It has been whispered here and there…..
The evidence is across the media…..
Donald J. Trump….
It seems like this boss is sitting in a place where he can actually control the cops and the Feds on his tail….
All this in plain view, with the media reporting daily and his party members standing around with their fingers in their butts….
“You gotta do this. You gotta call Rod…”
It was 17 June 2017. Donald Trump was on the phone, urging Don McGahn, the White House counsel, to turn the screw on the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein.
“Call Rod, tell Rod that [Robert] Mueller has conflicts and can’t be the special counsel,” Trump said, in a second call that day. “Mueller has to go … Call me back when you do it.”
If the tone of these secret conversations, revealed in Mueller’s long-awaited report this week, remind you of Tony Soprano – the amoral, brooding, charismatic, philandering, thuggish crime boss in the eponymous TV drama– ordering a hit on one his enemies, you are not alone.
Over 448 pages, Mueller does not present Trump as a traitor but does portray him as a serial liar willing to abuse power, shred norms and bend the rule of law in a White House rotten to the core. Amid this culture of malfeasance and mendacity, trusted lieutenants are expected to demonstrate absolute loyalty, up to and including obstructing justice to save the president’s skin.
“He conducts himself like a New Jersey mob boss who is unconcerned about asking the people around him to conduct unethical or legally challenging behaviour,” said Kurt Bardella, former spokesperson and senior adviser for the House oversight and government reform committee. “Truth and accuracy just don’t factor into his thought process at all.
“The demands for loyalty and fealty are like an organised crime network. Instead of the John Gotti family, it’s the Trump family and his solders are the Republican members of Congress who protect him.”
After two years that transfixed Washington, Mueller’s redacted report outlined 11 episodes in which Trump or his campaign organisation tried to have the special counsel fired, limit the scope of his investigation or interfere in other ways. But it did not recommend charges, nor find a criminal conspiracy with Russia to help Trump win the 2016 election, though it listed plenty of contacts.
Almost a year ago, the comedian Bill Maher told his HBO viewers: “People call this presidency a reality show. It’s more like a Scorsese movie. Everything Trump does is modeled on the mob. When he was accused of sexual harassment, he brought in Bill Clinton’s accusers to sit in the gallery at the debate, just like Michael Corleone brought Frank Pentangeli’s brother into court [in The Godfather Part II] …
“He’s so much like a Don that his name is literally Don.”