A Stopped Clock Asks Two Good Questions — Will Trump Resign? Will Democrats Impeach Him?

By Gaius Publius, a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius, Tumblr and Facebook. GP article archive  here. Originally published at DownWithTyranny

Trump Impeached; Pence Pleased (source)

In a piece called “Do Democrats Want an Impeachment Fight?” Pat Buchanan asks two key questions for people not focused on the story behind the story, the story of which the story we’re watching is just a part. Those question are:

  • Will Trump resign?
  • Will House Democrats impeach him?

Yes, I know this is Pat Buchanan we’re going to quote, or “Pat F-ing Buchanan” to use the name he’s known by on the left. Still, he’s been doing some decent work lately — like a stopped clock that’s still managed to be right more than twice a day.

(In the era of Trump, does time circle back on itself? That’s probably more true than not. We do seem to be caught in a Groundhog Day loop of real problems like climate, Trump tweets about lawyers, and dollar-driven media focus on just the tweets.)

Here’s Buchanan on each of these questions. I think his analysis is pretty spot on (with one proviso, which I’ll offer at the end). First, part of Buchanan’s intro (my emphasis throughout):

Would a Democratic House, assuming we get one, really impeach a president for paying hush money to old girlfriends?

Hence the high-fives among never-Trumpers are premature.

But if Cohen’s guilty plea and Tuesday’s conviction of campaign manager Paul Manafort do not imperil Trump today, what they portend is ominous. For Cohen handled Trump’s dealings for more than a decade and has pledged full cooperation with prosecutors from both the Southern District of New York and the Robert Mueller investigation.

Nothing that comes of this collaboration will be helpful to Trump.

Keep in mind Mueller’s ability to keep Cohen, Manafort and many others “singing” as you read on. Now our two questions.

Will Trump resign? Buchanan on that:

Trump is not going to resign. To do so would open him up to grand jury subpoenas, federal charges and civil suits for the rest of his life. To resign would be to give up his sword and shield, and all of his immunity. He would be crazy to leave himself naked to his enemies.

No, given his belief that he is under attack by people who hate him and believe he is an illegitimate president, and seek to bring him down, he will use all the powers of the presidency in his fight for survival. And as he has shown, these powers are considerable: the power to rally his emotional following, to challenge courts, to fire Justice officials and FBI executives, to pull security clearances, to pardon the convicted.

Second, will House Democrats attempt to impeach him? Buchanan again:

Democrats who have grown giddy about taking the House should consider what a campaign to bring down a president, who is supported by a huge swath of the nation and has fighting allies in the [rightwing] press, would be like.

Why do it? Especially if they knew in advance the Senate would not convict.

That America has no desire for a political struggle to the death over impeachment is evident. Recognition of this reality is why the Democratic Party is assuring America that impeachment is not what they have in mind.

Today, it is Republicans leaders who are under pressure to break with Trump, denounce him, and call for new investigations into alleged collusion with the Russians. But if Democrats capture the House, then they will be the ones under intolerable pressure from their own media auxiliaries to pursue impeachment.

Taking the House would put newly elected Democrats under fire from the right for forming a lynch mob, and from the mainstream media for not doing their duty and moving immediately to impeach Trump.

Democrats have been laboring for two years to win back the House. But if they discover that the first duty demanded of them, by their own rabid followers, is to impeach President Trump, they may wonder why they were so eager to win it.

Don’t be shocked if House Democrats under Nancy Pelosi or any other Speaker take impeachment off the table. Some will call that Democratic cowardice, but Buchanan is right about the other factors as well. Right now it’s Republicans who are under pressure. If Democrats take the House, the pressure will shift to them — and the country will split even further and more violently.

Are Democratic leaders ready to fight that war? Perhaps yes, perhaps not. We’ll just have to wait and see. Regardless of what’s moral and right though, there are no good near-term political choices.
I agree with Buchanan that either way, we’re in for a hellish year.

How Mueller Can Remove Trump Without Congress

If you’ve read this space before, you won’t be surprised at the next suggestion. There is a way for Mueller to remove Trump from office. Let’s go back to Buchanan’s explanation of why Trump can’t resign:

Trump is not going to resign. To do so would open him up to grand jury subpoenas, federal charges and civil suits for the rest of his life. To resign would be to give up his sword and shield, and all of his immunity. He would be crazy to leave himself naked to his enemies.

He’s right as far as he goes. But what if Mueller takes the threat of life in court, and the legal destruction of the Trump Organization, off the table?

In other words, what if Mueller sits down with Trump, just the two of them, and says this:

“Sir, these are your choices. You can stay in office until Congress impeaches you and the Senate convicts, which you think will never happen. And while you’re doing that, I’ll burn down the Trump Organization till it’s a smoking hole in the ground. Keep in mind we just flipped your CFO. He’s already talking.

“Then, when you finally do leave, you’ll leave broke. The only structure in the world with your name on it will be your mailbox, and inside that you’ll find a lifetime of summons to court. That’s your first option.

“Your second option: You walk out of here now for any reason you like, congratulate Mr. Pence on his good fortune, and I will make all of your troubles go away — forever.

“It’s up to you, sir. Which do you choose?”

I still think this is how the endgame plays out, with a deal offer no one talks about on TV. And I think Trump takes the deal.

To all appearances, Mueller’s job is to get rid of Trump and not soil the designated heir (Mike Pence). That’s what the whole of the mainstream press and much of the voting public is cheering and wants. I don’t think Mueller plans to disappoint.

Side note: If you’re cheering for Trump to fall and not asking just as loudly why Mueller is playing hands-off with Pence, you’re cheering for Pence to replace Trump. If so, no problem — I hear people say “first things first” all the time. But it would be good to admit that this is what we’ll get if Mueller gives Pence a pass while taking everyone else to the cleaners.

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  1. MichaelSF

    With Pence we’d have a true Koch-puppet with serious theocrat tendencies, as well as being “nice enough” for the Democrats to play along with him in a spirit of bipartisanship.

    I’m not sure but that keeping Trump might not be a better deal.

    1. John Zelnicker

      August 29, 2018 at 1:03 am

      Pence is a Dominionist and/or Reconstructionist Christian who is focused on making the federal government a theocracy under their particularly Iron Age biblical philosophy.

      That’s scary.

      1. knowbuddhau

        Well said. I’d rather face hordes of half-hearted, lip-serving intellectuals than any true believing holy warriors.

        From the Dominionist wiki:

        Michelle Goldberg notes[57] that George Grant wrote in his 1987 book The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action:

        Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ—to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. … But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice. … Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land—of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ.

        Compare that to people just out to make a buck, a name, or even advance a career. Holy warriors acting under the color of law are the worst.

        The problem with that type of Iron Age worldview is something most other worldviews don’t feature. They claim for themselves exclusive access to the divine. They and only they are of any concern to the the one and only creator of all things.

        Their problem with the rest of us isn’t the ways we’re in the world. It’s that we exist at all. Thus their penchant for the death penalty for damn near anything.

