Some Good News : Trouble in Trumpland is Multiplying Rapidly & The Walls Are Closing In on Trump
1. Since May 2017, a Special Counsel investigation has been led by Robert Mueller, a former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The starting point for this investigation was to examine claims of Russian interference in the 2016 United States Presidential election, including exploring any links or coordination between Trump's campaign and the Russian government, "and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation". Mueller has an experienced and expert team and his investigation has taken over several FBI investigations relating to Trump.
Many other matters have also quickly "arisen" so the scope of the investigation has been broadening - way beyond its starting point, but nobody knows exactly how much because most of the investigations are still secret, as they would be in any criminal investigation.
2. Up until mid-September 2018, it is public knowledge that at least 87 contacts have been proven to have taken place between Trump's team and Russian nationals. Every one of these contacts has, at least initially, been denied by Trump or his various spokespeople, but the evidence is solid. You can expect more evidence from Mueller on this as time passes. Mueller's investigation is also assembling evidence of Trump's multiple criminal acts and illegalities - well beyond the 'Russian interference' issue. So far (up to August 2018) over 100 criminal charges have been made against 32 individuals and 3 companies as a consequence of Mueller's investigation. Six of the accused have so far been found or pled Guilty to crimes. Others have been found to have violated federal ethics rules, or forced to resign over security clearance issues. Also, 18 Russians have so far been Indicted for a variety of offences relating to interference in the USA's 2016 Presidential election and system of democracy. These are only the first Convictions - more on some of these below - and we already know that many more Trials are coming. Among other things, Mueller is investigating Trump's own idiotic admissions of his obvious attempts to 'obstruct justice'. Trump has tried to obstruct justice by actually sacking the Director of the FBI, James Comey, and admitting he did this to try and stop the investigation. Trump has also done it by threatening to sack Mueller, or his Deputy Rod Rosenstein, or getting others to do this. Trump has also tried to obstruct justice by his attempt in July 2017 to rewrite his son Don Jr's false account of the Trump Tower meeting with a Russian national who was promising 'dirt' on Trump's Presidential campaign opponent Hillary Clinton. Mueller is also investigating whether Trump or anyone else has conspired with others to break various electoral,financial and other laws. This criminal investigation is widening (see more below) and the walls are closing in on Trump.
AUGUST 2018 - A CRUCIAL DAY AND A TUMULTUOUS WEEK FOR TRUMP AND HIS CRONIES
Trump's Personal Lawyer & Fixer Michael Cohen is Convicted & Flips...
3. In April 2018 the home and offices of Trump's long-time personal Lawyer (and general 'Fixer') Michael Cohen were raided by the FBI, many items and documents were seized and Cohen was under criminal investigation. This placed the sitting President of the USA just a heartbeat, or less, away from any crimes committed by Cohen and others. Interestingly, the Prosecutor said that, as far as they could tell, Cohen appeared to only have one client - Trump. This placed Trump, his family and other associates in the spotlight and under extreme pressure.
4. Events since the FBI raid on Cohen have been regularly ramping up the pressure on Trump and his associates in the White House and elsewhere. On 21 August 2018 (a very bad day for Trump, see more below) Cohen, in a criminal Trial, was found Guilty of various crimes including the violation of campaign finance laws after paying hush-money (just before the election) to two women who, it is alleged, had affairs with Trump.
5. During this Trial Cohen pled Guilty and (even more importantly) under Oath he directly implicated Trump by stating that he followed Trump's orders "...in coordination with and at the direction of..." Trump to pay this hush-money, for the "...principal purpose of influencing [the] election." In other words, Trump directed him to commit a felony and he thereby implicated Trump in an illegal conspiracy to defraud the American public and influence the
2016 Presidential election. Trump then (in a TV interview) admitted the hush-money was paid from one of his many accounts. Since this is clearly illegal, Trump had (in his usual idiot style) admitted this further crime and is therefore currently an un-Indicted co-conspirator with the convicted criminal Cohen. Paying this hush-money is one of the ways in which Trump tried to hide these unsavoury facts from the public to influence the election and cheat his way to the Presidency. By the way, the last President of the USA to be an un-Indicted co-conspirator was the criminally corrupt Richard Nixon - and that ended badly for him too (see more on Nixon in paragraph 14 below). Incidentally, in the same TV interview Trump claimed : "I tell you what, if I ever got Impeached, I think the market would crash, I think everybody would be very poor...Because without this thinking [pointing to his head] you would see numbers that you wouldn't believe in reverse." Unsurprisingly, Dim Dumb Delusional Don probably thinks the world would end if he was Impeached. Delusions abound ! We think he would be so upset that he would throw all his toys in the corner too !
