It’s early Monday afternoon as I pen this but already the day has presented plenty of material. In what should have taken nobody by surprise Attorney General Bill Barr remained a Trump sycophant to the point of not complying with Congress. Also Michael Cohen reported to prison today. With that in mind, let’s explore.
In the latest edition of the cat and mouse game the White House and the House Democrats are playing, AG Barr missed the 9am Monday morning deadline for turning over an unredacted copy of the Mueller Report to the House Judiciary Committee. If that caught you by surprise you really need to pay better attention. Barr is one of the key “players on the court” running the delay game for President Trump.
Over the weekend Trump reversed course on Robert Mueller testifying to Congress. For the last several weeks Trump and all his minions have been saying they have no problem with Mueller answering questions for Congress; that suddenly but predictably changed. If you thought that Trump was simply going to allow Mueller to testify without contesting the appearance(s) I suggest you take advantage of the coming good weather to have your roof checked out so that it will hold Santa’s sleigh.
The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to meet today to consider holding Barr in contempt of Congress. My prediction is that they will. Assuming I am correct, that will certainly be anything but the conclusion of this chapter. Without getting too far into some very thorny weeds, expect a prolonged court fight.
On March 25th of this year I published an article entitled, Bona. It was perhaps the most insightful article I will publish during the Trump administration. In it I compared what Trump is doing to a basketball delay game the late Archie O’Bryan and I employed before they put the shot clock in New York State high school basketball. Trump is simply trying to keep the clock running as long as possible so that he can continue to profit from the organized criminal conspiracy he is running. The Democrats may well be somewhat compliant in that at the moment they don’t see a way to convict in the Senate if they impeach him in the House. In the delay they keep up the steady drip, drip, drip of negative information in the hope of either swaying public opinion and with it the personal politics for at least 20 Republican senators; or in the worst case scenario motivating enough voters to win the presidency and take back the Senate in 2020. Trump’s best case scenario is to win in 2020 and get four more years. If you think Trump is dangerous now – and I certainly do! – can you imagine a lame duck Trump?
That’s what’s in it for Trump. My question is what’s in it for his minions? Paul Manafort and now Cohen are sitting in federal detention facilities and others are certain to follow. The closest thing to Russiagate in American history is Watergate. In it 69 people stood trial with 48 convictions. That included the Attorney General John Mitchell. Richard Nixon resigned, albeit in disgrace, and basically lived happily ever after. Manafort has remained completely loyal to Trump, Cohen has not. Both apparently are hiding other information law enforcement wants. My “somewhat educated” speculation is that they fear forces greater than Trump like perhaps the Russian mob and/or similar characters. I can’t say for certain but those dots seem to connect. Not everyone they dealt with on Trump’s behalf (and in Manafort’s case his own behalf) is a choirboy.
Much like in an organized crime case many underlings go to prison but often the Don skates. Billy Bush paid the price by losing his job with NBC for being basically the straight man on the Access Hollywood tapes where Trump bragged about committing sexual assault. Bush is out of a job and Trump becomes President of the United States.
To steal an old Mel Brooks line I guess it’s good to be the king; at least in the short run anyway.
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