Way Down In The Hole: McMaster, Comey & the Beginning of the End for Donald Trump

Getting rid of the dictator is only a first step in establishing a free society. The dictatorship must also be disassembled.” – George Ayittey

 

Let me start by telling you a “secret” that virtually everyone who understands American politics already knows but very few people (and especially those who support the Republican Party) have been able to bring themselves to accept; by the twentieth of January in the year of our discontent two-thousand and eighteen, Donald Trump will no longer be President of the United States and it won’t be because anyone has been able to prove he’s working for Vladimir Putin.

I know this with as much certainty as one can possibly have about an event that hasn’t happened yet because the swine emperor has just spent the past week and a half casting the seeds of his own demise into the rich, waiting soil of DC political skullduggery. Although many observers with compromised objectivity are refusing to even look, the writing is already on the wall and not even the sycophant jackass imbeciles in the Republican Party are prepared to eat enough shit to save Donny “Tiny Hands” this time.

Trump will no longer be president because he is an idiotic and unrepentant liar, because he simply isn’t competent enough to even fulfill the barest minimum of requirements for the job and because he’s the first goddamn President gormless enough to repeatedly admit to obstructing justice; a familiar scenario for those who followed Mike Flynn’s ouster based on lying about Logan Act violations of all bloody things. I don’t know if the swine emperor will be impeached, declared unfit for office or (most likely) resign in a cloud of rage, accusations and vengeful retaliations but I am virtually certain that Donald Trump will not be President by the time the one year mark of his term would have passed and despite the ravings of unhinged, mendacious Democratic Party political operatives – neither will Hillary Clinton.

Unfortunately, while identifying this past week as the proverbial “beginning of the end” for Herr Donald’s presidency isn’t all that hard, untangling precisely why the Present won’t be able to weather this storm and will eventually be abandoned by the Republican Party is a little more difficult; especially in light of the fact that partisan mainstream liberals are still shouting objectively insane conspiracy theories about Russiagate even though Trump’s total lack of respect for his job and fat fucking mouth have all but handed them his political ass on a platter. Although it would certainly be a mistake ignore the fact that Trump’s impeding downfall is ultimately a result of the sum total number of staggeringly bonehead mistakes the President has made and embarrassingly obvious lies he has uttered; I firmly believe there are three major reasons we’re here talking about this today – since we’ve already covered the transparently unethical firing of (admittedly poor) FBI Director James Comey, let’s quickly break down the other two:

 

McMaster gets plastered and can’t spin the disaster

While I’m certain that it is quite impossible to become a lieutenant general in America without being a special kind of mutherfucker I feel obligated to acknowledge the impressive (if largely gutless) raw animal cunning employed by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster when faced with news that Donald Trump’s off the cuff decision to share intelligence from a foreign ally with a Russian Foreign Minister had become uncomfortably public goddamn knowledge. A lesser man might have run away screaming (McMaster certainly tried) and while many more would be tempted to blatantly lie (a tactic at first employed by both Donald Trump and his White House) the President’s replacement NatSec advisor finally settled on answering questions that nobody asked and shielding The Donald with his own reputation – what he pointedly didn’t do however was deny that Trump shared classified information with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov; which was probably a good decision because President Trump has since reversed course and admitted sharing the information while defending his absolute legal right to do so as POTUS.

Arguably the really fucked up part is that McMaster and Cheeto Mussolini are technically correct; the rules for how classified information is handled derive from a Presidential executive order and historically the president has the ultimate authority to classify and to declassify information. Not only is it explicitly legal for Trump to share classified information as long as he’s POTUS, the very act of sharing that information makes it “unclassified.”

Unfortunately for the swine emperor and his Kojak-esque spin doctor however, a court of law is the very least of their problems; the information in question reportedly came from Israeli intelligence, was so sensitive that it explicitly wasn’t allowed to be shared with many of our other allies and may have exposed an operative inside Islamic State territory. While I have often reminded frothing Russophobic liberals that we are not at war with Russia and thus Trump can’t be guilty of “treason” even if Russiagate weren’t such an outrageous lie, Russia is not an American ally and Trump was not authorized by Israel to share the information. While Israel is only grumbling quietly in public, reports have claimed that Israeli intelligence is privately furious with the United States and it’s important to understand that Trump’s braggadocios blunder goes far beyond its impact on US-Israeli relations. How do you think American allies like say the government of France (who fear Russian interference in their political process and have endured numerous terrorist attacks on their own soil in the past few years) feel about the fact that Trump is casually sharing sensitive material about ISIS with the Russian Foreign Minister and not French intelligence?

