If you follow me on Twitter, you probably caught a series of rather fire-and-brimstone tweets I posted Thursday afternoon. Turns out, an article in Bloomberg set me off this time and here's why. In it, we learned that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recently told Donald Trump that he's not currently a target of the Mueller investigation or the investigation into Michael Cohen taking place in the southern district of New York (SDNY).
My Twitter bitching was sparked by the reality that Trump should be the target of at least one of the high profile federal investigations currently in progress. Instead, we're still hearing the same news, that Trump is merely a subject of the Mueller probe despite the reality that, at the very least, the president has clearly endeavored to obstruct the Justice Department's efforts while engaging in a fairly obvious cover-up of his crimes and/or the crimes of the people surrounding him.
Likewise, he was absolutely privy to the Russian attack given, at the very least, the existence of the June, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower featuring a roster of Russian spies and Kremlin operatives. There's also copious evidence of money-laundering and other financial crimes that either the Mueller team or the SDNY team might be examining.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told President Donald Trump last week that he isn’t a target of any part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation or the probe into his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, according to several people familiar with the matter.
Before we continue, it'd be silly not to assume the White House, and maybe even Trump himself, leaked a false story to Bloomberg. It wouldn't be the first time and won't be the last. It'd fit cleanly into his overall plan. He can't stop shouting, "NO COLLUSION!" to anyone paying attention. He's trying to grind us into submission. I wouldn't be surprised if he pointed to the appetizers menu at Mar-a-lago, announcing to the room that the stuffed potato skins prove there's "NO COLLUSION!" A standing ovation follows. Any excuse will suffice for the true believers.
But let's assume for the sake of argument that the story's legitimate.
Usually I'm much more rational when it comes to news items like this. Again, we already knew this information, more or less, but the fact that he's presumably not a target still confounds me. Trump's status could change at any second, but, I thought to myself, if true, what the hell are they waiting for? How much evidence do they need?
Well, of course, the sane answer is to let Mueller do what Mueller does. We're talking about the president here, and no matter how he attained the office the evidence against him needs to be incontrovertible and iron-clad. In other words, they're obviously being very, very careful -- as they should be.
Still, whenever there's good news for Trump, it makes me cringe a little because he certainly doesn't deserve it. He deserves nothing except scorn, ridicule, ignominy and rejection. Anything else is rewarding a villain whose incompetence and criminality are rapidly manufacturing years if not decades of blowback against national security and, even more importantly, the functioning of American democracy.
My biggest source of stress, at least political stress, is the notion that Trump will somehow escape the accountability he's so tragically earned and his exoneration will lead to copycat after copycat after copycat. The next Trump will be far, far worse. For context, did you ever think we'd have a more incompetent White House hopeful than George W. Bush or Sarah Palin? Don't look now, but Trump is a human-animal hybrid -- a living chimera of those nincompoops. Trumpism, if not Trump himself, needs to be put down by any legal means necessary. Escape is not an option. Not any more.
But then this line in the Bloomberg piece jumped off the screen:
Trump told some of his closest advisers that it’s not the right time to remove either man since he’s not a target of the probes.
Yes, according to this reporting, Trump would've definitely fired Rosenstein, as well as Mueller and maybe even Jeff Sessions if Rosenstein had told Trump he's a target. Put another way, Trump informed his people that he planned to further obstruct justice to save his own ass -- a deed that, in tandem with the tapes, led directly to Richard Nixon's near-impeachment and presidential demise.
It's all right there in plain view and yet there continues to be a debate over whether Trump is guilty of obstruction, even after admitting it to Lester Holt nearly a year ago. It's the continued ambiguity that's the source of a rising sense of national insanity -- we're seeing his crimes in real time, in critical focus and perpetrated in public view, and still there are way too many people who are infuriatingly dumb about it.
Donald Trump remains at large. For how long will depend on the will of the investigators and the integrity of the law in the face of the most pervasive and damaging White House propaganda campaign to discredit those investigators in the name of propping up this loathsome clown dictator.