Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Why Trump Will Fire Mueller


Trey Gowdy had a message for John Dowd, Donald Trump's personal attorney: "If you have an innocent client, Mr. Dowd, act like it." Well, for someone who keeps claiming he's innocent, Trump is behaving an awful lot like he's got something to hide.

For months I've been saying that Donald Trump is itching to fire Robert Mueller, and here's why: he knows he's guilty and so do his attorneys. That's why he's panicking the way he is. Innocent men don't fire FBI directors and deputy directors; they don't implore their attorney general to run rough-shod over the Constitution; they don't attempt to delegitimize a legitimate criminal investigation; and they don't undermine the rule of law, not without a good reason.

But if Trump is guilty, what is he guilty of? That's the sixty-four thousand dollar question that begs to be answered. Why is Trump now personally attacking the integrity of Mueller when for months he said he would cooperate with him?

I've long suspected that the real crime that Trump is guilty of isn't so much collusion but money laundering. Face it, collusion was always a long shot. It's one thing to suspect someone of committing a crime; it's quite another to prove it. Even with all the intelligence agencies in agreement that Russia interfered with the 2016 election, getting an indictment on Trump for collusion, much less a conviction, would be difficult to say the least.

But Trump isn't worried about collusion. It's his finances that keep him up tweeting at all hours of the night. In short, he's as dirty as Pig-Pen in a Peanuts cartoon. Why else do you think he refused to release his tax returns during the campaign? The audit excuse was lame at best. It's obvious Trump was trying to hide something, and that something is that he's up to his toupee in laundered money with Russian oligarchs who have a hold over him. And that means, by extension, Putin has a hold over him.

Think about it: Trump has personally attacked anyone who so much as looked at him cross-eyed, from judges to the media to members of Congress to leaders of foreign countries both friend and foe; everyone except Putin. In fact, he has gone out of his way to give Putin every benefit of the doubt. This isn't just bizarre, it's unprecedented in an American president.

Mueller already has the bank records from Deutsche bank, and I'm guessing Trump's tax returns. All he needs to connect the dots are the Trump organization's financial records. Once he gets those, it's game, set and match. Were it ever to be made public that Trump owes everything he has to a bunch of Russian oligarchs who, through Deutsche bank, loaned him the money he needed to stay in business, it would ruin him and his family forever. He'd be finished, not only politically, but financially. And that's why I think Trump, against all the advice he's undoubtedly being given by his attorneys and even by some Republican lawmakers, is going to pull the trigger. I think we're days, perhaps hours, away from a genuine Constitutional crisis.

I could be wrong. After all, as Andrew Prokop in Vox accurately pointed out, firing Mueller is a lot more "procedurally complicated" than firing Comey or Tillerson. And, yes, there would be political fallout for Republicans who are already facing strong headwinds going into the midterms. But Trump doesn't care about any of that. If he has to go through the entire Justice Department to find the one lackey who will carry out his order, he'll do it. If the Democrats take both houses of Congress, so what? He'll simply negotiate with Chuck and Nancy, just like he did last September when he screwed his own party leaders in a deal to avert a government shutdown.

Trump has no moral compass, no loyalty whatsoever, except to himself and his immediate family. His instinct for self preservation is all that matters to him. So, yes, he will fire Mueller, and sooner rather than later. Even if it means impeachment and removal from office, anything is preferable than the world finding out who and what he really is.

Though at this point, I doubt it's much of a secret as far as the world is concerned.

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