        1. Doug Hillman

          You too — well said. “I’d rather face hordes of half-hearted, lip-serving intellectuals than any true believing holy warriors.”

          Dominionists and evangelicals are akin to Zionists. Nothing is more sacred than their own cause, total dominion for God’s Elect. Killing millions is a trivial; let Yeshua or Yahweh sort “em out.

          The War on Terra is Crusades 2.0, at least for the neoChristians, yearning for Armageddon. Putin may well be forced to oblige if Pence gets his finger on the button.

      2. fajensen

        Could be worse: He could be the kind of Christian that believes that the Armageddon is a magical ritual to summon Jesus so that by precipitating the sequence of events as described in the bible, one can skip the tribulations.

        … oh, Wait a Second. ….

      3. skippy

        I’m still curious about how the killers of the creators son got into the good books of his worshipers. Clearly remember numerous times through out my traveling childhood this view was expressed by so many – in as many locations.

        That Symposium in Chicago was held a few decades ago lingers in my mind.

    2. jrs

      Otoh Pence would be unlikely to win reelection, so that might be one positive of getting him, it might be short term.

      1. Webstir

        Pence is a lame duck the second he takes the office, and if the house turns, no legislation will move. It’ll be investigations of agency heads (and with luck the rejection of Cavanaugh) until the 2020 fight.

        Marcy Wheeler seems to think Mueller has enough to go full CONFRAUDUS. She connects dots and fills in the voids with pretty plausible arguments. Should this come to pass, it’ll be a Nixon moment. Pence will pardon him all his federal crimes to keep the red-meat Trump die hards at bay — his only consequential act as president.
        The state crimes, however? Oh bugger … those nasty little state crimes.

        1. Pat

          Sorry, but IMHO Marcy has drunk far too much koolaid. That may be the plan, but I think it underestimates how many people have dirty laundry, how much of that Trump and his associates know, AND how willing Trump would be to tearing down every corrupt edifice in reach as they try to take him out.

          The state crimes are the least of Trump’s worries.

          1. Webstir

            Yeah, I keep hearing that from folks who have already decided that Russia is innocent of any wrong-doing — objectively — not, oh well, the U.S. does it too.
            Sure. We do. And I agree that it’s hypocriticaI. But that’s not the issue here. The issue is the realm of possibility.

            I’ve already read several statements on here that, if you follow Marcy, you know right away are false. Example, Mueller being appointed to investigate Trump’s connection to Russia, not his financial crimes. His ambit is vast.

            Personally, I’m keeping an open mind. But it would seem that many of Trump’s more inexplicable actions are more easily explained in the light of someone exerting pressure on him. Someone has dirt. It’s nearly impossible to be a narcissist of Trump’s magnitude and not leave a slime trail that someone notices can be valuable kompromat.

            All I’m saying is that I will not be a bit surprised if Mueller goes bigger than the mainstream press wants to currently admit he has the ability to do.

            1. False Solace

              Yeah, Marcy and her commenters are quick to talk about how wrong everyone else is, but I never see details or cites to back it up.

              Everyone at Trump’s level is corrupt and could be hauled away at the whim of a prosecutor at any time. I suspect that 90% of the people who voted for him are well aware of that. Maybe that’s why everyone is so furious at the lack of white collar prosecutions and suspicious of why the establishment has chosen to single out this one shyster who happened to win the Presidency.

              And the R3 doesn’t pass the laugh test, sorry. HRC spent $2 billion to buy the election. We’re supposed to believe foreigners had a bigger effect than that? All the while Very Serious People in the establishment have known reasons for being PO’d at Russia? Yeah, right.

            2. pretzelattack

              so far, there is no evidence russia hacked the election. i’m keeping an open mind, and looking at the lack of evidence produced by some of the very same people who helped sell the lie about iraqi wmd’s, and not believing their narrative. being open minded, i will revise my opinion when evidence is produced.

              which “inexplicable” actions are you referring to? meeting alone with putin? not deferring to the cia/fbi heads on tv? trump has always been inconsistent, with his finger in the political wind. whatever he thinks will sell the product (himself) in the moment, consistency be damned.

    3. Tomonthebeach

      I just want mental stability in the WH, even if it is from an Evangelical wing-nut. Trump’s behavior has touched on every major symptom in DSM-5.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I don’t think that lesser-of-two-evils approach is a viable strategy anymore. That is how you got Trump in the first place.

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          Actually, I think it’s the opposite. I voted NOTA, because I refused to vote for Hillary after the corrupt primary robbed Bernie of the nomination.

          North Carolina went for Trump.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        I just want mental stability in the WH, even if it is from an Evangelical wing-nut.

        Lets think about this for a second. Then lets consider why Trump might be President. Is it the total lack of standards and logical consistency by the Democratic Party these days? I think that might be it.

        1. d

          Doesnt that describe both parties dont exactly look consistent, one pretends to be evangelical but skips the part where we are suppose the poor, or the aliens. the other at least says they want to help the 99% But has way to many .001% connections. most of that is you gotta have money or votes.

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        Just to be clear, you consider a man who won’t be in the same room as a woman alone, calls his wife “mothers”, passed draconian anti-gay laws, has been a loyal supporter of Big Pollution, called for virtually every deranged conflict, “mentally stable”?

        Its like McCain and Biden. Any examination of those two leads to an inescapable conclusion which is these are just crazy and evil men. Is it possible they are so cartoonish in their evil that you can’t comprehend those people exist in the United States? Is it a blind patriotism?

        1. DJG

          Thanks, NotTimothyGeithner: I believe that Pence also help to criminalize miscarriage in Indiana, too, being one of those protector-of-womenfolk Christianist types.

          And the Democrats are so deranged that they think that further unleashing toxic religion into U.S. governance is going to help. But then Pence *is* a silver fox, eh.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Ah, so the position of the #resistance is Mike Pence is mentally stable. Did you know who he was before he was Trump’s running mate?

            I always found Biden supporters to be grossly ignorant of his history, so I assume the people who try to convince themselves Pence isn’t a dominionist have a limited if any familiarity with American politics beyond a few names they heard which makes them proud to recognize when they hear them.





            Pence is a lunatic. I know he’s not responsible for destroying the bubbles of certainty of an HRC victory (despite the actual track record of Team Clinton), but this is who Mike Pence is. Americans need to grow up beyond getting upset over personality.

            1. bezoff

              By that logic, most Americans for most of American history were lunatics. Historically, people in this country generally accepted school prayer, public display of the 10 commandments, divine guidance/accountability of elected officials, America as a de facto Christian nation, the Biblical creation account, etc.

              According to Gallup’s latest religion survey, ~140 million Americans still identify as “born-again” Christians. 71% still believe that the Bible is the word of God to one degree or another. A good deal of Pence’s religious beliefs are still widely held, his most extreme views notwithstanding.

              Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks. Opinions and elections are now mostly determined by the media. That would be the same media that would prefer you ditch one set of superstitions (Christianity) in favor of another set (American democracy) since they operate the latter. The personal views of the President and Vice President are, likewise, immaterial. Those offices exist solely to legitimize, ratify, and execute the will of the powerful who are NOT Dominionist or even particularly religious except for their worship of mammon.

