Double Un-Standard

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Remember when Trump railed on people for invoking the 5th Amendment right against self incrimination when it had to do with Hillary Clinton?  It was a maneuver that only criminals and mob members did?  Why invoke it if you have nothing to hide? Right Donald?  So of course he sticks to his guns when that pendulum of self preservation swings back his way!

Of course not!

When Roger Stone plead the 5th in regards to the investigation into Trump’s potential collusion with a hostile foreign power, you can bet your but that not only was he in favor of the 5th Amendment, but he went on Twitter to declare the man a national hero!

 

Quit Breaking the Law!

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You know, there are people who actually believe Donald Trump when he calls himself a genius, and I have to point to his Twitter account and ask “Seriously?’  Even if you believe he penned “the Art of the Deal” (he didn’t) and is a master dealmaker (he isn’t), any and all of that is negated by verbal equivalent of garbage he spews on Twitter.  I’m not talking about the offensive stuff, either.  I’m talking about the outright dumb things he says and admits to.  Like, he’ll claim he didn’t collude with Russia during the election, but then suggest that even if he did, it wouldn’t be a crime.  And while you might argue that such a statement isn’t a direct admission of guilt, I’ll give that to you, if only because he doesn’t just use Twitter to admit crimes, but seemingly also to commit them.  As it turns out, publicly praising someone for not ratting on you looks an awful lot like, and can be pretty easily interpreted as witness tampering.  Similarly, publicly calling for an end to an investigation, directed at people under your employ, into your potential crimes could easily be read as trying to obstruct a criminal case.  Let me assure you, this isn’t brilliant posturing.  If anything it’s admissible evidence on the public record.

Brave Boy

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The last week has felt like we’re finally starting to see what momentum in this long, contentious Russian Investigation really looks like.  Within 2 days, 4 Trump cronies (Roger Stone, Jerome Corsi, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen) have been called out by Mueller for lying to investigators and/or Congress.  Of those 4 cronies, 3 of them have joint defense agreements with Trump, meaning their lawyers are being given slight latitude in communicating with each other.  Now, in the days following Trump’s submission of written answers to Mueller’s questions regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election (though apparently questions regarding obstruction of justice were not allowed), Mueller seems have his ducks in a row, and is finally starting to make moves.  And now we see if Mueller is really playing chess against a bunch of checkers players.

Written Responses

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So, Donald Trump submitted written answers to questions in Robert Mueller’s investigation, and, as is predictable at this point, Trump is pretending that this action will, and indeed already has vindicated him, and further proves that the investigation is a witch hunt.  I mean, it’s not.  The revelations and indictments it has already turned up proves that.  But I have to admit, with Trump’s written answers, the whole situation is even more annoying, because the questions that were submitted to Trump were so watered down by this point, that it’s questionable whether they will yield any kind of desirable insight into the events we’re hoping to get cleared up.  But who knows?  Trump does have a habit of putting his foot in his mouth, regardless of how softball the questions.  At the same time, I’m curious to see how written responses actually WRITTEN by Donald Trump turn out.  I’m dying to see the man answer some questions that he can’t dance around.  What do those responses look like?  Here’s me keeping my fingers crossed that the document in question eventually goes public.

Morning Pick-Me-Up

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There was a lot of speculation, even before the Midterms, about the fate of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Russia Investigation.  Rumors were abound that one way or the other, with or without a “blue wave” at the ballots, Trump would likely feel the pressure to deal with Mueller’s investigation, and likely with Sessions, as it was no secret that Trump for all intents and purposes saw the guy as a traitor.  I mean, how dare he do the only responsible thing and recuse himself from an investigation in which he had a conflict of interest?!  To be fair, that moment of responsibility was quite a surprise to most people. But with the House now making it clear that their priorities are to take Trump to task for his malfeasance, Trump moved quickly to start trying to put what ducks in a row he could afford.  People were awfully surprised that it only took him a day to can Sessions.  Frankly, I’m surprised he waited til the next morning.  That’s a level of restraint I didn’t know Trump was capable of.

Differing Minds

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How much of his day on average do you think Robert Mueller thinks about Donald Trump? 

Day in and day out, Donald Trump is constantly blasting his Id all over Twitter.  His angry, early morning Tweetstorms have become something of a tradition at this point.  They’re like ugly, less thought out, inflammatory fireside chats.  And he constantly has something to say about the probe into Russia’s meddling into the 2016 election.  In fact, I’ll bet if I mention Russia or Mueller to a random person, the first word that comes to mind is “witchhunt”.

It’s Donald Trump’s omni-present narrative that got me thinking about the fact that Robert Mueller has NO narrative.  Everything we know about his side of the case is entirely based around what kind of scoop news organizations get, and the veracity of ANY of those stories is questionable.  Honestly, we have no concrete understanding of what Mueller’s side of the investigation looks like.  We have no idea what or who he’s zeroing in on until he makes a move, but he never broadcasts it.  And Trump himself is constantly maneuvering around what he think’s Mueller’s machinations are, ALSO based on what the media is saying. Remember, Trump also has NO IDEA what Mueller is actually doing.

He keeps calling this investigation a “witch hunt” without at all knowing if he’s even a credible target at this point!  Only the tiny investigation team and Mueller himself know what’s actually on the table, and they aren’t giving an official narrative, because of course they aren’t! Law enforcement and prosecution teams don’t discuss ongoing cases.  Which leads me to back to the question I had at the beginning.  How much do you think Mueller thinks SPECIFICALLY about Trump?  While we know for a fact that Trump CAN’T STOP thinking about Mueller and his investigation, I imagine Mueller isn’t plagued by a similar problem.  Because Mueller’s agenda isn’t to nail the President.  It’s to uncover the scope of a hostile foreign power’s penetration into our election.  I would imagine Mueller’s head is much less chaotic.

Going Home

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Donald Trump, Jr. might be looking at a bit of trouble for his participation in a meeting in Trump Tower during the 2016 election.  For those not in the know, Don Jr, potentially (probably) with the knowledge of his father, took a meeting with a Russian lawyer in the hopes of getting dirt on Hillary in the election.  The more information that becomes public, especially as it relates to a statement by Jr, probably drafted by Sr, the less good it looks for Jr.  And I guess Papa Trump might be getting worried as well. Whether that is genuine concern over the welfare of his son or concern for himself over the blowback is up to whoever is telling the story.  But whichever the case, it’s certainly causing Trump and his legal team time and energy.  And the flip flopping over Don Sr.’s level of knowledge of the incident before it happened is only causing more waves.  All I can imagine is that Trump would rather Jr. be out of reach for the time being.

Strategic Pivot

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Rudy Giuliani is out selling the new line, and it’s being repeated around the conservative networks like a wild fire…and it’s really disturbing.  If we go back to right the early days, post election, the official line is that Russia didn’t meddle in the election, and Trump and team certainly didn’t collude with them to help that happen. NO COLLUSION.  When the investigation into Russia’s interference began in earnest, a certain dossier was uncovered, and news of high level campaign staffers and cabinet members having connections and meetings with potential Russian agents, including but not limited to Paul Manafort and even Donald Trump’s own son, Don Jr., the narrative changed a little.  Now it was, ok…we might have had some meetings, but nothing ever exchanged hands, nothing shady happened, and Donald Trump was certainly never personally aware of it.  Also, still not convinced Russia did anything wrong. NO COLLUSION.  Then indictments were made, statements came out, some of Trump’s confidants became willing to testify, and the narrative again made a subtle change. The people indicted were actually not really, truly, honestly THAT big a part in the whole campaign. They were small cogs doing their own thing. NO COLLUSION. In recent days, It’s become increasingly obvious that Trump himself WAS aware of certain events during the time they were happening, and as things are unfolding, the new line has been unveiled.  Now the narrative is: If the WAS COLLUSION, then it’s fine.  Collusion isn’t TECHNICALLY illegal.  Anyone in Trump’s position given the chance would have colluded.  Excuse me?  Taking potential leverage from a hostile foreign power who could use that as leverage of their own?  MMMMno.  I don’t think so.  I don’t think ANYONE would have colluded.  Only insecure manchildren and supervillains, really.

Football Season

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Football season is on the horizon, and that’s a good season for Donald Trump as it turns out.  It’s amazing how quickly he can quarterback a distraction. The season isn’t even in full swing yet, and he’s already expertly misdirecting the public attention of his very worrying behavior in Helsinki with Putin by talking about the national anthem at football games.  It’s an embarrassingly transparent maneuver, and yet his base and media outlets are going to eat it up, because that’s how this kind of thing works, and Trump knows it.  I know it sounds cynical, but it’s so obvious at this point.  Trump doesn’t care about the National Anthem, and I’ll bet he’ll never stand for it again as soon as it’s not politically relevant to do so, but as long as he can use it as a prop for his partisan sleight of hand, he’s gonna do it with relish, because it’s easy.

Witch Hunt

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I feel like the term “witch hunt” has taken on a new sort of resonance since the special investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections began. President Donald Trump uses the word publicly several times a week to refer to Special Counsel Robert Mueller III’s investigation because he has decided that it’s a liberal conspiracy to bring him and his administration down (OR he he’s trying to hide his malfeasance and/or criminal behavior…that’s a possibility as well).  But you see, the term “witch hunt” is supposed to imply that you’re searching for something that isn’t there or doesn’t exist, and as a result, innocent people get burned.  But it’s important to note that if you’re on a witch hunt and you find ACTUAL witches, e.g. You find exactly the bad things you suspected you might find, then it CAN’T be a witch hunt.  In the case of the Russia investigation, besides uncovering Russian spies and several conspirators working with Russia who had key roles in Trump’s campaign, it also uncovered specific examples of Russia explicitly attempting to collude with Donald Trump’s campaign.  Whether Trump or his campaign did anything wrong remains up in the air, but Mr. Trump! Your witch hunt has turned up witches! You can’t run from that anymore!