WC thinks that this is the week when, with the benefit of hindsight, President Donald Trump’s resignation or impeachment became inevitable. Historians will look back on mid-June, 2017 as a turning point.
The Washington Post has broken the news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation has turned to possible obstruction of justice by the President. What’s known is already damning. Trump’s extended efforts to end the Flynn probe – attempting to persuade Comey, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and the head of the National Security Agency Mike Rogers if they could help derail the Flynn probe – by themselves constitute most of the elements of the crime of obstruction of justice. It’s a smart bet that there are others who will be interviewed and have similar reports.
The New York Times reports that Trump’s wife and Chief of Staff had to dissuade him from firing Mueller this week. There would be no reason to fire Mueller if you had nothing to hide. Indeed, the Post leak may have been in response to the reports Trump wanted to fire Mueller. Certainly the news makes it harder. The lesson of the Saturday Night Massacre is that firing a special prosecutor makes things worse, not better, for a president.
The official White House response came from Mark Corallo, a flapper1 for Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz: “The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal.” That’s a classic non-denial by deflection. And, notably, the Post article doesn’t attribute anything to the FBI.
From here, the combination of Trump’s imprudent and self-destructive tweets and Kasowitz’s belligerence and political blundering can only make Trump’s situation worse.
You can call WC naive or overly optimistic or both. But mark your calendars: this was the turning point in the short life of the wretched Trump Administration.
- See Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and his adventures in Laputa, where important people have sides with bladders. The bladders are flapped to get the important person’s attention. Flappers for important people have their own flappers. Mark Corallo is a flapper for a flapper – Marc Kasowitz – to an important person, the President. Gulliver’s Travels, Part 3, Chapter 2. ↩