              It’s possible Trump lost the thread and his handlers and other courtiers are seeking to embargo him until he can be replaced. In which case, the Mueller blackmail scenario becomes entirely plausible.

              Now… should we consult a diviner as to the import of the color of the drapes in the Oval Office? Or can we all agree they, too, have no more power than any other purchased object in the room?

      4. johnnygl

        Mental stability is NOT an option that’s on the table. Pence thinks God talks directly to him. Go ahead and marinate on that one….

        1. Wukchumni

          On one hand you’ve got a narcissist’s narcissist, and on the other a determined evang that lusts for an America that’s a full bore theocracy perhaps?

          A real Hobson’s Choice

      5. Michael Fiorillo

        “Mental stability in the White House,” when almost the entire country has lost its mind and refuses to face the real crises (of which Trump is just a nasty boil on the surface)?

        I live here in the US, and still love much about it, but there’s a strong argument to made that until we deal with the corruptions of empire (which even the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party cannot bring itself to do), and the eco-logic/economic/ climatic/thermodynamic/ crises under way, it’s all “unsinkable” ships, icebergs and deck chairs.

        That said, I’ve stood by incredulously as Left-leaning friends of mine obsess about impeaching Trump, which is neither desirable (why would you want to put a more competent authoritarian in the WH?), nor likely (since it completely misreads the political and historical dynamicss in the country).

        Real Leftists should do their best to never even mention Trump when organizing (after all, what better way to get under the skin of a narcissist than by ignoring him?), while they struggle for policies that help and protect the working class, which just happens to include the overwhelming majority of women, people of color, immigrants and those with non-traditional gender and sexual identities. At the same time, everything must be done to re-direct the country away from its shamefully wasteful (in terms of lives, wealth and purpose) national security/surveillance state, and its deluded obsession with “full spectrum dominance.”

        1. bob

          “after all, what better way to get under the skin of a narcissist than by ignoring him?”

          Key point. Would have proven valuable during the campaign. But trump was good at selling newz.

      6. Shane Mage

        a mentally stable evangelical wing-nut. You’d have better luck looking for a marxist-leninist unicorn.

      7. MIchael

        Mike Pence’s foreign policy may be a nightmare come true. Given the Democrats’ escalation of the Cold War and Israel’s control of our Middle East policy, I would not be surprised if he took us to the “Big One” in some fit of Revelations inspired attempt at the Rapture.

        It should also be mentioned that there are quite a few Christian fundamentalists in command in the Armed Forces.

        Be very careful for what you wish.

      8. Unna

        I just want mental stability in the WH, even if it is from an Evangelical wing-nut.

        Tom, think about what you just said!

    4. XXYY

      I’m sure.

      Like it or not, Trump is doing the Dems and the left in general a lot of good right where he is. His clownishness and obvious incompetence and corruption ensure he won’t do as much damage as a more serious president might, yet his horrific optics has managed to galvanize a large chunk of the US population into the realization that they need to organize and take back political power from a vicious and entrenched establishment. (As a side benefit, he has also exposed the existing Democratic Party leadership and institutions as pointless, ineffectual and overdue for wholesale replacement.)

      You can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need!

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Trump is doing terrible damage as a normative Republican which is why except for Republicans who milked donors off their connections to the Bush family he is embraced by them. His boorishness prevents bipartisan efforts to resurrect SS privatization or bring back the slave labor immigration farce from 2006. The outrage over phantoms and boogeyman has neutered what could be actual opposition to Trump.

        Take the Supreme Court pick. Is Collins being hounded? No. Much like the fraud McCain, her reputation and reality should be on the forefront of Democratic office holder and election seeker. Are they doing that? No. In a way, Trump’s crassness has confused people such as “Tomonthebeach” up above into thinking Trump is an exception to a violent and dangerous party, aided and abetted by Team Blue. Before the recess, noted leader of the #resistance Chuck Schumer made a deal to help confirm Trump’s nominees, our mentally unstable Russian puppet.

        Kavanaugh will be around for years, and the way to beat him is to make sure that a “yes” vote tarnishes the reputation of malleable Republicans and to make sure they vote “no” under duress. Don’t let it be seen as an example of courage in the minds of the msm because they will pollute future memory recall.

    5. DHG

      No one should carry out anything Trump says, they will be forever known as fools if they do and yes Pence is worse than Trump. He will be paying for his crimes soon enough a few years more doesnt matter.

  2. The Rev Kev

    In the scenario where Mueller tries to blackmail Trump into leaving – probably by not running in the 2020 Presidential race – I would IMHO say not going to happen. Ever. Trump would literally have to put all his trust in his bitter enemies after leaving the Presidency and have faith that they would not try to go after him and make an example of him while discrediting all Republicans everywhere for political advantage.
    He would be opening himself up to all those grand jury subpoenas, federal charges and civil suits for the rest of his life. His enemies have already proven themselves to be agreement-incapable so why trust them now? That would be nuts. Look, I have no respect for Trump myself but I could guess Trump’s response. He would say:
    Try it and I will reprieve myself. But I will win the 2020 election because of people like you so I will dedicate my next six years burning down everything that gives you people power. Pulling Brennan’s clearance was my shot across your bow. How about I do it wholesale. I can do it you know. And that would be just the beginning. Let’s see how much power a modern Presidency actually has. And I have over 60 million people that have my back. Your move, Mueller.

    1. John Zelnicker

      @The Rev Kev
      August 29, 2018 at 1:32 am

      I agree completely, Rev.

      Trump will never give up or give in and admit defeat. To remove him will take an election so resistant to challenge (hand-marked, publicly hand-counted paper ballots) that even his devoted followers won’t be able to mount an effective challenge. This also mitigates the Pence issue.

      IMNSHO, if the Dems win a majority in the house they simply should do what McConnell did to Obama and gridlock Congress. Lambert is so right that gridlock is our friend.

      1. Pat

        Gridlock, the Democrats!!?!! bwahahahaha!

        Part of my feeling that the Democratic leadership is running to lose is my belief that they figured out that they would be like the dog who caught the car if they got the majority. Not just in regards to impeachment, see they would be expected to slow down all that progress their donors love like so much that has happened in the last year. Just call it one of the disadvantages of being the group whose public policy is the opposite of their real position.

        In the unlikely event they fail and end up holding one house of Congress there will always be someone found to have some good reason to break with party and pass the deeply desired legislation.

        1. Darius

          Democrats have no public policy except Trump Trump Trump and Russia Russia Russia. That actually is a sign that they’re afraid of winning because then they’d be holding the bag. Of course they could fall back on their favorite tenderly fostered narrative of their own powerlessness. At the very least, Democrats in control of the House could cause tremendous mischief and heartburn for Trump and McConnell. But they would much rather be the ones whose pants are constantly getting pulled down.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Anyone remember that the blueprints for the Grand Bargain ™ are tattooed on the Dem leaderships’ foreheads? “What you gonna do when they come for you?”

