For the last few weeks I’ve been getting aggravated by articles and opinion pieces from naysaying pundits who look down from their perches shaking their heads and sighing with dismay when regarding people like me who are filled with “irrational exuberance” and fanciful notions about the prospect of seeing the Mueller investigation lead to Donald Trump’s removal from office.
It reached a crescendo just before the advent of the New Year with Jonathan Turley’s article in The Hill wherein he chides other legal analysts for overreach, derides the very notion of conspiracy from his libertarian-informed background and ends with the dismissive:
“In other words, 2018 is starting not far from where 2017 began: an investigation in search of a crime.”
It would probably be more honest to say that a series of events have occurred which would lead one to infer criminal activity and demand further scrutiny but that would leave Turley with less of an argument.
I chose the imagery of a levee break deliberately because I believe that what we are seeing is a tipping point situation. I know that the Mueller probe has the potential to be a prolonged affair. I’m well aware of the Republican majority in the Senate and the House and I have heard the passionate and convincing arguments which would make an impeachment conviction impossible under these circumstances.
I don’t see the equation as linear.There are just too many variables and irrational aspects to this, not the least of which is the chronic stupidity of the players and the chaotic tendencies of the manager, to attempt to place it into a timeline which would follow political conventions. I see it progressing as first a trickle, then a flow, followed by a rush and then, the deluge. It’s a matter of tipping point theory and right now we’re seeing the escalation from a flow into the rush portion of the progression.
Republican establishment support is seemingly broad but vanishingly thin and the most vocal such as Jordan and Gaetz are as transparently ambitious as they are unprincipled. We all gawked at the negotiated and scripted pre-tax-reform-bill-signing public obeisances and cringed at the spectacle worthy of Caligulan Rome. Nobody is more aware than those supplicants that they have nearly no chance of avoiding a mid-term tsunami and their party’s loss of relevance than they and the only path forward is to quietly advance an agenda leading to the president’s resignation while remaining blameless themselves.
So let’s look at the board because it’s now Mueller’s move:
Jeff Sessions is safe on the island. He has a history of being an anti-Russian hawk and his meeting with Kislyak and subsequent problems with recollection won’t weigh against him. It is quite likely that Beauregard has been cooperating at least since March. Mueller has no reason to provide Trump with an unrecused AG who could fire him and Rosenstein.
Donald the Lesser is firmly in the crosshairs but he is a smaller fish in the grand scheme of things and moving on him right now is likely to provoke a disproportionate response so it’s better to leave him for later when they do multiple roll ups.
There’s Boris Epshteyn, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Carter Page. Michael Cohen, Hope Hicks, Brad Parscale, Reince Piebus et al, but the next move needs to serve a purpose while sending the right message.
The Manafort/Gates, Flynn and Papadopolous indictments all flowed from a grand jury in Virginia and were preceded by supboenas within that jurisdiction and there have been no further subpoenas. The SC convened a grand jury in D.C. and the only subpoena issued was related to the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Veselnitskaya.
Soon after, Jared Kushner was hit with a request for documents and submitted to a 90 minute interview where Michael Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak were discussed as well as the Israel/UN arm-twisting with allies. Kushner was later identified as the “senior administration official” involved.
If I’m Mueller, I’d indict Kushner on the charge of lying to the investigators with superseding indictments to come. This raises the ante and makes it nearly impossible for him or Rosenstein to be fired, as counter-intuitive as that may initially seem. It’s no secret that Jared is not beloved among the base and he is viewed with suspicion because of his Israeli connections. Taking on Jared and and making him the bad guy won’t have the base rallying to his side and will be of sufficient gravity that any attempt to remove the SC will draw scrutiny.
Once the inner circle is pierced, it will make it safer for the GOP establishment to to express shock, shock I say !, at this development and readjust their position.
None of this was written with today’s news of Bannon’s loquaciousness taken into consideration, but we have plenty of room to discuss it below.