Whether they’re admitting it or not, you can virtually guarantee that every single one of the United States allies just started internal conversations about whether or not Trump (and by extension, the US) can be trusted with classified intelligence anymore and the recent actions of Donny “Tiny Hands” have done little to dispel the long-running narrative that the answer is in fact no, you cannot trust Trump with intelligence. In light of this, it seems entirely likely that at least some American allies will reduce the amount of sensitive material they share with the United States and that in turn, objectively puts the country at more risk from a possible terrorist attack. While I’m definitely not fan of the US anti-terrorism apparatus, the Republican Party most certainly fucking is and after spending almost twenty-years scaremongering about “radical Islamic terrorism” to harvest votes, preventing a terrorist attack in the US is very much a matter of political survival for the GOP.

In short, one of the reasons Trump is seriously looking down the barrel of a gun here is that his unhinged actions are finally starting to threaten things GOP voters and more importantly the Republican Party itself value; things like national security, Wall Street profits and being able to walk to their cars without being run over by enraged constituents.

 

Death by a thousand paper cuts; Comey kept the receipts

Of course, when powerful Republicans do finally turn on Trump they can’t just come right out an admit that it’s a question of his batshittery finally screwing with them and their wealthy donors; the GOP is going to need an obvious excuse to fire the President that voters can understand and that’s where James “dead man’s switch” Comey comes into our story. As previously mentioned, I’ve already written a three thousand word breakdown of the “Trump fires Comey” scandal and you can read it by clicking here; therefore at this point in time I’d like to focus on two major updates to this story that are already drastically reducing the swine emperor’s chances of surviving his decision to fire the former FBI Director almost immediately after Comey revealed he was working with the Eastern District of Virginia’s District Attorney’s office on an investigation into associates of former Trump National Security advisor Mike Flynn and by extension Flynn himself.

This first important update to the Trump fires Comey story came late on May 11th when Trump astoundingly contradicted every excuse for firing Comey offered by his own White House so far by essentially admitting he fired the FBI Director over his investigation into Mike Flynn during an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt. No, seriously; that is not a joke – literally two days after ordering his Justice Department to provide an elaborate, albeit wholly unbelievable excuse for firing Comey, the swine emperor went on network television and flat out admitted it was actually because he was annoyed about the Russia investigation.

You would think openly confessing to tampering with a federal investigation would be enough to finish Herr Donald but naturally, there are Republicans involved here and sycophants in the GOP spent the next few days making semantic arguments about what Trump really “meant” during the Holt interview despite it being clear as day to anyone actually listening. Then finally on May 16th, a report in the New York Times revealed the existence of a memo written by James Comey documenting a meeting with President Trump on February 14th where Donny “Tiny Hands” told the then-FBI Director “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go, he is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Furthermore despite an anonymous source, the nature of the NYT report made it fairly clear that the memo did in fact exist, it did implicate Trump in interfering with Comey’s investigation and the former FBI Director had shared it with multiple other FBI officials at the time; likely just in case Trump fired him to impede the investigation. Finally, as if all that weren’t enough – the report also indicated that Comey had kept copious notes of all of his meetings with President Trump; a development that almost certainly has the White House shitting bricks as we speak.

Unsurprisingly, all hell immediately broke loose in DC because whether you believe the absurd excuse that Trump wasn’t directly telling Comey to quash the inquiry into Flynn or not, the president was clearly tampering with the investigation by telling his subordinate how he’d prefer said investigation to end! Naturally the White House immediately denied the reported contents of Comey’s record and the Republican head of the Senate Intelligence Committee (Richard Burr) appeared to poo-pooh the very existence of the memo when he bizarrely stated that the burden of obtaining the document and releasing it lay with the New York Times. This was patently absurd of course because despite his reluctance, Burr is heading up the Senate “Russiagate” inquiry and as such it most definitely was his responsibility to get his hands on Comey’s memo. Regardless, the Senator’s cowardly refusal to do his job was rendered moot later the very same day when House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaeffetz sent a letter to acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe requesting all “memoranda, notes, summaries, and recordings” of meetings between James Comey and President Trump; while talking in the media about possibly subpoenaing said documents if they were not forthcoming.

