One of Donald Trump’s biggest problems — and, granted, they are legion — is his utter inability to say “I was wrong.” I, on the other hand, never pass up an opportunity to publicly flog myself … and so, without further ado:
I was wrong.
A while back, I predicted that Trump’s presidency was almost over, and that his resignation was imminent. And it is with no small amount of sadness that I must now admit his early departure from the Oval Office, while still certain, has not happened as soon as I had hoped it would.
In my defense: When I made my prediction, I did not yet realize just how criminal the things in Donald Trump’s past must be, nor how badly he wants to keep them hidden, nor how desperate he is to use the power of his office to shield himself from ever paying the price for doing them. Instead, I mistakenly assumed that the inevitable revelation that his campaign did, in fact, collude with Russia (which his own son has since publicly confirmed) would be enough of a headache to convince Trump that his time would be better spent in retirement. It is clear to me now, however, that Donald Trump’s legal problems go far beyond his campaign’s collusion with Russia … which is both good (mostly) and bad (sort of).
The Bad: The apparent extent of Trump’s yet-to-be-revealed criminal activity and the guilty behavior he has demonstrated in recent months suggest he will fight tooth and nail to avoid being exposed … which means we likely will have to endure many more months of his insane tweeting, embarrassing behavior and utter inability to either govern, lead, or simply conduct himself in a manner that could even vaguely be described as “presidential.”
The good: Donald Trump is fucked. Like, galactically fucked. A few months ago, I was looking forward to what I then believed was his imminent resignation because I just wanted him gone. Now, however, so disgusted am I by how he has defiled the presidency, degraded America’s standing in the world, and proven himself to be the most ignorant, arrogant, malignant narcissist ever to draw breath that, not only do I want him gone, but I want him punished. And punished he shall be.
Enter Bob Mueller, the man who will nail Donald Trump to the cross.
Here’s an excerpt from an article that Rolling Stone published yesterday:
By all accounts, the team Mueller has built is remarkably high-powered. Mueller’s expert on Russia is Elizabeth Prelogar, a former Fulbright Scholar in Russia who is fluent in Russian, who came to Mueller from the office of the U.S. solicitor general. James Quarles, a former partner with Mueller at the law firm WilmerHale, happens to be a former prosecutor with the Watergate task force. Michael Dreeben, another of Mueller’s lawyers, is the Justice Department’s top criminal law expert. And the prosecutor who might worry the White House the most is Andrew Goldstein, who worked under former U.S Attorney Preet Bharara in the Southern District of New York. Earlier this year, Trump fired Bharara – after first promising him he could stay on — and it’s considered likely that Goldstein, like Bharara, is familiar with the world of New York real estate that the Trump-Kushner empire is tangled up in.
Yet another Mueller specialist is Andrew Weissman, experienced in the art of “flipping” witnesses – that is, persuading people to turn against associates in exchange for lenient treatment or to escape prosecution altogether.
And last week, Mueller added to the team Greg Andres, a fraud specialist who’s especially knowledgeable in the area of foreign bribery.
Shorter version: Trump can keep rage-tweeting “Fake news!” and “Russia is a hoax!” all he wants, but his pathetic, petulant, ill-advised outbursts will have zero bearing on the extent to which Bobby Three Sticks and his team of legal ninjas are going to filet the so-called president’s lying, treasonous, ego-maniacal ass.
Trump’s chance to take the easy way out is gone. Mueller is coming for him. Grand juries have been empaneled. Evidence is being gathered. People are being questioned. Witnesses are flipping. I mean, seriously: Do you think anyone complicit in Trump’s alleged crimes is going to feel obligated out of loyalty to take a fall for a man who has demonstrated his penchant for showing no such loyalty in return? (See “Jeff Sessions.”)
And so, in the end, Donald Trump’s woefully miscalculated hubris — which apparently served him well during his bankruptcy-ridden real-estate career and in his role as a reality-TV host who pretended to be a brilliant dealmaker — will prove to be his undoing. Had he simply resigned a few months ago, he could have continued to feign innocence while blaming his resignation on the mean meanies in the media and the Democratic party and The Resistance (a.k.a. the majority of America), all while conveniently failing to claim any responsibility for his own epic downfall.
Instead, President Tweets-a-lot, in yet another display of his limited mental capacity, has placed himself on a collision course with the most terrifying prosecutorial team ever assembled.
Well played, asshole.