Trump’s Breaking Point?

Based on news reports, it doesn’t seem Donald Trump is handling himself like a martial arts master, cooly in control. He’s more like an old punch-drunk fighter swinging at every shadow. This morning he attacked Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein:

The Daily Beast also reports that Trump is furious with Rosenstein and would have no qualms throwing him under the bus.

The word for today, boy’s and girls, is “lawyered.” As in “lawyered up.” Mike Pence has lawyered up. Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen has lawyered up.  Bob Mueller also is lawyering up and hiring 13 more lawyers to pursue the investigations.

The investigation has expanded to take in obstruction of justice on Trump’s part as well as little Jared’s business dealings. The list of people being investigated has expanded to included associates of associates.

The circle of people under scrutiny in the various investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election apparently has widened to include Rick Gates (pictured at left), former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s closest ally on the trail.

According to a memo sent out to former campaign officials and obtained by various news outlets, a lawyer for President Donald Trump’s transition team requested the preservation of all documents related to Russia and Ukraine, as well as travel records and all documents connected to a small handful of former campaign officials. Gates’ name was on that list, sandwiched between other Trump allies known to be under federal investigation like Manafort and Michael Flynn, the ousted national security adviser.

Earlier today there was speculation that Rosenstein would have to recuse himself from the investigation. The Justice Department is now saying otherwise. Or, at least, it’s not recusal time yet.

“As the deputy attorney general has said numerous times, if there comes a point when he needs to recuse, he will. However, nothing has changed,” DOJ spokesman Ian Prior said in a statement, according to the Washington Post.

ABC News reported Friday that sources within the Department of Justice said Rosenstein had acknowleged that he could have to recuse himself in a meeting with colleagues. Rosenstein is overseeing the investigation into Russian meddling, though it is being spearheaded by a special prosecutor, Robert Mueller.

But before the Justice Department statement, Paul Waldman speculated what a Trump version of the Saturday Night Massacre might look like.

If Rosenstein is considering recusal, it’s because of his role in the Comey firing — which, let’s not forget, Trump admitted both on national television and in a conversation with Russian officials in the Oval Office that he did out of unhappiness with the Russia investigation. Rosenstein could become a witness in the obstruction investigation, which would make it problematic for him to be overseeing Mueller. The authority would then fall to Brand. Is Trump going to go after her next? What happens if he orders her to fire Mueller? Would she resign in protest like Richardson and Ruckelshaus, or follow orders like Bork?

“Brand” is Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, now #3 at the Justice Department. Waldman continues,

While Trump is erratic and impulsive much of the time, he seems particularly so with regard to this investigation. In some limited way it’s understandable — no president likes being investigated — but it seems to be pushing Trump to particular heights of irrationality. If you were trying to limit the investigation and its political fallout and not antagonize the prosecutors, it would be utterly insane to send out these kinds of tweets. Trump’s staff and lawyers are surely begging him to stop. But they can’t control him. There may be people who are willing to stand up to him and tell him that he’s making a mistake, but he’s obviously not willing to listen.

So, even though it would be the height of folly on Trump’s part to try to fire Mueller, he still might try to fire Mueller. But, legally, he cannot do so and would have to find a toady, a Robert Bork, in the Justice Department to do the job for him. But if it gets to that, we’ll know that Trump has totally, utterly lost it.

10 thoughts on “Trump’s Breaking Point?

  1. I’ve heard that even the lawyers are hiring lawyers. Guess it’s a good time to be an attorney.
    I have often thought that Trump may be innocent of any wrongdoing but it’s just the fact that he is not being adored and recognized as the magnificent human being he is that is driving him crazy and he is not able to apply all the behavior/tricks that worked in his business. So he is desperate and keeps doing all the stupid things over and over (like opening his mouth). I don’t really believe he’s innocent but that scenario has occurred to me.
    I saw him this AM in Florida and his audience was raving over him and he loved it. He was smiling broadly and really beaming. That’s what he craves. Poor guy. How many people will he be taking down with him?

  2. It has gone beyond the point where Mueller can be fired. If they try, he’s a “Go Fund Me” away from keeping the investigation going long as needed to throw the whole Trump gang onto the prison bus. Sure, getting the needed warrants and subpoenas would be fussier without being under the wings of the Justice Department, but these guys are pros; they know how to get the job done.