            They’ll happily do that much, and more. Bipartisanly. Because deficits, you know.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              If the Democrats won the House (and its still Team Blue; so my guess is they will leave votes on the table all over the map and blame some distant and inconsequential group for their failure.), would Pelosi even wait 48 hours to call for the John McCain Catfood Commission?

          2. False Solace

            They’d much rather run on Trump and R3 than actual policy issues. It’s all a distraction while they march in lockstep for their donors. If donors want something it happens. Everything else is marketing.

    2. Another Anon

      I also don’t think Trump would go without a fight. I would also say that Trump may well have material to embarrass Mueller for when he was head of the FBI. For example, during that time the FBI botched the Anthrax investigation of the 2000’s which had Steven Hatfill as the main suspect. Hatfill successfully sued the government and was exonerated. I can see Trump sending out a tweet saying something like “Mueller tried to rail road Steven Hatfill for a crime he did not commit, now he is trying to rail road me”.

    3. d

      Thinking the Trump legal jeopardy will out live his time in office, he will need that the next President wont prosecute him after he is out of office, or he leaves the country before he can be indicted (he does have his own plane)

      1. fajensen

        The CIA will drone American citizens. I’d guess that is the one legacy of Obama’s that Donald Trump will be keeping?!

  3. Ignacio

    As an expert on US politics, ;) I believe that barring a Russia collusion/treason story Mueller should find a very very strong criminal case against Trump well beyond some white collar/tax evasion thing to force Trump resigning or impeachment. That could really result in such Mueller blackmailing Trump scenario. I think it shouldn’t be forgotten that Mueller was named for Russia investigation, not for dismantling Trump’s companies.

    1. False Solace

      > Mueller was named for Russia investigation, not for dismantling Trump’s companies

      Orrrrr… they knew all along the Russia stuff was fake, and Mueller was intended to do exactly what he is doing. Which means Trump is an idiot for not making sure Mueller’s investigation was narrower in scope.

  4. clarky90

    “Your second option: You walk out of here now for any reason you like, congratulate Mr. Pence on his good fortune, and I will make all of your troubles go away — forever.”

    This is adolescent fantasizing, imo. Too much Hollywood Comic Book; not enough Bible and Greek mythology. Not everybody in this world “has a price”.

    There is a titanic battle going on today. Donald Trump willingly took up the challenge. He has a profound knowledge of the venal army, arrayed against him.

    The USAian “Inner Party Members” are overwrought, and they should be.

    “Winston writes that the proles are where hope lies. … If there was hope, it MUST lie in the proles, because only there in those swarming disregarded masses, 85 per cent of the population of Oceania, could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated. The Party could not be overthrown from within.” (1984)

    When asking God for help, do not have a pre-conceived idea of how that help will appear. I thought that Obama was Heaven sent. But he was not…..

  5. everydayjoe

    Trump’s greatest accomplishment has been to staff key judicial posts up and down the chain with conservative leaning candidates.(More nominations than Obama and Bush, thanks to Obama and Democrats inability to do it during their time) As long as the liberal media goes after his mistresses and his golf game, the real damage he is doing to the long term health of the republic would never be known. This article is another example of the master diversion by his propaganda machine. In this case Pat Buchanan ( not this site)

  6. Katniss Everdeen

    Wow. Weirdly calm discussion of a crooked ex-fbi guy threatening to ruin the business of the constitutionally elected president of the united states if he doesn’t give in to the deep state and leave quietly on his own, after which “we” can get back to the “normal” of two pre-selected, status-quo-approved candidates and pretend “elections” in which everybody agrees to talk nice and do as they’re told. Nuthin’ but obamas for the foreseeable future.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–this is what a coup looks like.

    If Trump is forced out, you can kiss any “hope” for “change” from future “elections” good-bye. Whatever you think of Trump, this fight is not about him, much as the msm would like you to think it is. It’s about who will “choose” the direction of the country–actual voters or permanently entrenched elite interests. If he goes, any power of the voting booth goes with him. You’ve got to be pretty naive to think that elites will let any future “election” get so out of their control again. You’ll get what you’re given and only that.

    As for Trump’s suitability for the presidency, I don’t like some of the things he’s doing any more than the next guy. But it strikes me as at least worth wondering how anyone would react to being beaten over the head with every overt and covert power these united states can muster every hour of every day for the last two and a half years.

    1. RUKidding

      Agree x 100!

      Yikes. The thought that Deep State could negotiate a “deal” like this to rid themselves of Trump – no doubt replete with a replay of the Zapruder video – is chilling indeed.

      Can’t stand Trump, myself, but agree that this potential option looks & smells like a coup to me.

      Dunno how accurate Pat F******* Buchanan is, however. Seems a bit like fear mongering to me, which is not unusual for Buchanan.

    2. bob

      “But it strikes me as at least worth wondering how anyone would react to being beaten over the head with every overt and covert power these united states can muster every hour of every day for the last two and a half years.”

      By appointing Tillerson and then Pompeo?

    3. Iguanabowtie

      Came to post this.
      Trump’s an old man, trying to jawbone him with his legacy at stake is a great way to get a crashed plane & no survivors.

  7. ChrisAtRU


    I had not considered the possibility of the Mueller-Trump “sit-down”. However, I still don’t think Trump’s going to resign. I always return to my original theory: Trump never really wanted to be president. He will ride it for as long as it’s useful; and it continues to be from the point of view of his adoring base whom he’ll likely bilk for the rest of his life with shitty Trump branded products. That said, however, he does have to “hold on”, and I believe he will. The biggest reason he will do so is that without Trump as a bogeyman, establishment Dems have nothing. Remember, this is the group of dimwits that just cut a deal to fast-track seven
    Trump-nominated federal judges in exchange for the hope of renaming a building for John McCain. LMAO. #TheAssistance really doesn’t want to get rid of Trump. They just want to delegitimize his presidency as ablution after the shame and embarrassment HRC’s loss for esoteric reasons. Can’t have America, The Already Great electing reality television boors, can we? Hence it must be Russia, and cannot ever be legitimate- in their eyes.

    My belief is that Trump will serve out his first (and only) term. He will not seek reelection – citing a desire to get back to his business “empire” – and make way for another GOP nominee. The Dems may not take back the House & Senate, but the arch of events will not bode well (enough) for Trump. He will not want to go out a “loser” after being president.

    1. ChrisAtRU

      “McConnell says he’s negotiating with Schumer on a package of judges they can agree to fast-track to a vote.

      McConnell isn’t endorsing the Schumer-Flake plan to rename the Russell building after John McCain, and prefers to leave it to the gang.

      The way we have approached this kind of thing in the past has been on a thoroughly bipartisan basis.”

      See here.

    2. False Solace

      You don’t get to be Trump by being the type of person who’d back away from a fight for reelection.

      My memory stretches all the way back to the election, when Trump called out McCain for being a crappy pilot, said Bush 2 lied about WMD, and got into a size fight with Rubio.