6. As the whole world knows, Trump cannot take pressure - Trouble in Trumpland is always completely denied, impetuously and angrily, regardless of the facts or the truth. Trumpland is an ethics-free, morality-free, fact averse and truth-free zone. Trump keeps endlessly denying that he has done anything illegal. The narcissist Trump simply fails to understand that he has already admitted (in another TV interview) trying to obstruct justice by sacking James Comey, the Director of the FBI, who was heading the investigation into Trump at the time. Trump has also openly admitted that he fired Comey to stop the investigation (it has not stopped). Also, on the same day as Michael Cohen's conviction, Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis said in a TV interview that Cohen had now 'Flipped', meaning that he was now happy to co-operate with the Mueller 'Russia investigation' : "Mr Cohen has knowledge on certain subjects that should be of interest in the special counsel and is more than happy to tell the special counsel all that he knows". Trump was very unhappy about this and commented that 'Flipping' by his former associates "...almost ought to be illegal". Thankfully, it is not and many more of Trump's cronies have been 'Flipping'(see a few of them below) . Trump's week did not improve when Lanny Davis also said : "If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn't they be a crime for Donald Trump." At the end of this same week, Cohen’s bad week got even worse when the state of New York subpoenaed him as part of its investigation into the fraudulent Trump Foundation.
Trump's Former Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Flips...
7. Also on this very bad day for Trump (at the conclusion of the first Trial to emerge from Mueller's investigations) Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight charges of tax fraud, bank fraud, failing to disclose foreign bank accounts, etc. The 69 year-old Manafort could face up to 80 years in jail. The jury in the Manafort Trial failed to reach a verdict on 10 other charges, so leaving open the certainty that Manafort would be re-Tried soon on these outstanding 10 charges. Before, during and after this Trial Trump repeatedly claimed that Manafort was "a Good Man", "a Good Guy", a "very good person"
and did not deserve to be tried or convicted ! This opinion is one of many which confirm that Trump's own moral and ethical standards are down at the level of the gutter - or lower. However, the more positive news is that by mid-September 2018 the Mueller Investigation announced that Manafort (now in Jail on a sentence of at least ten years) had also 'Flipped' and is giving them information on subjects they are investigating. The 17-page co-operation agreement which Manafort has signed with Mueller's investigation (it is available online for anyone to read) is eye-wateringly stringent. Among other things, Manafort has pled Guilty to the 10 outstanding charges, but will not be sentenced for these as long as he co-operates fully with Mueller. The agreement has also forced Manafort to hand over $46 million of assets (including his condo in Trump Tower). The agreement also makes clear that Manafort will be spending all of the rest of his life in Jail if he fails to 'fess-up' to Mueller even the smallest details of Trump's activities, or anything else Mueller asks him about. The agreement states that he will not be Indicted on even more charges being prepared against him, as long as his full co-operation with Mueller continues to Mueller's satisfaction. He must regret ever having set eyes on Trump.
Trump's first Director of National Security Michael Flynn Flips...
8. On this very same Very Bad Day for Trump (at the end of yet another Trial emerging from Mueller's investigations) his former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, was due to be sentenced, having been found Guilty, among other things, of lying to the FBI about the Trump campaign's meeting with Russians to discuss election matters. Flynn has admitted these criminal acts and been convicted of them in Court. He is awaiting a jail sentence but has also decided to 'Flip' and give Mueller information about any matters being investigated. So, Flynn's usefulness to Mueller's investigation is now ongoing and its anybody's guess what information he is giving to Mueller - and who that will implicate. Mueller therefore requested that the Court should defer Flynn's sentencing for the time being, and the Court did this.
The Trump Organization's Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg Flips...
9. At the end of this tumultuous week for Trump the Wall Street Journal
broke the news story that Allen Weisselberg, the Trump organisation's Chief Financial Officer (who provided information to the investigation which led to Cohen's convictions) had now agreed to Flip and co-operate with Mueller and federal prosecutors. The WSJ
described Weisselberg as "Trump's longtime financial gatekeeper" and reported that he has been an executive at the Trump Organization for decades, and "after Mr. Trump was elected, he handed control of his financial assets and business interests to his two adult sons and Mr. Weisselberg."
So, Weisselberg is an absolutely central figure in Trump's business dealings over the past three decades. He is said to know “where all the financial bodies are buried” in Trump’s (over 500) businesses. Trump cannot afford to have his business dealings exposed to Mueller's criminal investigation, so he and his family members and associates are now clearly extremely twitchy about this. Weisselberg's co-operation with the Mueller investigation could soon expose a virtual A-Z of major and minor crimes in Trump's many businesses, which he has been very carefully hiding away over the past four decades. For many years expert business observers, investigative journalists and the FBI have been gathering evidence of suspected tax evasion, fraud, money-laundering, violations of gambling laws and planning laws and a plethora of other crimes - including the exact details of Trump's many deals with Russian figures. Since Trump was extremely keen to get Cohen to pay hush-money to hide his sexual misdemeanours from voters it seems very unlikely that his many thousands of 'billionaire' business dealings are all squeaky-clean. He is, after all, the first President since the criminally corrupt Nixon in the 1970s to refuse to hand over his Tax returns for scrutiny. So, Mueller's investigation should now progress more rapidly with Weisselberg's help. This is likely to also expose Trump's wildly unconstitutional abuse of the Presidency to enrich himself and his family. Much will be revealed...it should be interesting...
White House Attorney Donald McGahn Gives Information to Mueller..."The Dam Is Breaking"...
10. Legal analyst Harry Litman, a former U.S. attorney, told MSNBC
there is now "a sense that the dam is breaking over the last week and people are rushing in from all sides." According to Litman : "Everybody who's around Trump now - and has been over the last ten years intimately - is in a world of hurt with legal battles on all sides." Around the end of this week The White House also announced that the White House Attorney (its top lawyer) Donald McGahn was now leaving the White House. It emerged that McGahn (who has not been accused of any crime) had voluntarily "co-operated extensively" with the Mueller investigation, reportedly spending 30 hours sharing detailed information with the investigators - without Trump knowing this. Clearly, the idiot-in-chief at Trumpland quickly told McGahn to never again 'darken his doorstep', so he left.
The Legal Tsunami Now Heading for Trump and His Cronies
11. This is only the start of the legal problems facing Trump and his collaborators. So far 32 individuals and 3 companies have been charged as a result of the Mueller investigations but there are clearly more Indictments, more Trials and Convictions to come. This legal Tsunami is heading towards Trump because Trumpland has been (and still is) like a Festival of Felony. It is now starting to turn into a Carnival of Convictions.
12. So, the walls are closing in around Trump and his family, his Foundation, his businesses, his (withheld) tax returns, and around more and more of his associates. Trump's regular protestations that the Mueller investigation (and the growing media coverage of its progress) is all a 'Witchunt' against him sound more panic-fuelled as the days pass. As the investigation moves inexorably closer to Trump and his family, he is becoming increasingly agitated and the whole world can see his anger, discomfort and growing paranoia every time public evidence confirms his ever-rising tide of lies. The Washington Post
reported in September 2018 that Trump had set a new personal record (for himself, since becoming President) of making 125 false or misleading statements in 120 minutes ! According to the WP
's fact-checkers Trump had made over 5,000 false or misleading statements while in office and had recently averaged 32 per day. Mixed into these is much anger, impatience, ignorance and paranoia. His hints that he may sack Mueller, have grown louder and more angry over the past few months. And we can safely predict that there will be many more lies, angry denials and diversionary tactics from Trump. This behaviour will probably continue until the end. Trump's only concept of the Presidency is that it should give him the powers of an absolute Fascist despot and dictator. He thinks that he alone should be free to decide everything and deny anything. The depths and details of Trump's many delusions are being exposed more as time passes, as events overtake him and as the truth catches up with him and his cronies.
