Trump has been able to get away with the political equivalent of murder largely because the Republican-led Congress protects him, refusing to do its constitutional duty. It won’t call him on his many lies; it won’t investigate his financial conflicts of interest; it won’t hold his Cabinet members accountable; and with the exception thus far of the Senate Intelligence Committee, it won’t even seriously investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. House committees led by Democrats would do all of these things and more. The most immediate threat to Trump from the election is not impeachment, though we may eventually reach that point. Rather, it is the prospect of genuine oversight and serious investigation. Scrutiny is Trump’s kryptonite. The other thing Trump fears, of course, is the Robert S. Mueller III investigation writ large. The probe by the special counsel has now metastasized to involve the Southern District of New York, the New York state attorney general and the Manhattan district attorney. Trump’s former campaign chairman was convicted on eight felony counts, and his former personal lawyer pleaded guilty to eight felonies — on the same day. Trump’s longtime accountant and a tabloid publisher who kept Trump’s secrets locked in a safe are talking to prosecutors under grants of immunity. Nothing in Trump’s history suggests he is going to sit back and let this process unfold — and perhaps destroy him. Everyone should assume this will get ugly. [Emphasis mine.--d] Trump desperately wants an attorney general who will shut Mueller down. The incumbent, Jeff Sessions, cannot do so because he is recused from the matter. Republican senators who once warned Trump not to dare fire Sessions now seem resigned to the fact that Trump will do just that. It makes sense for Trump to make his move after the election. [Don't count on it, then.--d] If Republicans still control Congress, he’ll get away with it. If Democrats take charge, he won’t. If anyone asks you what’s at stake in November, tell them democracy and justice.
Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Tuesday, September 04, 2018
Coming Crisis Blogging...
It's close to conventional wisdom by now. Here is Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post: