No one knows the skeletons in Donald Trump's closet better than Donald Trump. No one knows the crimes he has committed, aided or abetted so well. No one has such a firm grasp on the wrong-doing that was the daily bread of the Trump Organization, his children & close associates.
Now, after an election defeat that was humiliating regardless of what pundits may say,a blue wave that produce greater Democratic gains in the House than any since Watergate & big wins at the state level,Trump is haunted by his knowledge of what coming investigations may uncover.
He does not know what Mueller may have. It may not implicate him. It seems likely to implicate others close to him. He may have a plan for sidestepping the findings of campaign finance wrong-doing relating to hush money uncovered by the prosecutors of the SDNY.
But without the shield of a complicit Republican House of Representatives and with a slowly building wave of state and federal level investigations of his charity, his abuse of the emoluments clause, his company and his close associates, he can see the writing on the wall.
Democrats may not press impeachment for now...nor honestly, should they. They, like Mueller, should patiently wait to build their case. They have time now. The House is a block on many (but not all) of the worst impulses of the president.
But they will not and should not hold back on investigations. Trump will let Ross and Zinke go as a way to avoid the embarrassment of their inevitable prosecutions or at least the detailed revelations of their wrong doing. He will try to put officials in place to protect him.
Whitaker is, of course, the prime example. And of course, that example now has Trump rattled. Because it reveals the incompetence of Trump and those around him to perform even basic tasks of vetting that would be necessary to have a team that could protect him.
Further, Whitaker, is of course, a Trump wanna be--a hyper-ambitious, not-so-bright partisan with a shady past that includes dubious businesses, bad practices, associations with racists (Steve King) and crooked dopes (Sam Clovis), and grand-standing attacks on the LGBT community.
Whitaker's appointment is both unconstitutional and a violation of the law and so now Trump can see his own best "plan" to protect himself will come undone. Further, the power of his office, the prestige he tried to rent with his election, is no longer working.
His first move was to seek celebration by those who would sell it to him, like the Saudis, but that has been undone by the Saudis own brutality and immorality (that was coaxed into full view by their sense that Trump would never challenge them).
He has come to see the Europeans and the Chinese neither fear nor respect him. He has come to see his association with Vladimir Putin, the one that helped him get the job, is now a serious liability.
The President who made his signature appeal be one for a wall, who has sought to wall off America from the world, is now, in rapid order, watching the walls fall all around him. His inner circle are leaving. His big name hires will soon depart.
HIs first and second and third team of lawyers have departed and the ones that are left behind are a pretty mixed bag. His family will soon be fractured as they try to defend themselves. His party is weakened. His control of the House is lost.
The world ridicules and rejects him. They have figured out his games. They see through his lies and his racism. He himself knows his base of bases is comprised not of America's best but of its worst. He calls them the "super-elite" but he can smell his own BS.
Mueller and prosecutors in NY and investigators in the House and courts across America are stalking him, closing in on him. And worst, there are the ghosts, the ones in his head, the ones who know the secrets he most fears to tell.
Once we thought there might be a Russian secret tape that would embarrass Trump. But two years of Trump as president has produced more to disgrace him than any tape could whether it involved hookers or golden showers or goats dressed as his sainted mother.
But he knows. He knows there is worse out there. He knows his own past. And so today, he sits alone in a Paris hotel room, unable to find the wherewithal to even withstand the rain to honor the fallen of World War I. They were so brave. He is so very craven.
He hides himself away as he does in the White House every day now, going out into public only into meetings where the crowds can be counted on to cheer. And that is fewer and fewer places these days.
Abraham Lincoln once said the only way America could be brought down is from within. Trump's presidency has been cited frequently as the greatest example of such a threat in modern times. But Lincoln's warning can be extended further.
Ultimately Trump too will be brought down from within, by the ghosts of his own past, by the secrets only he knows. The walls have crumbled. So too, very soon, will this weak, corrupted, cowardly, ignorant, racist, incompetent, pathetic excuse for a man.
You can follow @djrothkopf.
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