13. If Trump did sack Mueller or in any way disrupt or interfere with the investigation this would be seen as another - and possibly the most serious yet - 'obstruction of justice' by Trump so far. This act alone could precipitate Trump's Impeachment. Stupid as it would be, Trump seems likely to try something like this. Trump has already asked his Attorney General to fire Mueller. Just to clarify that : The sitting President of the USA - the man who is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation - has asked his Attorney General to fire the man leading that investigation ! The Attorney General (Jeff Sessions) cannot do this because
he earlier 'recused' himself from having anything to do with the investigation. Sessions' Assistant (Rod Rosenstein) could, in theory, sack Mueller but he has so far shown no signs of doing so, despite intense pressure from Trump and his cronies. Trump may therefore sack Rosenstein for not sacking Mueller or people on Mueller's team. Trump has even claimed that he could personally take over Mueller's investigation : “I can go in, and I could do whatever - I could run it if I want”. Yes, Dim Dumb Delusional Don really does believe that he could take over this investigation of himself ! Perhaps Trump might try to dismantle the leadership of the Department of Justice ? Might he start a war somewhere (overseas or at home) to distract attention from his own legal difficulties ? Anything is possible because Trump feels no moral or ethical constraints. He is completely unmoored morally and ethically. If Trump obstructs justice in any of these ways and the US Congress and Senate still DO NOT take action to stop him or Impeach him, then this could plunge the country into a longer and much deeper period of constitutional and political chaos. This is entirely possible, any of this could actually happen. Its impossible to predict how Trump's downfall will evolve or how much longer the Republican Party will continue to enable and protect him. If the Republicans do very badly in the upcoming mid-term election (in November 2018) they might belatedly realise that they need to Impeach Trump in order to give themselves any hope in future elections.
14. Even if Trump did sack Mueller, that sacking alone would not stop the pursuit of the crimes and the
criminals, whatever and whoever they are. It is vital here to look at the precedent of Richard Nixon, the criminally corrupt and disgraced former President of the USA who in 1973 sacked a Prosecutor who was investigating him for his leading role in the 'Watergate scandal'. Several months later in 1974 Nixon, after countless protestations and denials, and before the Impeachment process could begin, Nixon resigned (there is more on this in paragraph 50 here
). Regarding Nixon, we must not forget that as soon as the new 'replacement' President (Gerald Ford, Nixon's Deputy and also a Republican) came into office he pardoned Nixon ! Trump is not waiting for that, he has such a deluded sense of his own immunity that he has already claimed that he could pardon himself, and anyone else he wishes ! The extent of a President's powers to Pardon have never been fully tested and defined in Court, so that could happen at some point during Trump's downfall.
Trump - How Will It End ?
15. For those of us around the world and in America who have been shaking our heads, the 'Trump era' may have been happening painfully slowly, but there is a real prospect that his Impeachment is getting closer. Or maybe he will, at some point, jump before he is thrown out of office - just like Nixon ? If he does, he may immediately become open to Federal indictments. President or not, rumours of Trump's comprehensive criminality have been swirling around for a very long time. Based on our vivid memories of the Nixon end-game, it seems we are now moving inexorably into Trump's end times. Trump's end times will certainly be different - more complex and multi-faceted than Nixon's end times.
For one thing, Nixon's crimes were small compared to Trump's. So, Trump is now already in the very early stages of a massive legal Tsunami - some very big challenges are coming towards him from just over the horizon - with indictments and charges likely across a wide range of crimes. Trump's psychopathic presidency is definitely going downhill and in the direction of the 'Exit' signs. However, given Trump's extreme personality and his vast array of enablers and collaborators in the Republican Party (and in the Supreme Court) it will probably also be a severe test for the American political and legal system and its Institutions. It will also be an epic spectacle for the world to witness, with risks at every stage that the USA may not deal with this Bad Leader and his cronies decisively. Even if Trump is Impeached, Indicted, Tried and convicted, how much of the USA's toxic political-business culture and system will remain in place and unchanged - to continue degrading US and global politics ?
Note : We are not trying to provide an up-to-date news service on Trump's evolving fall from power. But we will add here a digest of the main developments as they occur, and keep our focus on the main issue : Bad leaders and bad governance in the world's most economically and militarily powerful country on earth.