Monday, June 12, 2017

Trump's Underbosses: the GOP

It is genuinely unclear — from the public statements of Republicans and the reporting on their private deliberations — whether they envision a point at which Trump’s conduct could grow unhinged enough, or threaten serious enough damage to our democracy, to warrant meaningful acknowledgment, never mind action.


Republicans are increasingly worried they will lose the House amid a “toxic political environment that appears to be worsening.” They cite the possibility that they won’t secure any serious legislative wins, as well as “serious concerns” about “more revelations” coming on Trump. In the background, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation “remains the wild card.”

For sure, but how much worse could this get?


Trump is not inclined to let institutional constraints limit his options, and he and his team have already shown themselves to be less than shrewd at gaming out the consequences of trampling on them.


[C]an we really count on Trump refraining from trying to get Mueller removed? Nope. Somewhat unlike in Nixon’s time, Republicans may well still stand by Trump even if this happens. If so, they’d be in a considerably darker place than they are even now. And so would we all.

I hadn't thought up until now that he would do such an obviously stupid thing, but if he knows he's in real trouble anyway, why wouldn't he? And if he gets egged on, then it's probably more likely than not that he would do it.
When Mueller was first announced as the special counsel, [Newt] Gingrich strongly praised him.


However, speaking to radio host John Catsimatidis Sunday, as quoted by The Hill, Gingrich said Mueller’s position had been compromised by fired FBI Director James Comey’s admission that he had authorized a friend to pass details of his meetings with Trump to the press in order to justify a special counsel.

“I think Congress should now intervene and they should abolish the independent counsel, because Comey makes so clear that it’s the poison fruit of a deliberate manipulation by the FBI director leaking to the New York Times, deliberately set up this particular situation,” Gingrich said. “It’s very sick.”

That last little addendum is so Trumplike I can't tell whether he's copying Trump or dog whistling to him.
The next day, he said evidence that Mueller wouldn’t be fair could be found in his new hires’ political donations.

Conservative provocateur Ann Coulter jumped on board Sunday, writing that Comey’s acknowledgement that he told Trump he wasn’t personally under investigation was grounds for dismissing Mueller altogether.


Radio host and LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham posted a column from the Washington Examiner’s Byron York to her 1.5 million Twitter followers early Monday. York asked five unnamed Washington lawyers if they thought Comey’s reported friendship with Mueller presented a conflict.


The Hill noted Monday that four members of Mueller’s investigative team, each seasoned criminal prosecutors with extensive experience at the Justice Deparment or Washington, D.C. law firms, had donated to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton.
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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