A big political question these days is will President Trump fire Robert Mueller and/or several others in an attempt to save himself. To me the larger question is whether that will be effective other than in the extreme short run. I still have the same prediction as to how this will all end; my only question remains when. Let’s explore.
It’s Tuesday morning as I pen this. American political observers are watching to see if Trump fires anybody in response to yesterday’s raids on his personal attorney’s office, home and hotel suite along with any military action taken against the Assad regime in Syria. (Some are anticipating Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony on Capitol Hill. I am discounting that in advance as mostly show.)
Many fear that Trump will fire Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, Robert Mueller and perhaps others or some combination of them in an effort to thwart the Russiagate investigation. The reality is that that horse has already left the barn and Trump has passed the point of no return. I am not precluding firings; in fact I expect them at some point. They will not stop the inevitable demise of Trump. Unless he dies in office – which I certainly do not want to happen – Trump will be removed from office under threat of impeachment ala Nixon.
The firing(s) will only hasten that if they occur too soon. I expect them to be a last gasp designed to make the clock run for a few more days or weeks. Trump will not be removed from office until he loses significant support in the Senate. Remember, two-thirds of the Senate is required to find a president guilty in an impeachment trial. That is 67 votes. Let’s assume the trial takes place in 2019 and the Senate is 50-50. Assuming all Democrats voted to convict, that still requires 17 Republicans to agree with them. Today those Republican votes simply do not exist. At the rate things are going and assuming a Democratic or nearly Democratic House impeaches in 2019 those votes could well materialize. As more Republican either view Trump as a political liability or in the case of some Senators are far enough removed from their next election they will be willing to “abandon” a Trump who they never really liked in the first place.
Despite Trump’s rants and right wing mythology conspiracy with the Russians by many close to Trump is already proven. Is it really believable that all this went on next to Trump and he was not somehow involved and aware? Trump’s interview with Lester Holt alone proves that he obstructed justice. Who knows what “treasures” were seized in the Cohen raids? For that matter we do not know all that Mueller’s team has discovered to date other than it is certainly more than has been publically reported.
If Trump were successful in shutting down the Mueller investigation and somehow escaped political damage it still doesn’t stop many of the current investigations which have been “farmed out” to other federal and state entities. Trump being charged with crimes is no longer a matter of if, but a matter of when.
As to a very short term prediction: Expect an attack on Syria as a diversion if nothing else. This time I hope Trump does more than damage the landscaping at an airbase. It would also be wise to coordinate efforts with at least the UK and France.
I do have one wish as to how this finally goes down. I see history repeating itself. In 1974 Arizona Senator and former Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater was the leader of a small delegations of Senators who went to the White House to inform Richard Nixon that it was over. As I write this Arizona Senator, former Republican Presidential nominee and Vietnam War hero John McCain is battling cancer for his life. While I often differ with him on policy I have tremendous respect for McCain especially his actions as a POW in Vietnam! My wish is that he lives long enough to be the one who leads the delegation to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to tell Trump that he doesn’t have the votes in the Senate and that it is over.
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