…And Then Trump Broke the Second Seal
James Comey and the Official Kickoff of Trump’s Downfall
When Trump announced his release of a “certified letter” from his lawyers stating that he had no income from or investments in Russia, with $100 million in exceptions, I couldn’t help but enjoy the irony of the moment. No reasonable person suspected Obama of being at the head of a conspiracy to get a Kenyan elected president, particularly a conspiracy hatched when a black man couldn’t vote in numerous states or get an apartment in one of Fred Trump’s buildings. Nevertheless, Trump made his political career by spouting the words “long-form birth certificate” over and over again, yet in the face of his own scandal, he just provided us not with his long-form tax returns, but with a non-binding bit of stationery from a law firm.
The signatories of the letter do not even claim to have read said tax returns, nothing about the letter is in any way legally binding, and it does not amount to a real disclosure of any kind. He only admitted to the $85 million that a Russian oligarch overpaid him for a home, and the revenues from the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow — the FISA-Court-Approved Steele Dossier alleges the pageant was the setting of Trump being filmed with a gaggle of urinating Russian hookers, thus exposing him to Russian blackmail which would compel him to use the White House to advance Russian interests. The man is just a vacuum of self-awareness, but if this letter is any indication, I have to believe he knows how screwed he is.
This administration has been over since before it began. It was brought down the day Senator McCain (R!!!-AZ) personally handed off the Steele Dossier to FBI Director James Comey, which was a major impetus for the FBI Investigation which President Trump just went on TV to admit that he was trying to obstruct. Ya know, the same James Comey whose loyalty Trump personally demanded while known massive sketchball and Russia enthusiast Michael Flynn was still in the building, over a dinner conversation which Trump claimed to have recorded, to publicly threaten said ex-FBI Director into silence after his incredibly suspicious firing? He seems to be suggesting that he records everything that is said in the Oval Office (subpoena time!), the same Oval Office wherein Putin recently demanded he host Flynn’s sketchy Russian contacts for a photo op, because Vladimir Putin apparently has that authority.
How have we reached such a depth of national denial, that any one of us could know what we know, and see the known facts of the case and what is being kept from public knowledge, and not foresee the imminent implosion of this wretched façade of an administration? How are there still legions of defenders willing to ignore this unprecedented assault on the independent judiciary, which Trump himself characterized as such, unbidden by his interviewer and contradicting days of White House messaging to the contrary? How have those of us who see this crook for who he is, and know the damage he’s doing to this country with his ignorance and fecklessness, so lost faith in justice that we believe an idiot can get away with this novel form of treason?
Obviously, the reason is the Republican Party. You can’t look upon Mitch McConnell and his works, unctuous and amoral and lethally effective as they are, and not despair for the future of the Republic just a little. After all, this is the man using his authority to deprive the Senate Intelligence Committee of the manpower needed to investigate the scandal, because he really thinks he can ignore this and slow-walk it until it goes away. Like almost everyone in his party, McConnell is so devoid of principle and so obsessed with power that he’s willing to set his suspicion of the obvious aside, as long as he gets to pursue his true passion: liberating his moneyed pimps from the tyranny of the estate tax.
However, the petty tyrant of the upper chamber saw a revolt in his little fiefdom yesterday: John McCain was spotted on C-Span chewing out John Cornyn before a Congressional Review Act vote to roll back methane regulations for fracking (essential to maintaining long-term public support for natural gas production), which he then voted against before storming off. Mitch McConnell does not schedule votes that he loses, so this came as a bit of a surprise to everyone, and McCain walked off the floor after that vote like he dropped the mic. It’s on, son.
When Donald Trump called Mack out for “getting captured like a bitch” (in then-candidate Trump’s words), I thought he had made a fatal mistake that would derail his campaign. In fact, he was making a fatal mistake that would later derail his presidency. John McCain kept his shattered body alive in that VC prison not just through sheer will, but with the thought that he was earning the right to lead his country in its highest office. He has been deprived of that opportunity twice, once because George W. Bush put it out there that his adopted Indonesian daughter was an illegitimate black lovechild in the South Carolina primary, and the second time because he was running on the ticket of a discredited party against, for all intents and purposes, Jesus of Nazareth.
How could any person stand the thought that he endured two years of non-stop torture and four more of captivity to lose the big chair twice, and then listen to this treasonous piece of shit mock his greatest sacrifice before waltzing into an office he doesn’t begin to respect? That he may be actively working to destroy? It’s beyond any man’s limits.
John McCain is at war once again, but this time, he’s fighting a battle that actually has something to do with preserving American freedom. He has already taken the most concrete step of anyone to take this travesty of an administration down, and he is clearly ready to take more. I knew Jon Stewart’s buddy was in there somewhere, trapped in that bitter, post-2008, “Party of No” husk like Anakin Skywalker inside of Darth Vader.
I know, the GOP is still deeply committed to unity in self-delusion. If I were them, I’d rather believe I’ve got two years to ram through a conservative policy agenda (four if I could suppress enough votes) than to face the nature of the beast that my propaganda-entertainment complex has created. I would rather forge ahead than admit the impending doom of this presidency and my party. Denial is always easier. The right wing press will continue to support the narrative that the Russia collusion is a liberal fantasy, despite the mounting pile of evidence, lies, obfuscations, dead Russian informants, photos of Donald Trump having joyous circle jerks with his Russian handlers, and firings of the goddamn Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. However, they can’t defend Trump if he’s the one delivering the fatal blow to his administration. True to his campaign promises, when Congress is dragging its feet, Trump gets in there and just gets things done.
I’m not trying to be hyperbolic here: Trump’s interview with Lester Holt may be the dumbest thing any human has ever done. Like, there is no other instance of such a grievous, casually self-inflicted wound with such tremendous stakes in all the history of humanity. How could he possibly say he was thinking about Russia when he fired Comey? How could he be so stupid, and have so little self-control, and be such a small man that he needs to sound like he’s in charge even when doing so could put him in prison? Because he’s Trump, obviously. The only reason that interview wasn’t a clear-cut admission of obstruction of justice is that Trump can’t speak a clear sentence of English. It was just a smattering of random sentence fragments that can be forensically reconstructed into an impeachable offense, but either way, it’s still going to bury him.
I’ve been saying it for over a year, and really saying it for four months: the Russia scandal will end with Trump out of office. Call it wishful thinking. Say that Trump gets away with everything, even though that hasn’t been remotely true since he took office. This is the beginning of the end. This process will be traumatic for the republic, but the threat of letting this civic cancer spread cannot be overstated. There was never a presidency to be had from Donald J. Trump, and this week, we began the process of drawing his poison from our veins. Just wait until Comey talks about Trump’s answers in that interview next week.
John save the republic.