      Golden quote from the linked article:

      “When you vote for Trump, it’s almost giving the middle finger to the establishment or the status quo,” he said.

      And then the establishment doubled down.

    3. Tony Wright

      Many pundits predict the mother of all financial crashes sometime within the next two years for various of the following reasons:
      The Everything Bubble, stocks,real estate.
      Massive worldwide debt, Government, Industry and consumer.
      US Fed interest rate rises.
      Italy all but bankrupt with populist coalition Govt. about to further increase deficits; many European economies not far behind.
      Longest Wall St bull market on record, stocks with ridiculous P/E numbers.
      $6 trillion unfunded US retirement fund liabilities.
      Massive unsustainable Emerging Market debts, Turkey the most recent example.
      Over 250% GDP debt in both China (massive infrastructure overspending) and Japan ( demography).
      And that is not even thinking about potential military conflict – South China sea, N. Korea, Iran, Ukraine. Conflict with Iran would probably close the Straits of Hormuz, massively disrupting crude oil supplies.
      The point is, why would the Democrats want to inherit this s…storm? It is even worse than the poisoned chalice Obama inherited (2008GFC, Iraq, Afghanistan)
      Trump loves to claim credit for the current US stockmarket, so leave him there until the economy crashes around his ears and then he gets to leave office in ignominious and well deserved defeat.
      Then when the dust has settled, to rebuild the country, get in some left leaning, environmentally savvy politicians who actually believe in a functioning society, not just an economy for the benefit of the top one percent. And definitely not the Clintonite Dems.
      Sorry its late – different time zone by 12hrs.

  8. KLG

    Say what you want about him, and there is a lot to say, but if the Democrat Party had been listening to Pat Buchanan over the past 25 years, Donald Trump would be somewhere out there blasting the network for cancelling The Apprentice. Yes, I know, Pat F-ing Buchanan. But his fingers have been on the pulse of the larger public represented by the 89%, not dabbing the faux-fevered brows of the Masters of the Universe.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      If necessity is the mother of invention, follow along. The conceit of the 50 state strategy was that Republicans are a naturally minority party. The Republicans actually need to have a finger on the pulse to stay relevant. Whereas the Democratic Party can entertain maintaining relevancy while under performing, and as long as donors who are often as uniformed as the average voter don’t pay attention and consider the GOP and Team Blue to be two sides similar to NFL teams with relatively equal playing fields, the likes of Donna Brazille will continue to be Democrats in good standing because they will appear to be competing with the other side.

  9. Jack H

    Perhaps I don’t understand the intricacies of the Federal legal structure, but it seems to me that the greatest threat of legal action against the Trump organization comes from the Southern District of New York, which doesn’t answer to Mueller. Ergo, I wouldn’t think that it is within Mueller’s power to make the hardball “offer” that the author proposes.

    1. bruce wilder


      Who does the Southern District answer to? Let me think hard about this.

      If Trump does not know how to pull that lever, Giuliani can fill him in.

  10. Howard W Hawhee

    One other thing to disagree with Buchanan about — he makes a very common mistake about who “the left” and “the Democrats’ base” are, conflating them with each other and with “their” elites: he thinks that they are clamoring for Trump’s impeachment,like the R base clamored for Obamacare repeal. But IMO Trump impeachment to the Ds is not like Obamacare to the Rs.

  11. Uuuu123

    The final scenario seems doubtful to me. They’re all part of the family, including Trump and his backers, who came together as a alliance of convenience to get a fully Republican federal government, and eat a chunk the Clinton backers’ lunch, so to speak.

    With that accomplished, the alliance is off, and some of the players are getting kicked out. (At stake: big $$). Who’s still in? Defense contractors. Banks. International energy industry. While they don’t really want Trump’s toxic style trashing up the place, the overriding concern would be an excessively vicious power struggle bringing down the whole federal government money machine, by ruining our best-in-class voter apathy. Look for a far milder settlement.

    Trump-Mueller theatrics are for the true believers in the government’s independence. (Which may include much of the DOJ/IC/ military, whose cooperation is imperative )

    1. Uuuu123

      Also let’s not forget many of Trump’s opponents here were leaders in Bush-II administration, whose frauds took lives buy the hundreds of thousands, even some American ones. They too fear for being blackmailed or outed – again, making an amicable settlemtnent more likely.

  12. Louis Fyne

    Trump gets impeached, special prosecutor gets appointed to take down the Clinton Foundation. And no one tell me that everything at the Foundation smelled like roses.

    Just saying

    1. johnnygl

      Yes…this kind of ‘deterrence’ might explain why trump’s been so nice (for trump) to the clintons since the election.

      If trump fires sessions…i figure that’s a sign that it’s escalating to a kind of war with the DC elite. Sessions wants no part of this kind of war. He’s been abundantly clear about that.

  13. George Phillies

    “To all appearances, Mueller’s job is to get rid of Trump and not soil the designated heir (Mike Pence). That’s what the whole of the mainstream press and much of the voting public is cheering and wants. ”

    Well, no. ‘Impeach’ is a minority of the voting public. The ‘impeach’ opponents outnumber the ‘impeach supporters. Courtesy of TheHill, the recent PPP (Democratic, but try to get their numbers right) poll:

    “Forty percent of registered voters support impeaching President Trump, according to a poll released Thursday from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP). Nearly half of voters, 48 percent, are opposed to impeaching Trump, and 12 percent remain unsure, according to the poll.”

    Also, with respect to “Don’t be shocked if House Democrats under Nancy Pelosi or any other Speaker take impeachment off the table”, first the Democrats would need to take control of the House. The FiveThirtyEight odds on this happening are only somewhat better than even, and the economy is doing well.

    Readers familiar with 19th century history may note the possibility that the “majority” party factionalizes so that we have a prolonged series of ballots before a Speaker is elected. A Democratic majority with ‘I will not vote for Pelosi’ holding the cards, or Republicans split between machine Republicans and House Freedom Caucus, might do this.

  14. Martin Finnucane

    What we’re seeing is an evolutionary constitutional change along Roman lines: from Senatorial to Imperial. Under the latter, the monarch du jour has virtually unlimited powers … until he doesn’t. In our version, at least for now, impeachment and prosecution serves as the murder in the bath tub. For the time being Trump is our jolly mad king.

    One may be forgive a bit of nostalgia for the straightforward Roman mechanism for succession. C-span’s ratings would shoot through the roof.

  15. Wukchumni

    We have the politics of late 1930’s France and the military expenditures of late 1930’s Germany, what could go wrong?

  16. flora

    Would a Democratic House, assuming we get one, really impeach a president for paying hush money to old girlfriends?

    Paying hush money is, of course, waay worse than, say, sic’ing his lawyer wife on said women to smash them into silence. /s

  17. jake

    Mueller couldn’t offer such immunity, even if he dared to, or wanted to. There are thousands of potential private claimants, beyond the defrauded states.

