Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, July 21st, 2017.


The Barnum and Bailey Circus Is Alive and Well and Living in the White House

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Trump Maladministration

Spicey resigned! Oh noes! We won’t have him to kick around any more. I swear, stuff happens so fast in DC these days it’s like a three-ring circus. In more ways than one.

Spicer’s resignation came about because some guy named Anthony Scaramucci was given the job of communications director. Scaramucci is a Wall Street financier and big-time Republican donor with no experience in journalism or corporate communications, so this should be fun. We’ll see how long he lasts.

Related: Trump 101: How to Speak His Language.

There’s also been a shakeup in Trump’s so-called “legal team” — Marc Kasowitz, Trump’s personal attorney, is out.  “Legal team” spokesman Mark Corallo has resigned. I look forward to the tell-all books that ought to be published next year, if not by Christmas.

Meanwhile, there are stories that Trump and Putin had other meetings at G20 beside the ones we know about.

But the big news is about the coming Mueller-Trump Smackdown. As I wrote yesterday, Trump indicated in his word salady-way that he expected Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller to limit his investigation to things directly related to the 2016 investigation. Then Bloomberg published a report that Mueller clearly was looking into Trump’s business interests, especially as they pertain to Russia. This includes  Trump’s as yet undisclosed tax returns, btw.

By all accounts, Trump has gone ballistic. White House staff have been put to work trying to dig up dirt on Mueller and his team. Lawyers have been put to work trying to determine if Trump could pardon himself. (The consensus: no.) Trump’s beef with the investigation is being called a war on the Justice Department.  See especially Josh Marshall, The President at War.  In short, he’s thrashing around in ways one would expect a very guilty man to do.

It’s a good bet Trump is going to try to fire Mueller, giving us Saturday Night Massacre II. And it could be very, very messy.

This places Trump and Mueller on a collision path. Either the president will have to fire the special counsel for doing exactly the same things that got Bharara and Comey axed, or he’ll have to sit and seethe as Mueller pokes into his taxes, his business, and who knows what else. …

… Legal experts think Trump could fire Mueller in several ways. He could direct Rosenstein to do so, but Rosenstein would probably refuse unless there was a strong legal justification. Trump could also try to change the rules for firing, but that would also have to go through Rosenstein. Either path is fraught with likely firings or resignations at the Justice Department.

If Trump is half as guilty as I suspect he is, he’ll burn the White House down before he’d allow his business dealings to be probed.

Elsewhere:

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer who met with Junior, has connections to Russian intelligence.

Exxon Mobile has been fined for violating Russian sanctions while Tillerson was CEO.

Trump wants to hire foreign workers for Mar-a-Lago. He decided this during Made in America week.

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