Friday, November 30, 2018

Disclosure Not A Sure Thing

Read enough tweets, and you will find a few truly hilarious, such as
 How did they think this was not coming out? There are approximately 86 reasons, but here are a few:

- Trump could have avoided telling Lester Holt on May 11, 2017 "And, in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said: 'You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should've won,'" Two days later, DAG Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller to be Special Prosecutor.

- Attorney General Jeff Sessions might not have recused himself from the Special Counsel's probe. Of course, it would have been clearly unethical had he not done so. However, if he hadn't, the President would have backed him and there is no statute which would have demanded Sessions' removal.

- The President could have effected the dismissal of the Special Counsel early (or at any time) in the probe. If he had done so before the indictments started coming, there would have been relatively little blowback. At that time, there would have been little hard evidence of wrongdoing and virtually no proof of anything. Even now, the investigation is being supervised by a Trump toady, about whom CNN explains

As acting attorney general, Whitaker will have say over key decisions, such as whether to subpoena the President, approve criminal charges of individuals and directions over the scope of the investigation as more information comes to light.

Whitaker will also decide if the final report prepared by Mueller should be made public as well as which portions to redact.

Even with the latest revelations, pundits argue (though exaggerate, given that most details are yet to be revealed) that getting 67 United States senators to vote in favor of removal of Donald Trump from the presidency is almost unimaginable. He could be impeached by the House- as was President Clinton, who went on to become the most popular politician in the USA for a period of time.

President Trump could be indicted, but most legal experts maintain that is highly unlikely given current Department of Justice guidelines.  He would be more likely prosecuted after leaving the presidency, though that might require obtaining an objective jury and would be a long-drawn out process.

-The President could have kept Cohen in the Trump orbit and not abandoned him because Cohen considered himself not only Trump's employer and fixer, but also a member of his family. Only after he realized the President was ditching him did "Cohen began sending up flares, signaling that he was considering cooperating with federal prosecutors and that his ultimate loyalty would be not to Trump, but to his "family and country." It took awhile for Cohen to prefer "being seen as a bad guy to maybe a guy that's trying to do the right thing."

About a month before Michael Cohen released his recording of a sensitive conversation he had with Donald Trump, the President's longtime attorney and adviser was agonizing over the silent treatment he was getting from his former boss.

"I don't understand why no one's calling me. I don't understand why no one's communicating with me," Cohen told Bo Dietl, a longtime friend and well-known private investigator who relayed the conversation to CNN.

Federal prosecutors were bearing down on him over his business dealings, some involving Trump, and Cohen was looking for a sign of reassurance from the President, a man he regarded more as family than as a boss.

"He was very taken aback that no one was communicating with him," Dietl said. "You're so close to somebody and all of a sudden they stop talking to you, you wonder what's happened."

- Donald Trump did not think he would win the presidential election and probably believed that if he did not, there would be little attention paid to his criminal syndicate.

And so there was much reason for Donald Trump to believe that his business and financial entanglements with Russian organized crime and the Kremlin (redundancy acknowledged) would not be discovered and that if they were, he could wiggle out of the controversy as he has every other. He remains President with a substantial base and a coterie of GOP senators worried that if Trump is indeed videotaped shooting someone on 5th Avenue, they would have to reconsider their support for him. Maybe.

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