Please keep in mind that all of this happened in the context of a presidency that’s already completely off the rails; Comey is the third federal investigator fired by Trump at the same time they were investigating members of the Trump campaign or administration. All of this happened after the swine emperor tried to obtain an ethically dubious “loyalty pledge” from his FBI Director and then threatened him with Nixon-esque recorded tapes of their conversations that the White House refuses to confirm even exist. This is after former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates testified that despite White House attempts to downplay the severity of her statements, she forcefully warned the administration that Trump’s choice for National Security Advisor (Mike Flynn) was a greasy shitheel whose dubious career would make him a legitimate blackmail risk; a problem that continues to wreak havoc on the Trump government to this very day. This is also after Trump took to twitter to engage in a little casual felony witness intimidation by tweeting that someone should “ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel.” Finally in what is perhaps a more damning problem for the GOP than Trump himself, this all happened after the Republican chairman of the congressional investigation into possible Russian interference in last year’s U.S. presidential election was forced to resign from the committee after a bizarre series of gaffes that called the integrity of that goddamn investigation into question.

 

Playing political chicken at the crossroads of the Trump presidency

All of which of course brings us to today; with a panicked administration sprouting leaks faster than the bloody Titanic and the perhaps unsurprising but still somehow shocking news that the Deputy Attorney General (Rod Rosenstein) had appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as “special counsel” to run an independent investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 US election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. The good news for Donny “Tiny Hands” is that multiple at least somewhat hostile members of the intelligence community have already gone on record to say that there is no direct evidence that Trump is working for Vladimir Putin or colluded with Russia and as such it’s unlikely that Mueller is going to find anything connecting Trump’s administration to Russia that virtually every US intelligence agency would have missed back in January. The bad news for the (rightfully) embattled POTUS is that anyone as crooked as Donald Trump almost certainly has non-Russiagate related malfeasance to hide, Mueller isn’t exactly a pushover and the very fact that the former FBI director has been appointed by a Justice Department that just last week was bending over backward to cover the president’s ass, is a sign that the Donald’s power in Washington has notably ebbed in the wake of the Comey memo news.

So if virtually everyone can see Trump is mortally wounded (even if they’re not admitting it) and the wolves are closing in, why haven’t we seen the swine emperor’s last Presidential helicopter ride yet? Well for starters Trump is one of the least self-aware, most dysfunctional people on this planet; thus far he’s shown no signs of falling on his own sword and impeaching a president is an extremely long, difficult process that cannot be undertaken without bipartisan support. Although this is purely speculative on my part, I believe that our short-fingered vulgarian in chief is locked into a maddening game of incompetent political chicken with a gutless Republican Party that fears a massive potential backlash from Trump supporters if they join forces with Democrats to remove the president.

If one understands that the Trumpism movement primarily consists of fringe fascists, angry but aging paleoconservatives and the reconstituted remains of the American Tea Party, it is quite easy to see why Republican lawmakers would be scared of Trump’s sixty-three million voters; a reactionary conservative protest movement already toppled the previous “moderate” Republican hierarchy and many of today’s GOP representatives owe their livelihoods to the power of the Tea Party’s anger. Under these circumstances it would obviously be better for the GOP if Donald Trump willing resigned and helped facilitate a peaceful transition of power to current Vice President Mike Pence who most people assume they like much better than Herr Donald anyway.

By that same measure however, the fact that Trump’s fanatical supporters are still sticking by the President and even “mainstream” conservative media networks like Fox are actively keeping the White House’s scandals out of the news make it easier for The Donald to ignore any pressure from within the mainstream party to resign; for now at least. It is entirely possible that Trump’s staggering vanity simply will not allow him to resign and the president will perversely be aided in his quest to hold on to power by reports implicating natural successors Pence and House Leader Paul Ryan (perhaps unfairly) in this latest round of leaks. Finally if the longstanding rumors that Donald Trump’s fallback plan has always been creating a hard right, conservative media company with friend, rapist and former Fox overlord Roger Ailes are true, then it actually behooves the swine emperor to get fired by “corrupt DC insiders” so he can portray himself as the an every-man victim who was punished for sticking up for the little guy; think of a dumber, more reactionary version of former Governor Jesse Venture. This insider’s outsider role would also undoubtedly be attractive to Trump as it roughly matches his longstanding public persona to date already.

So it is that the entire political apparatus country sits on the point of a knife; locked in a battle not between good and evil but instead a titanic struggle of vanity, cowardice and inertia between a dead president walking and a spineless Republican party that appears acutely aware that its grasp on power is tenuous – despite controlling all three major branches of the government and an overwhelming majority of state legislatures because of Democrat incompetence. Deep down inside, everyone already knows that Donald Trump won’t finish his first term as president; the only question now is how many people our aspiring authoritarian head of state takes down with him.

 

  • Nina Illingworth

 

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