Trump’s Clinton Strategy: Immunization
As the pressure of the Russia investigation continues to mount, the President has returned to his pre-election chorus, calling for an investigation of Clinton’s purported misdeeds and crimes.
In recent days, he’s been heard publicly berating Sessions to go after her. Sessions isn’t playing ball, which is probably the reason the President is now letting everyone know the Attorney General is likely going to be pushed out, another casualty of the weathervane presidency.
Trump, as most Americans at least minimally informed and critical about what passes for news today, knows that Clinton’s lawbreaking is about as likely a pedophile ring being run out of a pizza parlor in Washington DC.
So why return to the well?
It may be red meat for the base but right now, the base is not the problem.
It’s not self-doubt about his own legitimacy. It’s not like mainstream America is going to turn around and decide they care about the popular vote after all and carry Clinton to the White House on their shoulders. Trump knows the hand is won.
No. The President wants the Attorney General to pursue Clinton so he can harvest our outrage.
Trump wants his critics make the case that it’s bad for democracy to go after your opponent for political reasons, the case that his surrogates will later use to absolve him of any charges.
The Clinton case is Trump’s immunization.
When Muller’s report comes out, there will be a lot to answer for. Muller may well be fired before he can say out loud that we have a lying, law-breaking, impeachable President on our hands, but I expect someone, eventually, will write up that case and present it to Congress.
When that happens, Trump wants every one of his critics to have exhausted themselves defending a politician from an unfair investigation.
He wants anyone who has doubts about a Clinton investigation to have done the research, honed the arguments, made informal legal cases on television, in newspapers, on Facebook posts and late night comedy shows. He wants it to be in the air and the water that when a politician is investigated, it’s politically motivated, it’s venal, it’s dishonest.
He will collect every card that is put down to protect Clinton from an illegitimate investigation and use them to get out of jail free when it’s his turn.
I don’t know that this was even his idea. The Lock-Her-Up revival and the Sessions-bashing coincide with the hire of the new Communications Director. So it could have been Scaramucci, or even Bannon.
But it wasn’t Session’s idea. It may be one rung too low, even for good old Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, to fabricate whole cloth a case against a political opponent, especially when the goal is to use that case as a firewall against the Justice Department later.
But that won’t stop the President. He’s immune.
Fun times ahead.