    It’s also not clear Pence would risk a pardon. What would he gain from it, when Trump is hated by most of the Republican establishment? And where do the pardons stop? Ivanka? Jared? Melania? Pence can’t insulate the organization, even if he wanted to.

    The only deal which works for Trump is a military take-over.

  18. Roquentin

    It would be much better long term if Trump was removed via losing an election. To impeach him or remove him while still in office will deal a very deep blow to the legitimacy of elected leadership in the US as an institution, only the libs are too blind with rage to see it. They’re still too stung by seeing Queen Hillary beaten by a vulgar reality TV star. I just can’t listen to people with a straight face who argue that we’re sliding into some kind of autocratic system, but then constantly scheme about how to remove Trump, who was elected according law of the land. I guess they’re blind to how hypocritical that looks too. From where I’m sitting, all this still reads as establishment liberals not being able to admit they lost at this late hour in 2018.

    I also suspect it’s because that same crowd no longer believes it can win elections and doesn’t trust the US population. The liberal technocrats talk a mean game about freedom and democracy, but in practice they believe in them even less than most conservatives and think people too stupid and backwards to vote correctly. That if the experts just came in and told them all what to do, we’d all be a lot better off. That’s how these people think, in the Acela Corridor and Silicon Valley. They hate the very people they want to vote for them, and that’s why those very same people won’t do it. They know, we all know.

    1. knowbuddhau

      We’re plagued by two tribes, both of which think they and only they have any access to the Truth. The rest of us just don’t know, you see. We should all let the “adults” decide. It’s important that we know our place. “Now, back to the issues.”

      I could see a bipartisan consensus forming. We already see Dems have no problem with extraconstitutional measures. And you know, maybe, with the threats of climate change fast proliferating, maybe it’s time for a strong-man approach. Or woman! Because “progressive.” We could make history! But just for now, they’d say.

      I think Lambert has spotted the tell that both parties have little use for actual voters actually voting in the glaring absence of any mention of hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public. When there’s a stunningly simple solution to a supposedly intractable problem, you know the fix is in.

      And you’re right about lib technocrats, at least the ones I see. I’ve often wondered, about my credentialed lib friends: if they’re so down with the working class, how come house work is beneath them? What’s the matter, ain’t you a worker?

      1. flora

        ‘We’re plagued by two tribes political machines, both of which think they and only they [should] have any access to the Truth votes, money, and power.’


  19. johnnygl

    I think a big oversight that i’ve seen consistently with regard to trump is that he gets underestimated, over and over. His biggest talent is to get his opponents to make fools of themselves and get flustered. Also, i think people overestimate the competence and legitimacy of the ‘deep state’ orchestrators.

    i was where gauis publius was around this time after the obamacare repeal debacle. I thought trump let the repub congress dither too much on repeal and that it was eating his political capital.

    I thought trump was going to get boxed in and the repubs would turn on him. However, the depth of corruption at the FBI and Justice Dept has been shocking. They all seem to be on the payroll of Fusion GPS!!! Those revelations and the spying on trump’s campaign, along with mueller’s indictments of the stupid troll farm have allowed trump and his loyalists to turn the narrative around and the ‘witch hunt’ narrative looks a lot stronger.

    Now, throw in a heavy dose of fiscal stimulus, however wasteful and poorly targeted…but it’s making the economy move a bit more. His poll numbers keep inching upwards.

    No new wars…the power of incumbency…trump looks solid in recent polling against most potential opponents, except warren, sanders and biden.

    Keep in mind, if trump has the ‘conversation’ described above, records it, then releases it and fires mueller, then trump wins and it’s all over for the resistance/assistance types. They lose and trump wins.

  20. Unna

    It’s said that there are 300 million privately owned firearms in the US. And most of them are held by various Deplorables. And these guys and gals like guns and know how to use them, many being ex military. Before the election, if I remember correctly, gun and ammunition sales were hot in anticipation of a Madame President. Then Trump got elected and sales fell off. What do people think would have happened if Hillary had won? How many secessionist bills would have gotten into state legislatures? How many new militias formed?

    Juries in the West are essentially nullifying indictments against those ranchers. “Constitutional” Sheriffs think they have the right to eliminate Federal activity within the borders of their jurisdictions and maybe they get backed up by an unfriendly population. For these people, the Second Amendment doesn’t confer rights, it merely recognizes rights already given to them as a free “People” by the Creator. So which young environmentalist from a nice family wants that forest service job again where they can work in nature?

    And now people plot scenarios to get rid of Trump in a manner that’s so Versailles like it’s beyond parody. Getting rid of Trump in a non electoral way can have, shall we say, unpredictable consequences.

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      Yes, unpredictable consequences, and nearly all of them bad.

      The dude has got to be taken down electorally, lest the already weak institutional legitimacy in the country become hopelessly undermined.

      Let him remain in his castle ranting and raving (and often surprising with his canniness, political idiot savant that he is) and be defeated by a Sanders/Waren -style Democrat who we don’t gag on immediately.

      Then start a movement for Peace, Equity and Reconstruction At Home.

  21. Code Name D

    Like most Democrats, there seems to be a lot of delusion of adequacy at work here.

    For starters, where is all of this “pressure” to impeach coming from, assuming it even exists at all. I suspect this “pressure” is mostly the media noise. And now that Silicone Valley is more aggressively censoring – or rather “securing from political discourse”, the on-line conversation is also being distorted. If the Republicans are under pressure to impeach – it’s likely coming from congressional Democrats.

    If that is true, then the Democrats will not mysteriously take impeachment off the table should they retake the house. Rather, it will be all impeachment- all the time. With occasional brakes to vote for larger tax cuts for the rich, expanded military budgets, increased surveillance for the president, more censorship – I mean internet security. Then right back to ginning up charges and purl clutching from the latest round of “discovered” Russian Facebook memes. (CNN just found out Russian trolls made twitter posts both for and against vaccines. -GASP- where is my fainting couch.)

    And this notion that Trump is backed into a corner? I don’t think he is. In fact, the more they keep trying to push the Russia thing – the STRONGER he gets politically, not weaker. Trump is out there on the campaign trail BRAGGING about the hearings.

    It’s a witch hunt. The first people to know are always the victim, and the last people to know are always the witch hunters who are acting out of fear.

    I do agree with one thing however. If the Dems to try to impeach – it will be more than divisive, it will be a major escalation. As I said before, you can only kick the bear so many times before he turns and rips your head off. Right now, the Republicans are largely ignoring the Russia narrative because Democrats are useful idiots that play a huge role in keeping Republicans in power. If the progressives were to take over, Republicans would fall from power rather quickly. But if the Democrats upset this balance by becoming greater liabilities than they are assets, it will hit the fan rather quickly.

    Republicans will launch probes into Democratic activities, especially with the Clintons, and they will find a lot of bodies in the backyard, so to speak. Then Republicans will turn the very machine the Dems have built to tear down Trump, and turn it against the Democrats. Trump will dismantle the two-party system – and make it into a one-party state. And that is if are lucky.

