Sunday, August 19, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He did his best mobster impression.

Trump and his lawyers were caught off guard yesterday by the revelation that Don McGahn, the White House Counsel, has been cooperating with the Mueller investigation to a much greater degree than they had previously thought. McGahn is not Trump's lawyer, but represents the presidency, and had become concerned that Trump was setting him up to take the blame for the various acts of obstruction Trump has committed in an attempt to evade investigation by Mueller. As the New York Times reported:
In at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled 30 hours over the past nine months, Mr. McGahn described the president’s fury toward the Russia investigation and the ways in which he urged Mr. McGahn to respond to it. He provided the investigators examining whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice a clear view of the president’s most intimate moments with his lawyer. 
Among them were Mr. Trump’s comments and actions during the firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and Mr. Trump’s obsession with putting a loyalist in charge of the inquiry, including his repeated urging of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to claim oversight of it. Mr. McGahn was also centrally involved in Mr. Trump’s attempts to fire the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, which investigators might not have discovered without him.
Trump has spent the lion's share of his presidency systematically trying to destroy the credibility of potential witnesses against him in the Russia probe--or at least to threaten or bribe them into silence. That reached a new high in terms of theatrics with a tweet he sent today:

John Dean, who was White House Counsel for President Nixon, was convicted of obstruction of justice for his role in the Watergate cover-up. Fearing (like McGahn) that he would be set up by Nixon to take the blame, he cooperated with the Senate Watergate investigation, and ultimately provided evidence that led to criminal convictions of his co-conspirators and forced Nixon, who was among them, from office. In that sense, Trump is correct that Dean was a "RAT" in the way the word gets used in mobster movies--he really did cooperate with law enforcement to help convict other criminals.

Trump, who is the head of the branch of government that includes all federal law enforcement agencies, didn't explain why he had a problem with people who cooperate with investigations into  federal crimes.

What's the matter with this?

  • People who are innocent of crimes don't get angry about "rats."