Tag Archives: collusion

Trump doing the impossible: gaining sympathy for AG

Donald John Trump is trying to execute an impossible stunt.

He is seeking to turn Attorney General Jeff Sessions into a sympathetic character in the drama that’s unfolding in Washington, D.C.

Trump fired off a tweet that said, among other things, that “Our A.G. is scared stiff and Missing in Action. It is all starting to be revealed – not pretty.”

Trump wants Sessions to be quicker to defend him against critics who suggest there’s something to the “Russia thing” that special counsel is investigating.

Now he says Sessions is MIA and a scaredy-cat to boot?

Let’s review for a brief moment.

Sessions had to recuse himself from the Russia collusion probe because of his ties to the Trump presidential campaign. That meant that the AG couldn’t investigate himself. So, he recused himself — as he should have done. It was the proper course to take.

Then he squandered much of that good will be revealing that hideous immigration policy that takes children away from their illegal immigrant parents.

Now the president has decided to hang the AG out to dry for at least the third or fourth time by declaring he is scared to act.

Good grief, Mr. President. Shut … up!

Avoid ‘perjury trap’? Sure, just tell the truth!

The president of the United States is highly unlikely to appear voluntarily before the special counsel who is examining whether the president’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russian hackers who interfered in our election.

I say that wishing Donald Trump would agree to meet with Robert Mueller.

Trump said last year that he was “100 percent” in favor of meeting with Mueller. Silly us, particularly those of us who took the president at his word in the moment. He lied to us then. He likely would lie to Mueller and his legal team.

Therein is the reason why the president won’t agree to meet voluntarily with Mueller. Trump’s legal team fears what they call a “perjury trap.” That is as phony a dodge as anything they have said regarding Trump and this investigation.

The most sure-fire way to avoid committing perjury is for the president to tell the truth. If the special counsel or one of his deputies were to ask him a direct question, he should answer it with equal directness — and with the “whole truth.”

If the president were wired to tell the truth instead of lie constantly, this “perjury trap” nonsense would be irrelevant. Except that this president is wired to prevaricate, to fabricate and to lie through is teeth.

That’s why he won’t meet with Robert Mueller. At least not of his own volition.

Collusion not a crime … but how about conspiracy?

Donald Trump’s defense is morphing into something rather strange.

The president who keeps insisting he didn’t “collude” with Russian hackers who attacked our electoral system now says “collusion” isn’t a crime.

Weird, yes? I think so.

The president and his lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, say there are no statutes on the books that cover collusion. Special counsel Robert Mueller is examining whether there was collusion associated with the attack on our system by Russians who reportedly presented some “dirt” on Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign in 2016.

Rather than notify the FBI and rat out the hostile power with this information, the Trump team allegedly went forward with receiving the “dirt.” Did they then conspire with the Russians in their effort to interfere in our electoral system?

This investigation is slogging through difficult territory. There might be land mines aplenty through which Mueller’s team must navigate. Indeed, the Trump team appears to be planting them in some form of tactical retreat as Mueller proceeds methodically with his probe of the president and his campaign.

We now are left to ponder how, if collusion is not a crime, the president appears to be in so much trouble. We also now must consider why the president is working so hard to discredit the special counsel and his team of lawyers who have been given the task of finding the truth.

Trump unleashes new fusillade against Mueller

Put yourself in the shoes of the man investigating whether the president of the United States and his team “colluded” with Russians who attacked our electoral system in 2016.

The object of that probe, Donald J. Trump, continues to fire off Twitter messages accusing Robert Mueller of conducting a “rigged witch hunt.” He says the probe needs to look at Democrats. He questions whether Mueller has a “conflict of interest” because of his friendship with a fired FBI director.

The president accuses Mueller, himself a former FBI director, of being corrupt and biased.

CNN reports: The attacks are not simply a window into his own rage, they also represent a coherent hardball strategy to unite his ever loyal political base and other Republicans behind him. With 100 days to go until midterm elections, that could be tough for the GOP.

How might you react to all of this?

Me? I would be incensed. I would be outraged. I would be damn angry at the president. Here’s the good news: It’s not about me. It’s all about a man who was praised universally when he got the special counsel job.

Mueller is on task. He and his legal team have kept their mouths shut. They have said nothing publicly about the shaming the president keeps heaping on them. They are acting professionally and with decorum and dignity.

Trump is acting, um, like an ass.