    Democrats are playing the Ahab right now, hunting Trump – the white whale. They already lost their leg, Clinton losing in 2016. They are hell bent on getting their revenge – and have doomed themselves from the get-go.

    But that all kind of assumes they retake the house. I don’t think they can.

  22. Lambert Strether

    From the post:

    In other words, what if Mueller sits down with Trump, just the two of them, and says this:

    “Sir, these are your choices. You can stay in office until Congress impeaches you and the Senate convicts, which you think will never happen. And while you’re doing that, I’ll burn down the Trump Organization till it’s a smoking hole in the ground. Keep in mind we just flipped your CFO. He’s already talking.

    “Then, when you finally do leave, you’ll leave broke. The only structure in the world with your name on it will be your mailbox, and inside that you’ll find a lifetime of summons to court. That’s your first option.

    “Your second option: You walk out of here now for any reason you like, congratulate Mr. Pence on his good fortune, and I will make all of your troubles go away — forever.

    “It’s up to you, sir. Which do you choose?”

    Working on the principle that everybody always guilty of something, especially the elites, you can see the stakes; The intelligence community ends up with veto power over Presidential selection, as Gaius shows how it work work out in this dialog. (As I’ve been saying for some time). And given the enormity of the stakes, we need to look carefully at provenance, when and if a “smoking gun” emerges.

    1. JohnnyGL


      Per my comment above….and scanning some stories today…Trump’s winning…



      Librul media credibility is eroding away with every breathless ‘breaking news’ headline.

      If John Solomon’s onto something with his reporting above, then the FBI and DOJ look like they were fueled by Clintonite lobbyist money to conspire against Trump.

      You’ve got Brennan out there yelling about free speech because….he’s going to get his security clearance revoked, really? He’s making a fool of himself in the process with his endless foaming at the mouth, embarrassing even the likes of James Clapper, while being encouraged by his media worshippers the entire way.

      The Dems keep telling voters they’re dead set on doing NOTHING different. Lefties are starting to punch holes in the establishment’s chokehold on the control of the party.

      Republicans are winning their messaging war, never trumpers are falling through retirements and election losses (Paul Ryan and Jeff Flake come to mind, along with lots of primary losses) and the conservative base is rock solid behind the pro Trumpers in the House. And it seems only a few people have figured out that Mueller’s not working with a ‘smoking gun’, but, in fact…it’s an empty chamber.

      Aaron Mate pointed out that Brennan basically admitted there’s no evidence of collusion. No one knows better than Brennan.

      1. flora

        The Clinton camp used Haiti for practice, I guess.

        Ray McGovern weighs in:

        Robert Reich, who until recently had been a member of the Adult Democrats, has given Robert Mueller his marching orders. Reich writes in
        “The only way I see the end of Trump is if there’s overwhelming evidence he rigged the 2016 election. In which case impeachment isn’t an adequate remedy. His presidency should be annulled. … Suppose, just suppose, Robert Mueller finds overwhelming and indisputable evidence that Trump conspired with Putin to rig the 2016 election, and the rigging determined the election’s outcome.”

        Only then could we see an early end to Trump, Reich suggests. Hope springs eternal. But Peter Strzok concluded: “There’s no big there there.” Never mind. We are pinning our hopes on you, Bob. Please. It is getting embarrassing. Hurry up and find some “there” for god’s sake.


  23. Big Tap

    If Pence becomes President Pence I believe he would be a favorite to win in 2020. The Democrats only now have anti-Trump rants as campaign ideas which would no longer have validity with Trump gone. The party is currently intelligentially bankrupt for any solutions for America. Their candidates have no appeal since they are neoliberals. Bernie Sanders will never be allowed to be the Democratic nominee period. If Pence doesn’t make the Gerry Ford mistake of pardoning Trump in areas not covered by a Mueller promise or commit unforced errors he gets reelected. He doesn’t have the Trump baggage of vulgar tweets, endless personal attacks, sleazy personal life, and plain nasty disposition that hurts Trump even with some Republicans. Pence can come off as likeable particularly compared to his predecessor. For the Left and liberal Democrats alike Mike Pence would be a nightmare and even achieve more draconian policies then Trump ever could.

    1. Code Name D

      And yet, I have Clintionites trying to reabilitate Pence to make impeachment more palitable. Sence when has this guy ever been a moderate Republicans?

      These guys are little more than munkyes, dancing on the button.

  24. precariat

    Trump is a symptom. Of corruption. Institutions, the law and the culture have been deliberately skewed in favor of corruption — and it has been corrosively unstoppable since the Financial Crisis.

    To follow the news of the Trump investigations is to risk being co-opted into this corruption. I’m supposed to cheer and believe justice is being done? Manafort is a dime-a-dozen in DC. The establishment is clearly unwilling to go after venal Trump with any integrity — because they have none. The media is corporate, neoliberal and anti-civil society. The citizens ignored or preyed upon. It’s all a con. We’re being conned into cheering what is a nasty fight amongst the powerful. None of whom seem even remotely bothered at how this constitutional spectacle highlights the rot for everyone to see and further undermines what is still functional about the American experiment.

    1. JTMcPhee

      The corruption goes back a whole lot further than the Financial Crisis. To cite a currently unfashionable example, there’s the role of Saint John McCain as a member of the “Keating Five” that ploughed the fields of finance so a bunch of looters like Charles Keating could bankrupt a whole lot of mopes who thought “savings and loans” were safe places to deposit their hard earned money: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keating_Five

      I got a million of ‘em, going back to the foundation of the country, and of course that’s just the US — the British Empire had huge corruption issues, and every other “government” on earth since “civilization’ brought us cities and slavery and war had run on baksheesh and mordidas and much vaster “conversion of public goods to private gain.”

      Anyone that still believes that there is or ever was a “rule of law” does not understand the Helmsley Principle: “The law, the parts of it we have not bought to give our rich class all these advantages, only applies to the little people.”

      1. precariat

        Absolutely agree that corruption of this kind has been a mainstay of civilization. I do think that this said corruption is *unstoppable* since the Financial Crisis.

        I may be naive but the eternal existence of corruption does not nullify the community’s ability to address at some of it. So I do believe there was a time when at least *some* of the most egregious violations of law and the public good could be and were addressed. No longer.

  25. Anonymous

    This is pure fantasy. Bruce Ohr just gave up the info to a congressional committee about how they concocted the whole Steele Dossier out of thin air and used it to ram through FISA warrants that allowed illegal spying on Trump. No matter how much you hate Trump you have to admit this ranks as probably the worst offense of its kind: they attempted to use the intelligence services to manipulate a federal election. It puts Watergate to shame. Nellie Ohr is being called to testify next.

    I say it goes the other way, Mueller sees how bad the Trump haters game is and decides to make a deal with Trump that Trump won’t come after him later on if he drops the case.

  26. rps

    “Aye, aye! It was that accursed white whale that razed me; made a poor pegging lubber of me for ever and a day!… I’ll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up. And this is what ye have shipped for, men! to chase that white whale on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till he spouts black blood and rolls fin out.”

