The signs that the Trump administration and GOP are seriously panicked about FBI’s special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Donald Trump's alleged obstruction of justice are growing by the minute. Newt Gingrich went on a bizarre twitter tirade earlier, darkly warning Trump supporters that the "Deep State" was out in full force to get the president and either depose him or render him completely useless.
But the major signs of panic have come, as per usual, from the Commander in Chief himself in a series of unhinged (even for him) tweets laying into Hillary Clinton for colluding with the Russians, "bleaching" emails (whatever that means) and destroying phones with hammers:
It goes without saying that whatever Trump is trying to get at here is complete and utter bullshit, but the fact that he is trying to relitigate the 2016 election and blame Hillary Clinton for the mess he has created is a sign of how spooked he is about the investigation.
Attacking Hillary Clinton has been the go-to strategy of the Republican Party for decades now, and Trump perfected the misogynistic tactic in the 2016 election. He didn't have to put forward any policies, didn't have to articulate a meaningful vision for the country, didn't have to answer real questions from the media and didn't have to care about basic human deceny. He just had to shout "Lock Her Up" and his legions of rabid supporters, fed on decades of wild conspiracy theories from Fox News and right wing talk radio, lapped it up and propelled him all the way to the White House.
Like a dog who has learned how to beg for treats, Trump is reverting to basic learned behavior in a time of crisis. He knows this is bad. Very, very bad. As Slate's Mark Stern noted:
This aggressive shift toward Trump associates’ personal dealings is disastrous news for the president, his allies, and his enablers. At long last, federal investigators will probe Trump’s sprawling network for wrongdoing, picking up where reporters left off, only this time with subpoena power. And Trump can only stop them by firing Mueller—a blatant obstruction of justice that would likely be more damaging than any crime the president may have committed in the past.
Expect more attacks on Hillary Clinton as the investigation continues. Trump is an expert at creating chaos and misdirection, and he'll use every trick in his limitlessly vile arsenal to squirm his way out of it. But this time it almost certainly won't work, and he and everyone around him knows it.