As we watch Donald Trump and his supporters in Congress and elsewhere try to derail Special Counsel (Prosecutor ) Robert Mueller and his boss Ron Rosenstein?
One notices that things are one way…..
Mueller and Co. quietly continue on their way digging and asking questions….
Trump IS convincing more people that he should get over because Mueller, who has got people to plead to doing illegal things , is just after him for political purposes….
Trump KNOWS that isn’t the situation….
If he actually KNEW he was innocent?
He would have sat down with Mueller months ago….
And not go to sleep every night thinking up new things to throw at Mueller and Rosenstein to try to get them to stop investigating everything about him and his campaign….
Axios’s Mike Allen noted in the lead item of his morning newsletter that the “anti-Robert Mueller chorus” has ground louder and more strident thanks to critiques and broadsides by people like Mark Penn, Rudy Giuliani, Alan Dershowitz, Republican members of Congress, media mouths like Sean Hannity and other Trump stalwarts.
“Hour by hour, these voices try to chip away at the case against Trump and the justification for it all,” Allen wrote of what he calls the “sabotage strategy.” The anti-Mueller movement has worked like a “powerful echo chamber … to smear Mueller, muddy the waters, and make the investigation a red vs. blue issue.” And it’s working. The efforts have turned public opinion, and the White House looks like it’s going to get away with staging a classified “briefing” for Republicans about FBI informant Stefan Halper—a breach of the Justice Department’s traditional reticence to share its sources.
If the Allen item had been a Drudge Report alert, it would have come with a siren.
Concurrently, President Trump has boosted the temperature of his Twitter account to boiling in hopes of flash-frying the special counsel. He’s done nothing wrong, he says; it’s the “Criminal Deep State“ and the Democrats and Hillary Clinton who have colluded, conspired against him, and assigned government spies against him. “SPYGATE” he calls it (a label Trump pal Bob Kraft, the New England Patriots owner whose team allegedly spied on the New York Jets, will be all too happy to transfer).
Trump’s frothing has rattled his most disciplined opponents, typified by New Yorkmagazine’s Jonathan Chait, who writes today of Trump “bringing his party, and the powers it commands, around to his warped manner of thinking.” At the New York Times, columnist Thomas Friedman recently wrote that Trump has become emboldened by the fact that he’s been able to get away with everything before—withholding his taxes, sex with porn stars and pin-up queens, coddling Vladimir Putin, habitually lying—that he figures he can get away with anything. At Vox, Matthew Yglesias looks at a poll showing that most Americans don’t know Mueller has uncovered real crimes and blames the press for not better conveying this to the public.
The dangers of Trump muddying the investigative waters with his alt-reality of his deflections, conspiracy-mongering, and demagogic public displays of control shouldn’t be blithely dismissed, of course. Allen notes the antecedent for Trump’s present strategy seems to be the Clinton White House’s approach during its rumble with independent counsel Ken Starr back in the late 1990s. Attack and smear, obfuscate and defame, the Clinton playbook advised, and its methods led to a stalemate.
I’m as prone to panic as the next guy inside the Beltway who gorges on the news. Then why haven’t I burrowed into my bomb shelter to await the Trump apocalypse whose impending signs have been sighted everywhere? Why am I sipping sweet whiskey in my Barcalounger, confident that the Trump gang will get a serving of justice? To begin with, the comparison of the Starr investigation and the Mueller probe doesn’t hold up. What “worked” for Clinton can’t work for Trump because the underlying facts are so different….