    “All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.”

    Trump is Ahab Mueller’s white whale

  27. Blue Stater

    I think the scenario that is the basis of this post is far too extreme. Mueller is, if nothing else, a straight shooter. He goes by the book, always. He will not offer Trump any kind of deal — doing so would be ultra vires, and Mueller appears to me to have a strong consciousness of his limits. I think he will complete his report and submit it to Rosenstein and/or Congress (I’m not sure what he’s supposed to do here; my point is that he will do exactly what he is supposed to do, no more and no less). I stop short of predicting what will happen, however, if TPTB try to bury Mueller’s report, and/or if the SDNY and New York State investigations reach Trump.

    I’m a lifelong left-wing Democrat who despises Trump and everything he stands for, but even so I hope the Democrats in Congress will not try to impeach him. It’s far more important that the Republican Party be extirpated, root and branch, from our political life. Trump has given us the means of accomplishing this task. Elect a Democratic Congress; keep Trump in place; frustrate his every endeavor. Then our country can begin afresh in 2020.

      1. Blue Stater

        An interesting piece, worth reading, although written by an apparent right-winger who sort of sounds like a Trumpy. My assertion is based on conversations with New York lawyer friends of mine who know and respect Mueller — New York lawyers are not inclined to repose that kind of confidence often, although they’re just as likely to be wrong as anyone else. The fact that Trump is trying so hard to smear Mueller is, in my view, a character reference.

  28. DavidTC

    God, it’s amazing how dumb the discussion is of what Democrats will do. Democrats will not impeach. Nor will they _not_ impeach. I love this completely absurd idea that their only options are introducing articles of impeachment in the House, or not doing that.

    No. Various committees will _open investigations_, and start publishing what they find. Just his tax returns should be interesting.

    What they find will…be really bad. Really really really bad. We all know it’s going to be. Blatant criminal activity, over and over. Huge debts to the Russians, money-laundering, all sorts of stuff.

    Not just of him. Half of the damn cabinet is corrupt and can be forced out, or impeached. The VP too. His kids and Kushner.

    I’m not sure if it makes sense to actually go for impeachment later or not, but that would depend on the mood of the country…

    Except, I’d lay money on ‘impeachment for discovered stuff’ being something we’re not going to get to, because, if the House keeps ‘attacking Trump’, he will do something very stupid and blatantly illegal. Obviously, unavoidable, illegal. Like try to have Congressmen investigated arrested or something. Or ordering the CIA to spy on them.

    The man has serious mental problems, and can’t possibly deal with people finding out his secrets. He’s barely holding it together with Mueller, and that’s basically because his people have been lying to him for month. The House actually doing proper oversight is going to cause a meltdown.

    1. pretzelattack

      if they really investigate, they will find really really bad stuff on democrats, too. a soft coup is also illegal, you know.

    2. JTMcPhee

      And if you are lucky, you and the rest of us get Pence as Ruler of the Free (sic) World. Nice review of all the talking points I encounter when I waltz over to Dailykos to see wha the Blob and big donors tell us we should be thinking…

      Wake up call: the CIA and FBI and NSA already “spy” on the members of Congress in which you place such inappropriate and unwarranted faith. The same Congress that for decades has failed to perform the supposed Constitutional duties of “oversight” and “balance of powers,” because hey, this is an Empire, man, and if you play your cards right you can get really, really, really rich, free from any consequences.

      1. DavidTC

        And if you are lucky, you and the rest of us get Pence as Ruler of the Free (sic) World.

        First, it’s not clear that Pence isn’t implicated in the criminal hacking and release of DNC emails. Second, it sure is weird how half the people seem to be ‘Herp derp, you can’t impeach the president, it will be seen as a partisen witchhunt’, and the other half is ‘Herp derp, you can’t impeach the president because it will just get you Pence’. Lots of people seem really invested in not impeaching the president for…all sorts of very stupid reasons.

        How about ‘We should impeach blatant criminals and conmen holding the office of the Presidency, because such people should not be president’? Not because we partisanly want the president to go away, not because we’re trying to undo the election, but because Trump is _completely unacceptable as president_ as he literally cannot distinguish between what is best for himself and what is best for the Office of President, and also is, very very clearly, being extorted by Russia.

        And before you think I mean ‘pee tape’, I do not. I’m not even sure what harm that would do to him. I mean ‘Russia has tons of evidence of his financial wrongdoing and tax fraud that will be turned over to the US government’ and ‘all his loans will be called in and his business empire destroyed’ if he doesn’t do what Russia wants.

        This means his constant grifting, his utter inability to _stop_ grifting, is sorta the _smallest_ problem, but it’s the most obvious criminal one to start dumping in front of the public to finally increase the pressure for the cowardly Republicans to do their sworn oath.

        1. JTMcPhee

          “Very clearly being extorted by Russia.” Really? And you have this on good authority, maybe from whom? Rachel? MArk Sumner?

          Site rules kind of militate against making stuff up. Other than the noise generators pushing the ZOMG!!! stuff out, breathlessly and intensely, I and others are kind of waiting for some of the long promised evidence of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” or that other favorite of the shouters, “TREASON!!!!” to appear.

          And no, none of us have much use for or affection for Trump, his behaviors or policies. But get a grip, man, it really does look like there is a slow coup under way, and your thinking that “Republicans” or “Democrats” for that matter, all beholden to big money, are going to “respond to pressure” from the electorate to finally behave in accordance with that oath that according to the US Code, https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/3331, every officer of the federal government including Congress (except the President, that office has its own oath) has to “swear or affirm to” is either jejune (?hey, got to use that word twice in two days, maybe it will catch on for a while like “risible” did before it got hackneyed) or disingenuous.

          So good luck to you for going along with the “forces” that hope to Dump Trump — your speculation that Pence might be also “impeachable” or convictable is touching (or disingenuous again) but not going to happen — and help complete the undoing of that “constitution’ that you imply you hold dear. Pay no attention to the bigger stuff that’s going on, that if you were out canvassing for votes might actually be addressed by some of the new candidates that seem to be getting the “it’s the economy (and the environment, in all its parts), stupid!” Those “forces” hope to disassemble that Constitution more completely than has been managed to date, and that is pretty far already.

          And I don’t see much evidence of all the stuff you are claiming the RussiansRussians Russians “have” on him, stuff that the NSA and CIA and FBI, being part of the Panopticon, NO DOUBT also have in hand – to be used to bring Trump and anyone else who crosses their Plan (whatever that vast idiocy might be) to heel.

    3. marym

      Let us know when the Dems are ready to “investigate” and do something substantial about income inequality, healthcare, authoritarian government, the violent state destruction of Occupy and other protest initiatives, incarceration, violent policing, willful destruction of other people and their countries by US wars and arms sales, and how they have managed to lose so badly in elections at all levels.

      Without that, a Trump implosion, Pence presidency, and stupid political whining investigations, no matter how emotionally satisfying to the #Resistance (TM) will leave us even worse off.

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