    If t-RUMPLE-thin-sKKKin is innocent regarding any Russian connection(s), then he’s the worst, most guilty looking schmoe in history!
    That, uhm… Doesn’t make Dumb-‘n-old t-RUMPLE-thin-sKKKin look like the shrewd NYC billionaire wheeler-dealer he sold himself as to the Fartland ‘Murkin’s gullible rubes, dopes, dupes, suckers, marks, patsies, dim/half/nit/fuck-wits, etc…
    (The rubes came for the loud and audacious braggadocio, then stayed for the racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia – and, completely unexpectedly coming from a lifelong sinner and unreligious asshole – religious “Christian” intolerance)

    But that braggadocio goes only so far, outside of your usual real estate circles.

    In DC’s political culture, he thought he could swim the political waters unbothered by the guppies and goldfish he thought were there,
    Instead, he found himself in a shark and piranha tank.
    Unfortunately, now that he needs help from professional legal sharks and piranha’s, his reputation of not listening to or paying for advice, has proceeded him!

    I am enjoying this thoroughly!
    But I keep in mind that it’s all fun and games, until the nuclear weapons start flying…

  4. Remember Scooter Libby? The inquisitors knew he wasn’t guilty of outing Valarie Plame. They sent him to prison because he mis-remembered the exact date of something he had made notes on. Once the guys get going ANY mis statement is lying to Congress. Best not to say anything.

  5. If Trump had been able to suppress his ego and narcissistic impulses, keep his mouth shut, his microscopic fingers off the Twitter, exert some self control and call on common sense (he doesn’t have it), he probably wouldn’t be at this point today. Nor would many of his associates, who I am sure would want to “thank” him for helping to put the spotlight back on them.

    As Trump has insisted “I’m like a smart person,” doubling down by refusing to listen to anyone, Ryan explains the idiocy as he’s “new” to this. Meanwhile neocon Max Boot makes it plain: Trump is just too stupid to be President:

    Interesting how the intellectual ability of republican presidents, from Reagan, HW Bush, W Bush and now Trump, appear to track with the downward trend of intellectual ability and fantastical thinking of their followers. As the GOP has successfully worked over the last three decades to appeal to the stupidity of their base while spinning an alternate reality for them, effectively dumbing them ever downward, they seem to have elected Presidents that mirror their own grasp of reality, moral relativism and intellectual clarity.

    They appear to have reached peak stupid (I hope it can’t get any worse than this) and have elected the perfect representative in Trump. They are that 30% or so who fail to see anything wrong, and still “strongly support” his Presidency.

  6. Dadio – You need to brush up on facts before you spread fake news. Libby did out Valerie Plame to a NY Times reporter. He was convicted of four of five counts by a jury. The four counts were Obstruction of Justice, perjury (two counts), and one of the two counts of making false statements. That he was aquitted of the second indicates the jury was paying attention, but if there is any indication that Scooter did it, its there in the fact Bush refused to grant him a pardon.

    The speculation I believe is that VP Cheney authorized it, Libbey did it and Bush was lied to after the fact. Being kept out of the loop as POTUS changed the relationship between President Cheney and acting president Bush and Cheney was demoted and his unilateral permission to begin actions revoked.

  7. I saw this am that Trump has made 595 million since January 2016. most from golf courses, a lot from maralago, and 19.7 million from the hotel in DC that only opened 09/16. So regardless he is getting what he wanted out of it ( and Uday Qusay and Goldilocks)
    From what was reported, Rosenstein’s memo was used as cover for firing Comey, but he never recommended Comey be fired. I want to see what is said now about that. I have noted the Republican penchant for picking the least qualified for years now. This is certainly the lowest no class person ever seen in our history. The only thing that amazes me is how , a in example the cabinet suck up performance, we are expected to just lap up the garbage his administration throws out.
    I am very sad about the shooting this week and glad it was not much worse.
    I think about the healthcare bill and think ” what do they imagine will happen if they pass this?”
    Every person whose child is sick and cannot get help due to the loss of AHCA and Medicaid destruction, will they arrive in Washington loaded? Trump says ” it is an attack on all of us and it should inspire us to come together”… what is he smoking. it was not an attack on “us” and it does not inspire anything good. Inspiration is not a word to use. Odd isn’t it that DJT can never say the right thing.

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