen. Democrats — all. Either Democrats or a couple of Republicans who worked for President Obama.”
Mueller himself is a republican, as has often been noted.
“Why don’t I just fire Mueller? Well, I think it’s a disgrace what’s going on. We’ll see what happens.”
And let’s not forget to spread the blame …
“The attorney general made a terrible mistake when he did this and when [he] recused himself or he certainly should have let us know if he was going to recuse himself and we would have put a different attorney general in. So he made what I consider to be a very terrible mistake for the country. But you’ll figure that out.”
It is difficult to predict, with any degree of certainty, what Trump will actually do beyond the bluster. I am fairly certain that what he wants to do is fire both Sessions and Rosenstein, put somebody in as Attorney General who will bow to his wishes, and have that person fire Mueller and his team. What will stop him? It is to be hoped that he will be stopped by the advice of his advisors … highly paid men and women whose sole purpose in life is to keep Trump from self-destructing. But it is said that he has almost completely stopped listening to the advice of his advisors and is “going with his gut” (Oh such terrible mental images that brings!) and that he is more likely to heed what he hears on Fox News than what those such as John Kelly might tell him.
And to that point, yesterday the Associate Press (AP) carried a story titled: To Hell With It: Trump Increasingly Weary of Staff Advice. An excerpt …
“Managing a boss who despises being managed is a difficult game. And those who have succeeded have proceeded carefully. Some aides, convinced that Trump puts more stock in what he sees on TV than in his own aides’ advice, regularly phone prominent commentators and news hosts to provide talking points on everything from tax policy to Syria in hopes of influencing Trump. Similar strategies have also been embraced by foreign governments and outside groups trying to sway the president’s thinking.”
I ask that you think about this one for a few moments, folks. The leader of this nation is a man-child who needs to be ‘managed’ in order to keep him from destroying not only our nation, but the rest of the world as well. Now, add to that picture the following scenario …
John Kelly (talking on phone): Hey, Sam! John Kelly here … how’s it hanging? Yeah? Good, good. Listen, I need a yuge favour, if you can. Yeah, he tore up another of my memos, and won’t let me into the office … in fact, he’s barricaded himself in there and isn’t letting anyone in but Kellyanne. Eh? Yeah, we wondered that too, but let’s not even go there, okay? Listen, the reason I called … this Scott Pruitt thing is gonna come back and bite us hard and soon, and we’re trying to convince “King Don” that Pruitt has to go ASAP … damage control, y’know? But he isn’t listening, so we were hoping perhaps one of your guys could … like … mention it during the nine-o’clock hour? Yeah, that’d be great!!! He listens to you! Thanks a million … I owe ya one! Yeah, for sure … my next grandchild will be named for you!
Far-fetched? Sure it is … or … is it? Another excerpt from the AP story:
The speech was written. A cast of relatable Americans with emotional stories was standing by to reinforce the message. But President Donald Trump was in no mood to play along.
“The hell with it,” Trump said, recounting the scene with his aides to a West Virginia crowd last week. Trump tossed the staff-prepared remarks on tax cuts in the air and ducked as the paper fluttered to the floor. “I said, ‘This is boring, come on.’ Tell it like it is.”
He threw away a speech that others had put hours of work, not to mention knowledge, into and that he, Trump, had likely not even read. Just like that. As if his ‘superior knowledge’ outweighed the collective decades of experience of his high-level staff and advisors.
“Attorney–client privilege is dead!”
Interesting thing about that. If the information the FBI sought involved the $130,000 payout by Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels that Trump claims to know nothing about, then there can be no ‘attorney-client’ privilege, for there could have been no conversation, if Trump knew nothing about it. See? Also, there is a crime-fraud exception to attorney-client privilege. We are not privy, nor should we be at this point, to precisely what the FBI was seeking and why, so it wouldn’t pay to speculate, but it is known that Cohen is under investigation for bank fraud and Trump & Co are under investigation for the Russian connections. Cohen was known to have contacted the Russians in 2016. There are just too many possibilities, too many strands to the tangled web, for us to speculate with any degree of meaning.
Now to the point here. Everyone in his inner circle, with the likely exception of Kellyanne, knows that to bring about an end to the Mueller investigation would be seen as an admission of guilt. But … he isn’t listening to any of those advisors. He has ‘gone rogue’ and nobody at this point can predict what Trump will do … not even Trump himself, I suspect.
To fire Mueller would, indeed, be an admission of guilt. But then, we are all pretty certain that Trump is guilty as it stands anyway. The only question remaining for most of us is: how guilty, and of precisely what? Perhaps Robert Mueller already has answers to those questions and is now putting together the timeline and documentation. The real question is; will he be allowed to finish this important work? And if he is fired, what happens next? I’m not sure, but the one thing I am sure of is that if the Mueller investigation is shuttered, things in this country are going to get ugly, and we need to keep our eye on this ball. We must learn the truth … We The People have that right, above all else.
Stay tuned …