If there is a “coup” going on in America, from what direction is it coming? Is Robert Mueller, long-time Republican and Marine veteran, leading a leftist coup to oust Trump? Or is Fox News colluding with Vladimir Putin to destabilize our American democracy? Much closer to door #2, I would say. I am not sure exactly who is calling the tune, but Trump, Fox News, and most Republicans (or, as some say, Republirussians) are sure singing from the same nasty hymnbook. The rightwing noise machine is a feedback loop of attacks on Robert Mueller these days.
If Trump’s lawyers really think emails from the transition period between November 9, 2016 and January 20, 2017 were seized illegally by Mueller’s team, they have a remedy: file a motion with a Federal judge in DC. If they had any kind of valid legal case, they would have done that already.
If Robert Mueller were really trying to engineer a coup by relying on a team of corrupt pro-Hillary partisans, why did he get rid of the FBI agent who wrote those 2 am texts? Mueller got rid of the indiscreet and dubious agent. So what exactly is the problem? Senator Cornyn of Texas had no good answer when asked that question yesterday, though he did clear his throat and harrumph a while.
Republicans tried and pretty much succeeded in delegitimizing Lawrence Walsh’s investigation into the Iran-Contra scandal in the late nineteen-eighties (hat tip Charlie Pierce). Will Trump succeed in delegitimizing Mueller? Trump has something Reagan didn’t: Fox. He also has majorities in both houses of Congress, for now. Will Mueller turn out to have more conclusive evidence (and time to present it) than Walsh did? I think yes and who knows. Three days from now, if the tax bill passes, as seems likely, and Congress and the country get ready for Christmas and New Year’s, the situation becomes more volatile between Mueller and Trump. I would be very surprised if Trump went away quietly, but I also think Republicans in Congress would much rather have Pence as president.
When Putin calls Trump, does he give direct marching orders? Or is it more subtle and refined? What are the safe words? The safe words that may have been worked out in their hourlong meeting with no US translator or official present, in Europe, a few months ago, that was not disclosed by any US official but by Buzzfeed? And do they talk every few days? We have heard more about their phone calls from the Kremlin than from the State Department. Is Fox News looking into this? Putin is mighty white, which appeals to some people, but do the patriots who voted for Trump believe that our constitutional republic is in good hands with Putin as Trump’s case officer (as James Clapper said recently, and I don’t trust Clapper a whole lot, but he seems to have assessed Putin-Trump accurately)? Trump’s “national security strategy,” which he just presented on TV, does call out Russia and China to some extent, but Trump read those sections of the strategy report like a zombie, skipped some parts critical of Russia altogether, and only became animated when he spoke of collaboration with Putin. Collaboration is not necessarily collusion or criminal conspiracy, but sometimes smelling a whole lot of smoke ought to be enough evidence to flee the crime scene, eh?