The president’s continuing harangue reveals a serious in this individual’s state of mind. No, I am not suggesting some mental disorder. I am suggesting that Trump possesses a personality trait that suggests a certain emotional instability.

Does that disturb you? If not, it should. It damn sure bothers me.

I have declared repeatedly on this blog that Donald Trump is unfit for the office he holds. His constant barrage in the face of a serious — and so far productive — investigation simply reaffirms what many of us have been saying since Day One of this individual’s presence on the political stage.

Still wondering: Why the constant griping about Mueller?

You’ve heard it said of folks who likely are complicit in wrong doing that they “protest too much.”

Donald Trump continues to protest the existence of a special counsel, Robert Mueller. He keeps calling Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion with Russians during the 2016 election a “witch hunt,” which he’s elevated to a “rigged witch hunt.”

Is the president protesting too much? Is he seeking to discredit the investigator as a diversion from the evidence that well might be piling against him?

A politician who is as clean as Trump says he is might just want to keep his trap shut and let the investigation reach a favorable conclusion under its own power.

But that is not happening with this president. He keeps firing off Twitter message, he keeps ad-libbing at press events with statements that — at least to my ear — sound more like a guilty man than an innocent one.

Or … what if Mueller comes up empty?

My previous blog post wondered what Donald J. Trump’s reaction would be if Robert Mueller delivers the goods on collusion, obstruction of justice and anything else he might find wrong with the president and his 2016 campaign.

My conclusion: Trump will go bonkers, nuts, ’round the bend.

In fairness, what might the president do and/or say if the special counsel comes up empty?

My thoughts? I believe Trump is fully capable of climbing onto the White House roof, bullhorn in hand and bellowing “I told you so!” until his voice no longer functions.

OK, I’m kidding.

Sort of …

Trump is incapable, in my humble view, of accepting victory like a gentleman. He doesn’t have the gene that allows him to congratulate Mueller for a job well done, and thank him sincerely for the service he has performed for the country.

No sir. He won’t do that.

If Mueller ends up with nothing, Trump will find a way to make something out of it. Why, he might never shut his mouth for as long as serves in the highest office in the land.

As we’ve learned already, 18 or so months into his presidency, Donald Trump cannot stop boasting about the Electoral College victory he scored over Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Imagine, now, how the president well might react if Mueller and his team come up empty on The Russia Thing.

What if Robert Mueller … ?

The special counsel examining whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russians who attacked our electoral process has many finish lines ahead of him.

I want to focus on just two of them.

What if he finds collusion and obstruction of justice? What if he determines that the president is right, that there was no wrongdoing?

Either way, it won’t satisfy at least half the nation.

If Robert Mueller’s legal team finds evidence of collusion and obstruction of justice — and maybe more — you can bet the farm, the ranch and your first-born child that Trumpkins across the land are going to howl loudly. Mueller might recommend bringing criminal charges. He simply might say that the president did something wrong and leave it at that. Rest assured, it will ignite a firestorm.

If, though, he comes up with nothing, you can make the same wager that those on the other side will howl just as loudly as the Trumpkins. Their angst will come from a deeply held belief that Trump is an agent of the Russians, that Vladimir Putin has the goods on him, that the president simply is unfit for the office to which he was elected.

Whatever the conclusion, Mueller’s final report will not end the intense national quarreling.

My reaction? I would hope to be more, um, magnanimous. Even if it goes against what I believe.

I have many thoughts about what Trump did. Or what he allowed to be done. I have said all along that I believe he is unfit for the presidency. But I haven’t seen the evidence. I haven’t studied the nitty-gritty of it. I haven’t talked to lawyers, national security experts or political operatives close to the situation.

I’m sitting here in the cheap seats, the peanut gallery, where opinions get all the respect they deserve.

I would therefore be forced to accept whatever Mueller decides, even if it rubs me raw, or inflames my political passion, or fills me with anger.

Back in 1995 when the jury acquitted O.J. Simpson of murdering his former wife and her friend, I shared the anger of millions of Americans who believed Simpson got away with a heinous crime. I couldn’t fathom how the jury could make the decision in four hours after sitting through months of testimony, theatrics and fire-breathing testimony.

But the jurors did. The judicial system worked, even if it didn’t satisfy all of us. I didn’t agree with the jurors, but I accepted it. Why? Because they heard all the evidence. I didn’t.

