It’s Mueller Time
In the final days of Watergate, Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) broke the news to Richard Nixon that he was likely to be impeached. When Nixon asked how many Senate votes he could count on, Goldwater replied bluntly, “Twenty and mine won’t be one of them.”
Thus Nixon became the only president in history to resign, making Gerald Ford the 38th President.
Only eight months earlier Ford became VP when Spiro Agnew resigned due to income tax evasion. (Talk about an ethically-bankrupt administration!)
In his first speech to the nation, Ford announced, “Our long national nightmare is over.
” Today, with three federal investigations and the lowest approval ratings in history, the first nine months of the Trump presidency is another national nightmare with no end in sight.
That is, until this week’s conviction and two indictments from Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller investigating Russian interference in our 2016 election.
There were 12 charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business associate, Rick Gates. The charges included: money laundering, being an unregistered foreign agent, failure to file foreign bank and financial accounts and conspiracy against America. (Is that all?)
During his final days, Nixon reportedly walked the White House hallways late at night talking to the portraits of past presidents.
He even asked Henry Kissinger to kneel and pray with him. Kissinger thought Nixon was meshugganah. (Yiddish for “nuts!”)
When he can’t sleep, Trump doesn’t walk the White House unless he’s looking for a Taco Bowl. And, at his weight, I doubt he does any kneeling. You see, Trump doesn’t pray, he tweets.
Like a petulant high schooler, he dashes off angry, impulsive and often incoherent tweets blaming everyone but himself. But, while Trump bullies everyone, he can’t bully Mueller, the second longest serving FBI director ever.
In fact, Trump is furious Mueller is considered the most respected person in D.C. And Trump must be concerned that the results of Mueller’s six month probe are beginning to surface. (Mueller wrote in his brief, “Your honor, these are only a small part of the investigation.”)
There are so many indicators that Trump is up to his triple chins in the Russian interference that I’m tempted to call him “comrade.” While he viciously criticizes our allies, he never utters a harsh word for his pal Putin.
There are at least two occasions where a neon sign above Trump’s head should have flashed “Putin’s Puppet.”
On “Morning Joe” in December 2015, host Joe Scarborough asked Trump, “Do you do know Putin jails and often kills journalists and dissidents?” Like a spoiled child, Trump responded, “Yeah, well we kill plenty of people, too.” Rarely the case, Joe was speechless.
Another red flag (pun intended) was at the GOP convention where a plank in the Republican Platform advocating defensive weapons for Ukraine to protect against Russian aggression, suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. Trump said unconvincingly, “I don’t know anything about it.
” (If you believe that, you’d have made an ideal student at Trump U.)
Given the Russian attack on our democracy any patriotic president would call the interference an outrage and, so that it never happens again, would demand to get to the bottom of it. The problem is, it’s becoming clear, Trump is at the bottom of it. And, not surprisingly, he calls the Russia prob a “hoax.” (The same as he calls climate change.)
When threatened, how low can Trump stoop? Last week, children of the White House press corps visited the oval office in a Halloween celebration. Trump, who regularly accuses the press of being “very bad people,” sarcastically asked the poor kids, “Are you going to grow up to be like your parents?”
Who attacks people through their kids? Then again, who mocks the disabled? Who prefers his heroes not captured? Who refers to his penis size in public? Who brags about grabbing women’s genitals? Who talks about shooting someone on 5th Avenue? (The answer is certainly someone not fit to be president.)
If Trump’s character is less than admirable, consider the just-indicted Paul Manafort. Accorded the presumption of innocence, Manafort was apparently in debt to a Russian oligarch for $15 million. So he successfully pitched himself to be head of Trump’s campaign. He later emailed the oligarch, “How do we become whole?” promising special access to Trump.
Wearing an ankle GPS and confined to his home on $10 million bail, Manafort apparently opened and closed 55 foreign bank accounts, had 3 passports and a cell phone under a fictitious name.
Meanwhile, as Trump tweets, Mueller’s investigation inches closer to the oval office. Former Trump political adviser, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is a “proactive cooperating witness.
” That means he may have been wearing a wire during months of conversations with Trump higher-ups. If so, then it may really be Mueller Time.
Jack is at facebook.com/jackneworth, twitter.com/jackneworth and firstname.lastname@example.org