August, 2017, will mark 43 years since Richard Milhous Nixon resigned. I had expected Trump would resign, in face of certain impeachment, no later than mid-2018 as Congressional elections approached. Now, I’m not certain he’ll last that long. It’s time for the Trumpistan rats to jump off the sinking ship of state. Their future prospects have diminished, but the longer they stay, the more potential they might wind up like one of the 40 Nixon staffers who went to jail.
The FBI investigations are accelerating while the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are plodding along–but eventually will produce results. Subpoenas are coming from grand juries. Now comes the firing of FBI Director Comey and Trump’s contradictions of his own staff (citing advice from the AG) and instead admitting that he had planned to fire Comey anyway. Today we have Trump threatening Comey in a tweet,
“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.”
Comey has leaked nothing nor even spoken to the press since his firing. It’s his former associates that have offered defenses of Comey, including denying Trump’s version of conversations or events. They also reported that Comey had said Trump was “crazy” for claiming he had been wiretapped by Obama.
Let’s consider the possible explanations for Trump’s behavior:
- He IS crazy, as Comey suspected–that Trump’s narcissistic personality disorder progressed to dementia or other mental problems well before the election.
- He’s accustomed to being the boss of a privately held corporation–no board of directors, no shareholders, etc. He expects to be able to do what he wants, hire and fire with impunity and to demand loyalty. Doesn’t work that way as President.
- He is simply stupid—Trump, it’s fair to say, knows nearly nothing about almost anything. Consider this piece from David Cay Johnston in the Guardian, who says “Donald Trump’s ignorance is becoming more evident with each passing day.” He may well have been socially promoted through elementary school before cheating his way through high school and college.
- He has been compromised by Putin and other Russians–most likely through financial entanglements such as loans. Middle income people with bad credit may go to loan sharks. Those who have been rich may go to Putin-associated banks and oligarchs who don’t break legs–they coerce them to do stuff for them.
- All of the above—which is the most likely of the options.
Tapes were, of course, Nixon’s downfall–the nail in his presidential coffin. Does Trump have tapes? Probably not, but then he’s undoubtedly stupid enough to have such a system, given his lack of historical knowledge.
Why would Trump resign? He might get forced out by the threat of impeachment (not likely YET). He might get removed under the 25th Amendment for being unable to fulfill the duties of the office (really unlikely–YET).
The biggest reason Trump might quit? He can’t stand much more of this. While he never wants to be a loser, he is getting white-hot angry with every newscast focusing on the Russia investigation and his own incompetence. Just read the tweets. The more he rants, the worse it gets–a vicious circle of self inflicted misery. That’s been notable after the Comey firing fiasco.
Eventually, Trump might face impeachment due to:
- Collusion with the Russians during the campaign or since (see the satirical bit about the Lavrov and Kislyak visit below).
- Emoluments clause violations. See suits such as this one.
- Other financial offenses (like money laundering for the Russians). See requests/referrals by the Senate Intelligence Committee, to FinCEN, the financial crimes enforcement unit of the Treasury Department to investigate Trump and associates dealings.
Impeachment calls started with California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. They are spreading among Democrats but haven’t reached Republicans–YET. If Trump keeps on tweeting recklessly and/or results begin coming from the FBI subpoenas, intelligence committee hearings or leaks from the White House or former associates, the Republicans will jump on the bandwagon. The most serious event will be people flipping on him to save themselves. People like Michael Flynn or Paul Manafort.
The GOP may still hold out hope for legislation, but that will dim. They will soon be faced with the rock and hard place choice of cutting their losses by throwing Trump under the bus NOW or losing control of at least the House, if not the Senate, in 2018. No later than January 2019, when the next Congress takes office, impeachment will be a certainty.
At Vladimir Putin’s request, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak met with Trump in the oval office the day after Comey’s firing—which Lavrov laughed about. For those of you who are keeping score at home, Kislyak is the guy that all the Trump associates lied about meeting and is known as a Russian asset recruiter. The Russians plastered this photo across social media. Why did Trump look like a child who’d just received a wonderful gift?
Here’s why, relayed in this fictional dialogue [AKA fake news–not ASSUMED or claimed to be true]
“Comrade Trump, we have great news for you,” said Lavrov. “Your good work for us has been rewarded. You have been accepted into the Strong Man’s Club.”
“Wow, fantastic! I’m so looking forward to visiting with Vladimir again–and meeting Erdogan, Duterte, Mugabe and the others.”
“There were those who thought you weren’t ready and that you’d never be able to overcome the restraints on American presidents to be a true authoritarian,” said Kislyak. “But your offer of complimentary memberships to Mar-a-Lago for ten of President Putin’s closest friends–as well as the members of the club, got you in.”
“Here’s a memento of the occasion,” said Lavrov, handing an envelope to Trump. “Also some instructions from President Putin. Please read them carefully and follow them to the letter.”
“Oh, of course,” Trump said. “And you will have that dacha for me if I am forced to exit America in a hurry someday?”
“Ah yes, have no worries, my friend,” said Kislyak.
Soon after leaving the White House, Lavrov had this to say to Kislyak. “Damn, that guy is dumber than borscht!”
“You’re right about that, Sergey,” Kislyak laughed. “If he gets busted, he’s on his own!”