Thus, I believe I am capable of moving on even if Robert Mueller’s investigative journey staggers to a conclusion I won’t like.

Collusion: still a wide open question

Donald J. Trump keeps insisting that “there was no collusion.”

He does so repeatedly. With vigor. With passion. With emphasis.

My gut tells me the president is protesting far too much. He calls special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation a “rigged witch hunt.” He says the allegations against his 2016 presidential campaign are “phony,” that they’re a “hoax” concocted by Democratic Party pols who are still sore at losing the election two years ago.

Let’s take a breather, shall we?

Mueller’s investigation is going to conclude eventually. I hope it’s soon. To that extent, I agree with the president that I want the probe to wind down sooner rather than later.

But … and this is critical: The investigation must be allowed to reach its conclusion under its own power.

Mueller is not the partisan hack that Trump and his allies accuse him of being. He is a dedicated public servant. He served as FBI director under two administrations, Republican and Democrat. He took office right after 9/11 and stayed on for a couple of years after George W. Bush left office; he served well under the Obama administration.

The president’s constant bitching about “witch hunts” and “phony” allegations ring hollow. It’s instructive that Mueller has imposed air-tight discipline on his legal team while Donald Trump’s team keeps yapping about “corrupt investigation” and threats of impeaching the deputy attorney general who appointed Mueller to the special counsel job.

I am aware that there’s nothing illegal about colluding with a foreign government. This investigation, though, won’t concern itself with whether anyone broke the law if they worked in tandem with Russian goons who attacked this country’s political system.

The public needs to focus also on whether it was right, presuming that Mueller’s team reaches that conclusion.

If the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, then we’re going to witness the unraveling of an administration. The Mueller team will deliver its findings in due course.

If it determines there was no collusion, as the president insists, then I fear the tumult won’t subside. I am inclined to accept whatever conclusion Mueller reaches.

If only Americans could rely on Donald J. Trump to accept such findings and then move on. He won’t.

This much I know already: Robert Mueller is still hard at work seeking answers to questions that have lingered since the 2016 election. Let the man and his legal team finish their task.

‘Witch hunt’ keeps reeling ’em in

The U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictments of 12 Russian military intelligence officials, accusing them of conspiring to meddle in our electoral system.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he briefed the president “fully” on the grand jury indictment.

So, what does Donald John Trump do? He tells the world yet again today that Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling is a “rigged witch hunt.”

Mr. President, this is the farthest thing possible from a “witch hunt.”

It has produced indictments and confessions of wrongdoing; key Trump administration aides are now cooperating with the Mueller legal team. There has been tangible, demonstrable evidence that Russians have attacked the heart of our democratic system of government.

And the president keeps calling it a “witch hunt.”

Outrageous.

Listen to this former GOP leader, Republicans

Bill Frist needs to be heard and heeded.

The former U.S. Senate majority leader worries that the Republican Party he served on Capitol Hill has become something foreign, something he doesn’t recognize.

He has written an essay for the Washington Post in which he says it is imperative to let special counsel Robert Mueller to complete his investigation into whether the Donald Trump campaign “colluded” with Russians who meddled in our 2016 election.

Read the essay here.

Frist, a heart and lung transplant surgeon, doesn’t believe Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russians. Nor does he suggest the Senate where he served lacked partisanship. He does say that it was his belief that politicians should put patriotism above party.

He suggests that’s not the case at this moment in our history. It’s dangerous in the extreme to undermine Mueller, Frist writes: Every American should be rooting for Mueller’s success in determining precisely how Russia interfered in our fundamental democratic process. I had no illusions about the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and I have none about Putin now. Mueller’s most recent court filings indicate that Putin is seeking to meddle in this year’s elections. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray — all Trump appointees confirmed by the Republican-led Senate — have also warned of foreign interference. We should heed these warnings and empower Mueller to see his important work through to its conclusion.

The president is intent on derailing Mueller. Indeed, to the extent that Mueller is under such attack by fellow Republicans, it looks to me that Putin has succeeded in undermining our electoral process.

And please … spare me the notion that Bill Frist is a Republican In Name Only. He is no such creature.

Dr. Frist served his country with honor and distinction. Did I agree with every decision he ever made? No. However, he is speaking a fundamental truth about the deteriorating condition of our national political discourse.

Listen to this man!

As he has written: No matter who is in the White House, we Republicans must stand up for the sanctity of our democracy and the rule of law.